Evidence of meeting #16 for Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities in the 43rd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was women.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Armine Yalnizyan  Economist and Atkinson Fellow on the Future of Workers, As an Individual
Matthew Chater  National President and Chief Executive Officer, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada
Angela Bonfanti  Senior Vice-President, Foundation Programs, Canadian National Institute for the Blind
Paulette Senior  President and Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Women's Foundation
Clerk of the Committee  Ms. Marie-France Lafleur

4:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Sean Casey

I call this meeting to order.

Welcome to meeting number 16 of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities.

Pursuant to the orders of reference of April 11 and May 26, 2020, the committee is resuming its study of the government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pursuant to the motion adopted by the House on May 26, 2020, the committee may continue to sit virtually until Monday, September 21, 2020, to consider matters related to the COVID-19 pandemic and other matters. Certain limitations on the virtual committee meetings held until now are now removed. The committee is now able to consider other matters, and in addition to receiving evidence, the committee may also consider motions as we normally do. As stipulated in the latest order of reference from the House, all motions shall be decided by way of a recorded vote.

Today's meeting is taking place by video conference, and the proceedings will be made available via the House of Commons website. The webcast will always show the person speaking rather than the entire the committee.

Before speaking, please wait until I recognize you by name. When you are ready to speak, please click on the microphone icon to activate your mike.

Before I get started, and this is especially important for the witnesses, I'd like to remind everyone to please use the language channel of the language they are speaking in. If you intend to switch from English to French or French to English, before you switch, be sure to switch the channel.

I would now like to thank the witnesses for joining us today.

We have with us, appearing as an individual, Armine Yalnizyan, economist and Atkinson fellow on the future of workers; and from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada, we have Matthew Chater, national president and CEO.

Ms. Yalnizyan, please proceed with your opening remarks. You have 10 minutes.

4:05 p.m.

Armine Yalnizyan Economist and Atkinson Fellow on the Future of Workers, As an Individual

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Thank you very much for the invitation to bear witness to this remarkably hardworking and august committee.

Yesterday, the Bank of Canada told us that the worst could soon be over for the economy, but the pace of rebound is truly far from certain. For Canadian workers, recovery can’t come soon enough.

Last month's labour force survey saw Statistics Canada declare that “In April, more than one-third...of the potential labour force did not work or worked less than half...their usual hours”. Tomorrow's update is likely to show more of a “he-covery” than a “she-covery”, that is, more men returning to work than women. That is deeply problematic for us all because of the role of households in the potential for the future economy. That is because household spending accounted for over 56% of GDP before the pandemic hit. It has been a growing driver of GDP now for years because of falling business investment and stuttering exports.

Household purchasing power has been propelling the Canadian economy, and women's incomes are critical to maintaining the strength of household purchasing power, particularly in the post-pandemic period. It is unclear how many workers deemed non-essential during the shutdown will find their way back to being rehired because so many of those workers who lost their jobs were women.

Without question, the limiting factor for women's return to work is child care. To put it most simply, there will be no recovery without a she-covery, and there will be no she-covery without child care.

The acceleration of shovel-ready infrastructure projects will certainly help speed recovery, but it is mathematically impossible for growth in primarily male-dominated construction and repair jobs to offset the number of jobs lost by women in the services sector. Furthermore, repairing critical physical infrastructure will do nothing to prevent the loss of critical social infrastructure, which is exactly what we are poised to do.

User fees for child care represent the second-biggest cost for young families, second only to housing expenditures. Many families who lost incomes forfeited their spots in child care facilities because of the high cost of simply holding that space. A lot of child care centres will be affected, and child care costs will undoubtedly rise even further because of the new requirements for physical distancing, dramatically increasing staff-to-child ratios and adding new fixed costs for PPE, cleaning and more space.

We do not know what share of our ecosystem of child care will shutter in the wake of the pandemic. In the U.S., it's estimated that 50% of its child care spaces are at risk. That's 4.5 million spaces. Just to maintain what they have would require an additional $9.6 billion a month. A bill is going forward right now to prevent further loss of that infrastructure. Of course, the fewer spaces that exist, the less ability there is for women to return to work even when they have a job.

