GATINEAU – The Government of Canada is committed to supporting innovative solutions that find new ways to help communities tackle their most complex and persistent social issues. By breaking down the barriers that prevent Canada’s most vulnerable populations from finding employment and fully participating in their communities, the Government will create a more diverse and inclusive middle class.
The report includes 12 recommendations proposing ways that social innovation—ideas that help communities respond to a challenge more effectively—and social finance—financial investments that create a social or environmental impact—could be incorporated into a comprehensive strategy to build more inclusive and prosperous communities, and in doing so, improve the lives of vulnerable Canadians and create a more inclusive middle class.
The Government is currently reviewing the recommendations of the Co-Creation Steering Group which will inform the Government’s final Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy.
“I want to thank the Steering Group for their recommendations for a Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy. Our Government recognizes the need for innovative solutions to address pressing social problems and help vulnerable Canadians. The recommendations are a major step towards building a strong strategy to help those most in need. I’m confident that we’re on the right path to creating a more inclusive Canada.”
– The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
“The Government of Canada recognizes that we need to break down the barriers that prevent many Canadians from finding work and being active participants in their communities. All Canadians want to share in the prosperity of our country and I’m hopeful that the recommendations for the Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy can help provide real solutions for the challenges our communities face.”
– The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour
- There is a need for innovative approaches to address existing social and environment problems in Canada. It is estimated that 3 million Canadian families live in poverty, 570,000 Canadians are without reliable access to safe drinking water and greenhouse emissions were only reduced by 2% from 2005-2015.
- The use of social innovation and social finance has been successfully adopted in a number of countries to help address social and environment problems. It has also been successful at provincial and regional levels throughout Canada.
- The recommendation report was written by a Steering Group composed of 17 diverse leaders with strong knowledge of the philanthropic, financial and community sectors.
- To develop their recommendations, the Group gathered first-hand insights into social barriers that communities experience as well as the obstacles that prevent some organizations from helping them. This consultation and engagement process included more than 50 in-person or virtual sessions and hundreds of online submissions. The Steering Group also engaged with over than 35 Indigenous organizations.
- In their findings, the Steering Group identified six areas that can affect a social purpose organization’s ability to achieve or advance their missions (i.e. their ability to increase skills and build capacity, their ability to access funding and capital, their market access to sell goods or provide services, the effects of policy and regulations, the benefits of knowledge sharing among social purpose organizations and public awareness and mobilization).