Announcing the 2008 CED & Social Economy Common Election Platform

September 10, 2008

Recommendations for the Federal Government on Community Economic Development and the Social Economy

Five major networks – the Canadian Co-operative Association, the Canadian Community Economic Development Network, Chantier de l’économie sociale, Conseil québécois de la coopération et de la mutualité, and the Conseil Canadien de la Coopération – representing thousands of co-operatives, community-based organizations, and non-profit enterprises across the country, propose a new partnership between communities and the Canadian government to build a stronger economy, invest in sustainable communities, and tackle poverty.

With our economy under stress from the growing downturn in the United States and the continuing pressures of globalization, we believe that now – more than ever – Canada needs stronger policies for community economic development (CED). A commitment by the Government of Canada to support CED and the social economy will allow Canada to join the growing number of countries around the world that have adopted policies to support this rapidly growing movement.

Through our networks rooted in every region of Canada, we have seen how community economic development can help to create resilient communities. Social economy enterprises and organizations, both co-operative and non-profit, have been successful in responding to local needs, including housing, health, environment, agriculture, culture, recreation, tourism, and childcare.

People working together to deal with common economic and social problems can have a powerful positive impact on rural, urban and Aboriginal communities. In many communities, businesses are closing down or moving away while community-led social economy organizations remain rooted, delivering valuable services, creating opportunities, and maintaining jobs.

Our impact is far-reaching. Canada’s co-operative sector has assets of $250-billion. Canadians have more than 17 million memberships in co-operative organizations and the sector provides over 150,000 jobs. In 2001, the GDP of the core non-profit sector amounted to $25.4-billion, representing 2.5% of the overall economy. This share increases to $80.3-billion or 6.8% of GDP when hospitals, universities and colleges are included.

Recommendations include:

  • A Greater Role for Social Enterprise in Economic Revitalization
  • Support for New and Emerging Co-ops
  • Sustainable Support for Community Economic Development (CED) Organizations and Community Capacity Building
  • Support for Technical Resources and Expertise for Enterprising Non-Profits
  • Access to Capital
  • A National Anti-Poverty Strategy with Targets, Timetables and Resources.

To download the full document, including expanded information on the recommendations, please click here>>