The irony that is not lost on me—and I hope it won't be lost on you—is that subsidized child care literally pays for itself. A study by noted Quebec economist Pierre Fortin and his colleagues has shown that “in 2008 each $100 of daycare subsidy paid out by the Quebec government generated a return of $104 for itself and a windfall of $43 for the federal government”, which didn't put one thin dime into the program.

But there's more—the K-Tel version. Child care can play a threefold role in recovery. Beyond simply facilitating women's return to work and being a source of employment, there is the decision to ensure that child care is not just a holding tank so mommy can work, but actually affordable, high-quality, early-learning, accessible programming for all families. If that's the approach that we take with child care, we will maximize the future of the next generation of Canadian children. We will lower public spending, and we will increase revenues for governments and society. Now we may choose to act, or we may choose not to act, but whatever we do, we will reap what decision we sow now.

U.S. data shows that there's a return on investment of between $4 and $8.75 on every single dollar invested in high-quality early learning, particularly in neighbourhoods where children are more at risk of entering school without being learning-ready. Of course, the impact does not end with preschoolers.

Canadian data from our very own ESDC, Employment and Social Development Canada, shows that spending on Pathways to Education resulted in a net benefit to governments of over $2,000 through lower expenditures and higher revenues per student in the program, and over $5,000 for individual participants.

We would literally be leaving money on the table by not using this opportunity to improve our critical social infrastructure by investing in children and high-quality child care.

By rolling out an initiative that is national in nature, but accelerated in our biggest cities first, where we have the highest concentrations of children and poverty, we could maximize their potential and their future, and our potential and our future.

Getting everyone learning-ready and learning-supported as they grow up is a 21st century requirement. It's not just a nice thing to do because of population aging.

Since a shrinking working-age cohort will be asked to support growing numbers of people too old, too young and too sick to work, we really can't afford to discount any of the skills development of anybody. This means that higher quality early-learning child care should not be left to market forces to determine how much should be available, but rather be integrated with the education system because it is a public good that is undersupplied by the market at present.

Given the circumstances, I believe this requires a national approach and a strong federal role. I recognize this is a controversial position.

Why should the federal government play a role in child care, which falls constitutionally into provincial jurisdiction? The answers are multiple. It's because child care is just going to get more costly to operate safely in the post-pandemic world as a result of higher staff ratios, more PPE, more time spent on cleaning and on better staff; because provinces and cities are cash-strapped now, which is going to get worse; because the federal government provides funding already for health care and post-secondary education, so there's a precedent; and because, even if we don’t raise taxes to pay for better child care and more of it immediately due to post-pandemic pressures, debt by the federal government is the least risky and the lowest cost of any debt held by any economic agent in society, be it a household, a business, a municipal government or a provincial government. Everybody pays more for debt than the federal government does.

Now, I would be remiss not to mention the number of recent immigrants and migrant workers who have been made sicker and have even died because of the pandemic and because of our inadequate provisions for safe reopening. We need better protections for all workers.

Here I especially applaud the federal government's decision to advance the idea of 10 paid sick days, a worthy initiative that should have been in place long before the pandemic hit, but its absence can certainly not be excused now. Every jurisdiction should be clamouring to lead this parade for their workers, who are their voters; but the federal government could and should lead by example and do exactly what it has asked the provinces to do in its own jurisdiction.

Furthermore, the cautionary tale from the use of on-demand and temporary labour in long-term care facilities and delivery services should give everybody pause because the rise of the gig economy is looming on the horizon as employers and consumers look for cheaper, faster, on-demand labour, and workers have fewer paths back to their old jobs.

I urge the federal government to collect better data and monitor this phenomenon very closely, because we don't monitor at all. We don't even measure it well. It will affect everything from income support and skills development programs to public revenue and debt.

In closing, I want to say that the pandemic has revealed that the caring economy, by which I mean health care, elder care and child care, has been revealed to be the vital underpinning of the essential economy. Social infrastructure is as critical to the basic functioning of our lives and jobs as roads and bridges. As our long-term care facilities have shown, twinning care and profit as operational objectives is a risky business.

