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Canadian Government Budget-cutting Raises Issues

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In late September 2006, Volunteer Canada President Marlene Deboisbriand sent the following e-mail to colleagues in the volunteer community:

Volunteerism in Canada has come under serious threat this week; the federal government eliminated funding for the Canada Volunteerism Initiative. This cutting of $9.7 million directly affects many voluntary sector organizations, including Volunteer Canada, who have worked for the past five years to promote volunteerism in Canada and support Canadian volunteers.

These cuts were made without consultation or warning. We are particularly surprised that the Canada Volunteerism Initiative has been cut as a "non-core program" - a program that does not "meet the priorities of the federal government or Canadians." More than 12 million Canadians provide 2 billion hours of volunteer work annually.

A spontaneous e-mail exchange in indignant reaction to this action proved so interesting that we made it the Keyboard Roundtable for this issue.  See what colleagues in Canada, the US, Australia, England, Germany, and Hong Kong had to say.