The Federal government’s 2015 budget was presented on April 21st. This year, CCEDNet submitted six recommendations to the Federal government’s pre-budget consultations to scale up the impact of successful practices in community economic development and social enterprise.
The budget contains some measures of interest to the CED sector:
- Continued focus on social finance, with a commitment to implement a 'social finance accelerator initiative' to help develop promising social finance proposals. (p.271 of the PDF budget document)
- $35 million to make the Foreign Credential Recognition Loans pilot program permanent, to support internationally trained workers in obtaining Canadian recognition of their credentials (p.165) The pilot program was delivered by a number of CCEDNet members.
- Allowing charities to invest in limited partnerships, providing greater flexibility for social impact investments. (p.271)
- A national financial literacy strategy that will be released in the next year to engage the private, public and non-profit sectors towards shared financial literacy goals. Canada's banks have agreed to establish a 5-year Financial Literacy Partnership Fund of $10 million to provide grants to eligible community organizations for projects that improve the financial literacy capabilities of Canadians. (p.251)
- $150 million over four years to allow co-operative and non-profit social housing providers to pre-pay long-term and non-renewable mortgages without penalty. (p.278)
- Reiteration of a commitment to provide Futurpreneur Canada with $14 million over two years. Futurpreneur Canada (previously the Canadian Youth Business Foundation) is a non-profit organization that helps young entrepreneurs – including social entrepreneurs – access financing and mentorship. (p.131)
CCEDNet would have liked to see more specific measures supporting community economic development, such as a neighbourhood revitalization fund and a CED lens, which were part of the Alternative Federal Budget released in March.
The Canadian Community Economic Development Network looks forward to continuing our work with the federal government to implement enabling policy for innovative local leaders building resilient, inclusive community economies.