We need nationwide protocols for the safe reopening of child care. This will require skill testing, for sure, of federal-provincial-territorial cooperation. I don't underestimate the challenges of that, but we all know that a common goal is often easier to pursue when somebody else makes the money available.

Who is that somebody else? It is all of us as Canadians, together through our taxes. Without such shared undertaking, fewer women will return to work, and economic recovery will be further off for everyone, workers and businesses alike. Please, let’s not do this to ourselves.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to your questions.

4:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Sean Casey

Thank you, Ms. Yalnizyan.

Next we'll go to Mr. Chater, national president and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada.

Go ahead. You have 10 minutes.

4:15 p.m.

Matthew Chater National President and Chief Executive Officer, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada

Thanks very much, Chair.

Thank you for the opportunity to be here with you all today and for undertaking this important work.

My name is Matthew Chater. I'm the president and CEO for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada. I suspect that many of you know what we do, but in short, we provide intentional mentoring relationships to young people facing adversity and in need of additional developmental relationships. Children and youth in our programs face toxic stress by living with adversities like poverty, mental illness, neglect, addiction, identity issues and a range of other sources. Sixty-three per cent of the young people in Big Brothers Big Sisters programs experience three or more of these adversities while at the same time having only one, or often zero, developmental relationships.

That is where we come in with our mentoring supports and services. We provide mentoring relationships to over 41,000 youth in Canada. We provide these services through the support of over 21,000 adult mentors who are matched with youth in our local agencies that operate in 1,100 communities across Canada. This amounts to over four million volunteer hours each year.

It will be of particular interest to this committee that this work is a valuable investment in the country’s economic future and our workforce. Research by the Boston Consulting Group found a return of 23:1 for every dollar invested in our mentoring, with those who have benefited from our programs more likely to be employed, earning more over the course of their career, being healthier both mentally and physically, and more likely to give back to their communities later in life in both dollars and time.

In other words, intentional mentorship through Big Brothers Big Sisters works. We have been providing this critical front-line service in Canada for over 100 years through wars, recessions, a depression and even previous pandemics. However, we, like you, have never experienced anything like COVID-19 and its resulting human and economic impact.

The pandemic has created two enormous challenges for us. First, our corporate and individual donations have slowed to a trickle. We have already been forced to reduce our staff team, and many of our local agencies have had to do the same. Looking ahead, 88% of our local agencies expect to lay off additional staff in the next three months.

I have heard and appreciate the concerns of some members about propping up charities that might have had flawed business models before the pandemic. We do not fall into this camp. We have always had strong fundraising and have never faced a situation like this in our history. Keep in mind that we lost our entire spring fundraising season, which naturally is our busiest time of year with fundraising events and is a critical source of cash flow for the remainder of the year. As a result, Big Brothers Big Sisters as a full federation is facing a forecasted $21-million shortfall, and that is just for 2020. We expect this reality to be even more precarious in 2021.

Let me be clear, though: Our priority is to continue serving the 41,000 youth in our system now. We will do, and have done, whatever it takes to sustain those relationships, and have put in place a host of measures to switch from in-person meetings and mentoring to doing so virtually. Great credit on this goes to our local agencies and the many volunteers who have adapted their service methods during this time of physical distancing. However, that too has costs. We are having to switch everything to online, which is no easy feat when you are doing the delicate work of matching volunteer mentors with youth through professional staff teams.

These costs come when our resources are stretched like never before. To give you a more practical example, if a youth can't afford a laptop or other device or access reliable Internet, they'd be unable to join a conversation, like the one we're having right now, with their mentor. These are the situations coming up every day that our member agencies are adapting and solving for.

We appreciate the initiatives of the government, such as the wage subsidy and the emergency community support fund, but they are simply not enough, unfortunately. I know you're hearing the same from other charities and non-profit organizations. We support the request of Imagine Canada and the coalition of non-profits and charitable organizations through War Child for a recovery stabilization fund for charities, which hopefully would be of sufficient size to support our cash flow and liquidity positions.

What I just covered is what I would describe as the challenges that we face today. There is also what you would consider our challenge of tomorrow, both for our organization and Canadian society as a whole. It is directly relevant to the work of this committee.

