November 10, 1998
To:Strategic Policies and Priorities Committee
Subject:Contingency Grants Allocations
The Municipal Grants Review Committee on November 20, 1998, recommended to the
Strategic Policies and Priorities Committee the adoption of the attached report (November 19,
1998) from theCommissioner of Community and Neighbourhood Services respecting the final
set of 1998 Contingency Grants allocations.
Item No. 10
(Report dated November 19, 1998, addressed to the
Municipal Grants Review Committee from the
Commissioner of Community and Neighbourhood Services)
This report recommends the final set of 1998 contingency grants allocations.
Funding Sources, Financial Implications and Impact Statement:
Finance staff have confirmed that sufficient funds exist within the 1998 consolidated grants
budget for the allocation amounts recommended.
It is recommended that:
(1)funding in the amount of $5,000.00 per agency be restored to Cabbagetown Youth Centre,
Central Neighbourhood House, St. Christopher House, St. Stephen's Community Centre, and
University Settlement House;
(2)a one time allocation of $6,145.54 be made to the Company of Ocean Venturers
(3)the National Broadcast Reading Service Inc. not receive funding under the contingency
grant program as it does not meet the program criteria;
(4)the grants contingency not be used to make donations and, therefore, a $5,000.00 donation
to "Jesse's Journey" not be made from the grants contingency; and
(5)the appropriate City officials be authorized and directed to take the necessary action to
give effect thereto.
At its meeting of June 11, 1998, the Municipal Grants Review Committee approved a report,
titled "Grants Contingency", which provided basic guidelines for the administration of the
grants contingency. The Grants Contingency report recommended the application of five
criteria in determining whether or not to recommend ad hoc grant requests, including: that the
requests clearly be one time only, that the activity for which funding is being requested is
within the City mandate, that the activity not be eligible for support through the established
City grant programs, that needs arising from transition be considered, and that all applicants
be required to submit financial information.
Comments and/or Discussion and/or Justification:
The practice this year has been for the Committee Chair, Committee Clerk, or the Mayor's
Office to refer requests to the Commissioner of Community and Neighbourhood Services. The
Commissioner then forwards the requests to the most appropriate grants service area for
review and comment. Those requests which do not fall within a specific service area are
reviewed by staff of the Community and Neighbourhood Services Department.
In addition, all requests, regardless of their appropriateness for consideration as a grant, have
been referred to staff responsible for the grants contingency. Based on past grants best
practices, requests for donations, capital expenditures, and the purchase of fundraising tickets
have not been considered under the grants contingency. Staff have responded to these requests
by indicating that there is no existing source of City support for such activities or initiatives.
Funding requests which appeared to meet the basic criteria established by the Municipal
Grants Review Committee were provided with a standard contingency grant application form
and a copy of the criteria. Upon review of the completed applications by the most appropriate
staff, allocation recommendations were developed for consideration by the Municipal Grants
Only two completed applications were received by staff, one of which was determined to be
eligible for funding and the other not eligible.
The Company of Ocean Venturers Incorporated provides youth with education, trade skills,
work ethics and employment opportunities. The program was piloted in 1998 with eight
youth, age 15 to 23 participating, six of whom either secured employment or have returned to
school. The agency has requested support for program costs associated with the Shipmates
pilot program in the amount of $6,145.54. The agency has also clearly indicated that this is a
one time request for costs associated with the pilot and that it will not be requesting financial
support from the City in the future. The agency will raise all income from the private sector
and the application submitted indicates the agency's ability to do so in the future. The agency
meets the criteria and is recommended for funding.
The National Broadcast Reading Service Inc. is a non-profit charitable organization dedicated
to making media more accessible for people who are blind or low-vision and for seniors. The
agency has requested funding to provide media materials for the Toronto Public Library. After
discussion with staff of the Toronto Public Library, the applicant was advised that should the
Toronto Public Library choose to purchase the materials it would do so out of its operating
budget and that it would not be appropriate to provide grant funding for these purchases. The
agency is not recommended for funding.
City Council at its meeting of July 29, 30 , and 31, 1998, referred to the Municipal Grants
Review Committee a motion by Councillor Adams recommending that the City make a
$5,000.00 contribution to Jesse's Journey. Jesse's Journey is a registered trademark of the
Foundation for Gene and Cell Therapy. This recommendation was made as a result of Mr.
John Davidson's appearance before Council on July 30, 1998. Mr. Davidson was in the midst
of an 8,300 kilometre walk across Canada to raise public awareness and funds for genetic
The Municipal Grants Review Committee referred Council's recommendation to the Chief
Financial Officer and Treasurer since the recommendation referred to the allocation of funds
from the Corporate Contingency Fund. The Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer has advised
that should the Council choose to allocate the $5,000.00, it would be appropriate to provide
the funds from the grants contingency rather than the Corporate Contingency fund.
As indicated above, there is no source within the City budget for donations. The grants
contingency has an established set of criteria and application process based on the grants best
practices. Should the Municipal Grants Review Committee wish to recommend that a
donation be made from the grants contingency, it will need to vary the current criteria and
break precedent with regard to the use of the grants contingency to date. It is not
recommended that the grants contingency be used to make donations. Therefore, it is
recommended that a $5,000.00 donation to "Jesse's Journey" not be made from the grants
Use of Contingency Fund Related to Difficulties Arising from Transition:
The transition to the new City brought many changes that had impacts on past practices.
Centralized grants administration was established in all grants programs and some oversights
occurred. In particular, five Major Recreation Grant Recipients whose individual grants
exceeded $60,000.00 were reduced by $5,000.00 each; however, proper notice was not given
resulting in these organizations having no opportunity to appeal this decision in a timely
manner. The reduction of these grants occurred in order to fund returning recreation applicants
as directed by Council in the report "Administration of Municipal Grants" approved at its
regular meeting on February 4, 5 and 6, 1998. In the past, it was possible to reallocate funding
from within the former City of Toronto's General Grants Budget as in 1997, but this
flexibility was no longer available as grant programs were clearly separated. Also, emergency
funding formerly available to recreation applicants was no longer included in the Recreation
The five organizations affected are St. Christopher House, Cabbagetown Youth Centre,
University Settlement House, Central Neighbourhood House and St. Stephen's Community
Centre. Staff have met with these agencies to hear their concerns and discuss possible options.
The agencies emphasized that the severe cutbacks from other funders and now the reduction in
City support have jeopardized their recreation programs for the balance of the year. City
grants are used for staff salaries who deliver these services.
This situation has arisen as a result of the transition from six recreation grants administrations
to one centralized recreation grants administration. As this was a primary focus for use of the
Contingency Fund and sufficient funds remain, it is recommended that the grant reductions to
the five agencies noted above be reinstated. It is further recommended that an additional
$25,000.00 be available in the 1999 Major Recreation Grants Budget to prevent such
reductions from occurring.
This report provides final allocation recommendations under the 1998 contingency grant
program. At year end a full review of the 1998 contingency grant program will be undertaken
to determine if the need for an ongoing contingency grants program exists. This review should
be carried out by the proposed Corporate Grants Team and submitted to the Municipal Grants
Review Committee at its first meeting in 1999.