Uncertainty swirls around N'Amerind Friendship Centre funding
Group overseeing Ont. friendship centres says no cuts announced despite local director being told otherwise
It's now unclear if funding for programs that help end incarceration and violence against women at an Indigenous friendship centre in London will be cut.
Al Day, the executive director of the N'Amerind Friendship Centre, told CBC News he was told in February that there will funding cuts resulting in job losses.
Two programs, Kizhaay Anishinaabe Niin and the Community Justice Program, were targetted, Day says he was told. It would result in three staff positions being cut. The Community Justice Program diverts youth and adult offenders from the justice system and the Kizhaay Anishinaabe Niin program helps men build healthy relationships.
But the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres (OFIFC) has since released a statement saying no funding cuts have been announced by the Ford government.
"Please be advised that the province has not announced any plans to cut OFIFC programs, including Kizhaay Anishinaabe Niin and the Community Justice Program," the organization, an umbrella group for friendship centres, wrote in a statement earlier this week.
"Friendship Centre staff members care passionately about these valuable programs. The OFIFC continues to work to support effective and important provincially-funded programs in Friendship Centres."
Day says he spoke to CBC News "based on the facts I knew at the time. Apparently, I was not operating under the most recent information."
The province provides money to the OFIFC, which in turn funds friendship centres in the province, including the N'Amerind Frienship Centre.
"There has been no change to the centre's ongoing funding," a spokesperson for the Ministry of the Attorney General said in a statement to CBC News.