As I mentioned at the outset, we work with youth experiencing toxic stress. COVID-19 is a source of toxic stress for everyone, adults and youth alike. However, imagine what that is doing for a youth already living in isolation, for example, and who has no school, no support systems to rely on, limited contact with friends, if any, and parents who may have lost their jobs. The youths who were facing the greatest challenges before the pandemic are likely to be the most impacted by the pandemic.

Since March 12, calls to Kids Help Phone are up by 55% and texts are up 61%, with 76% of those reaching out saying that they had no one else to talk to. This is heartbreaking at any point in time, but more so now. We are grateful for the investments made by the Government of Canada in these services.

Big Brothers Big Sisters is recommended by Kids Help Phone as a program for young people to reach out to, and it provides ongoing mental health supports. However, we are now in a position wherein we are unable or barely able to sustain our existing matches, let alone take on an influx of new clients. To put that into perspective, we already had 15,000 youth on our waiting list before the pandemic. We expect, and have already seen in many regions, that number continue to grow exponentially as we come out of this and begin, as a community, to heal from the devastating effects of COVID-19. That will put further strain on our resources, both financial and volunteer.

While mentoring is critical for youth mental health, keep in mind that today's youth are going to be entering the worst job market in a hundred years or, perhaps, ever. They will bear the financial and social costs of the pandemic. A mentor at this time is therefore so valuable for helping youths make sense of the world. It is the simple act of giving hope where it may be lacking.

As I mentioned earlier, the data clearly show that mentoring through Big Brothers Big Sisters works in terms of future employment and earnings. In other words, it helps emotionally and mentally, but also economically. My appeal to you today is therefore twofold.

First, you should implement a sector stabilization grant for charities and non-profits, as has been recommended by Imagine Canada and others. If that is not possible, you should address our $21-million shortfall directly, given our role in providing front-line services to youth. You can rest assured that 90% of every dollar that Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada is bringing in during this time goes directly to supporting children and families through our member agencies. We are one of the few youth-serving organizations that do not require bricks and mortar to continue providing front-line services. We reach right into the homes of vulnerable youth in Canada, offering critical life-saving relationships.

Second, you should start thinking about the recovery period and the tremendous strain that will be put on young people and front-line service organizations like our own, particularly regarding youth employment. We do not know how this social experiment will end or what its long-term effects will be. However, we do know that without additional ongoing positive relationships to buffer the toxic stress I spoke about earlier, research tells us that the next [Technical difficulty—Editor] problems and experience mental illness and disease at unprecedented levels. This is costly, and it is preventable with modest investments. Our focus at Big Brothers Big Sisters is on service continuity and the future of thriving communities across Canada, and we need the ongoing support of the federal government for that.

I speak to youth on a daily basis, as I suspect many of you do as well. I struggle tremendously to process the impact of what is happening as a result of the pandemic on their lives now and into the future. Layered on top of that are the complexities that we're seeing within racialized communities. Navigating the uncertainties of the global pandemic while facing its continual systemic challenges is truly challenging.

We will always be there for them as long as we can, but we do need help.

Thank you again for the invitation to be here today. I look forward to taking your questions.

4:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Sean Casey

Thank you, Mr. Chater. Thank you for the excellent work that's done right across the country by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada.

We'll now go to our rounds of questions, beginning with Ms. Kusie, please, for six minutes.

4:30 p.m.

Conservative

Stephanie Kusie Conservative Calgary Midnapore, AB

Thank you, Chair, and thank you very much to our witnesses for being here today.

Thank you very much to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada for all the work that you do.

Matthew, you mentioned that you've had to adjust your programming significantly through both layoffs and doing things virtually, as well as moving many programs online. What other things have you done to adjust your programming?

I'm completely overwhelmed as it is by the pandemic, certainly, but in hearing your response and that you have to provide for so many young people who are the future of our nation, I struggle to even comprehend it. What other ways have you found useful to adjust your programming during this most difficult time?

4:30 p.m.

National President and Chief Executive Officer, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada

Matthew Chater

Monitoring the match relationships and bringing those relationships together in the virtual space is only one element of our business, but also having to look at training our volunteers in the virtual space and undertaking enrolments as well.

We've also had to look at the difficult decision of how to best align the resources during this time. Many of our local agencies have made the difficult decision, difficult within the livelihood of the staff within our organizations but making sense given how we need to respond, to put as much of our resources as possible at the front line and have administrative leaders, as well as other functions within the organization, on leave or their jobs potentially terminated.

Looking at fundraising, for instance, our fundraising team right across the country has significantly gone down. We're having to pivot our services, and the operations of our organizations to bring in those critical funds have also been diminished.

The virtual mentoring space has been keenly of interest to us. As we look to the school year in September, we are not expecting that it will be back to normal, but to a new normal. We are working very closely with our partners to look at virtual platforms to ensure that they are secure and meeting the needs of school boards and communities in that period of time.

4:30 p.m.

Conservative

Stephanie Kusie Conservative Calgary Midnapore, AB

You've talked a lot about your organization dealing with the challenges and stress that youth are experiencing at this time from the pandemic, in particular around social isolation. What are some of the ways your organization has helped youth to cope with the social isolation?

Every time I go for a walk past a park, I see young people doing their best to socially distance, but they're just at such a critical age where those relationships are so important to them to find who they are and who they're becoming. What types of things have you been able to do to help them through this difficult time of social isolation?

4:30 p.m.

National President and Chief Executive Officer, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada

Matthew Chater

A lot of it comes from upskilling our mentors in being able to have those deep conversations around what it feels like to be socially isolated, because there are behaviours and emotions that are coming up that even a young person might not recognize as being a result of being disconnected. As a human race, we thrive on connection and relationships, and isolation is having a significant effect on mental health and well-being. It's about being able to process and work through what those emotions are, what the feelings are, and making sure that folks know and young people know that there are others who are living through this, and giving them the tools to be resilient through this and also ensuring that they keep up the motivation to be engaged.

I spoke of the conversations we have with youth across the country. From some of the conversations I've had, I've heard from young people who are now the primary source of income for the family, where their part-time role has now become more essential and their hours are going up because their parents do not have the income necessary to be able to hold the family needs at the forefront. Therefore, it's being able to talk through what that reality is and keeping them connected to education and motivated to learn, but also keeping the degree of hope that I spoke about earlier, just to give that connection point for somebody who is always there for them.

4:35 p.m.

Conservative

Stephanie Kusie Conservative Calgary Midnapore, AB

You talked a fair bit about facing youth employment and unemployment coming out of COVID-19. What do you think are the major impacts that we'll see on youth unemployment as the economy begins to reopen following COVID-19? What will be the greatest challenges in the new economy?

4:35 p.m.

National President and Chief Executive Officer, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada

Matthew Chater

I think the greatest challenges will be the skills, as my colleague and the witness before me spoke to. It will be the skills for young people and what they need coming into this post-pandemic world. It means ensuring that they're at the forefront of decision-making for this new economy. It means making sure that they get the skills and connections they need, and that they're able to see and connect with a number of professionals that are working in the space, for them to connect into the skills of tomorrow to be able to thrive in the 21st century.

4:35 p.m.

Conservative

Stephanie Kusie Conservative Calgary Midnapore, AB

Thank you for your time.

4:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Sean Casey

Thank you, Mr. Chater and Ms. Kusie.

Now we're going to Mr. Turnbull, please, for six minutes.

4:35 p.m.

Liberal

Ryan Turnbull Liberal Whitby, ON

Thanks, Chair, and thanks to both our witnesses for being here today. I really appreciated your opening remarks. They were very thoughtful and thought-provoking remarks.

Mr. Chater, my questions are mostly for you, but listen, I want to acknowledge the fantastic work that your organization does. Before getting into politics, I spent over a decade working with charities and non-profits across Canada. I had multiple opportunities to run into your organization. The work you do in my community of Whitby is fantastic, but you're a source of Canadian pride right across the country. The service you provide to at-risk vulnerable youth is essential. I wanted to start there with a clear acknowledgement of the work that you do.

I am concerned, of course, by the many stats that you've provided here, and the escalating costs. I think you've shown great adaptability and resilience already, but I want to ask you a little more about the switch to online. You've said that's costly. Could you give us a bit more detail on how costly that is and whether you've been able to access any supports in that regard?

4:35 p.m.

National President and Chief Executive Officer, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada

Matthew Chater

We've seen some supports at the local level through individual granting initiatives. We are also looking to pursue a virtual platform, as we had noted. One of our partners in this space, the Canadian Mentoring Partnership, has undertaken a significant piece of work to look at e-mentoring platforms. We've been working closely with them as one of those options.

The challenge in the virtual space has been with securing the devices, as I noted, and ensuring that young people have broadband access, the technological access, but it's also in upscaling our staff. When our team members, who traditionally were working out of an office, are having to transition to working from home, there are new technologies that we have needed to purchase.

We have seen some support at the local level. At the national team, we've largely worked virtually, but in the connection between mentor and mentee, it's about trying to do so in a way that is safe and respectful of their privacy and ability. We had to pivot with some of the platforms that we've been using. We continue to seek out opportunity where possible, and the community has responded with some funding to our local members.

4:35 p.m.

Liberal

Ryan Turnbull Liberal Whitby, ON

That's wonderful.

Following up on that, you know that the federal government launched a $350-million emergency community support fund. I'm just wondering how many of your local chapters have been able to access any of those funds so far or whether your national organization has. It certainly seems like you'd be a great candidate for a portion of that funding, and it is a significant amount.

I think we all realize that your request goes beyond maybe that first round of funding. Maybe there's an opportunity to look at that, but in this round, have you accessed some of those funds? Can you give us some information on that?

4:40 p.m.

National President and Chief Executive Officer, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada

Matthew Chater

Yes. The national organization has not applied and wouldn't be eligible within that funding the way it's been structured. Big Brothers Big Sisters worked closely with United Way Canada to look at a cohesive response to the application process for our Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies, because each of the United Way locals would be the ones to oversee the administration and the disbursement of those funds. We wanted to ensure that we were demonstrating, much like you were speaking to, that Big Brothers Big Sisters is in need of those resources.

Where we have found challenges in fitting into that funding is in the project-focused response, a short-term project-focused aspect of that funding, whereas the bread and butter for Big Brothers Big Sisters is our core programming and our mentoring initiatives. That is where the support lies. We have seen success and, at this point, we don't know to what extent, as those funds do continue to flow, but we will be doing an impact analysis in the coming weeks to determine to what extent.

4:40 p.m.

Liberal

Ryan Turnbull Liberal Whitby, ON

Can I clarify this? You said the national organization is not able to access those funds, but are the local chapters able to do that?

4:40 p.m.

National President and Chief Executive Officer, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada

Matthew Chater

The local chapters can, absolutely.

4:40 p.m.

Liberal

Ryan Turnbull Liberal Whitby, ON

I'd be really concerned if your local chapters—I think you said there are 1,100 across the country—couldn't access those funds, but you're saying they can, right?

4:40 p.m.

National President and Chief Executive Officer, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada

Matthew Chater

Absolutely.

4:40 p.m.

Liberal

Ryan Turnbull Liberal Whitby, ON

What about the Canada emergency wage subsidy? How many staff do you have and how many of them have been able to access the wage subsidy through your organization?

4:40 p.m.

National President and Chief Executive Officer, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada

Matthew Chater

Prior to the pandemic, we had 1,400 staff across the country. With the initial impact analysis we did, we saw a 25% reduction, and that could either be terminations, short-term layoffs or long-term layoffs. We do know that agencies have been applying for the wage subsidy to get the support there. We've had some member agencies express concern and confusion because it is a rather complicated process, particularly for charity and not-for-profit organizations, but we are seeing some agencies get access there.

June 4th, 2020 / 4:40 p.m.

Liberal

Ryan Turnbull Liberal Whitby, ON

You're seeing some uptake. That's good.

We all fought hard in our caucus to make sure that all of these supports would be open to charities and non-profits. It's really good that you are applying and, hopefully, accessing.

The other one is the Canada emergency business account, the $40,000 interest-free loans. I've worked with many very small non-profits or local chapters that find it almost impossible to get banks to help them out when they have cash flow issues.

4:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Sean Casey

Mr. Turnbull, I'm very sorry, but you are out of time.