Today, CCEDNet Board President Ryan Gibson and Executive Director Michael Toye met with the Hon. Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development.
His department, Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), is responsible for many areas of particular interest to CCEDNet members, including a national poverty reduction strategy, labour market transfer agreements and employment development programs, a national housing strategy, the creation of a national disabilities act, and the creation of a social innovation and social finance strategy.
The meeting was a valuable opportunity to highlight the innovative work being done by CCEDNet members throughout the country and the many points of alignment with federal government priorities. Key points discussed at the meeting included:
- The announcement made by Minister Duclos two days earlier at the Global Social Economy Forum regarding the creation of a steering committee on Social Innovation and Social Finance, and CCEDNet's track record in co-construction of public policy, dating back to the Social Economy Roundtable as part of Paul Martin's federal social economy initiative. We reviewed recommendations for the development of the strategy, and noted two significant upcoming events – the Canadian Conference on Social Enterprise in Winnipeg in May, and the next national CED conference in Calgary in the fall of 2017 – as opportunities for consultations or milestones related to the national strategy on social innovation and social finance.
- CCEDNet's recommendations to Minister Bains, reinforcing the federal department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development's (ISED) interest in social innovation and social enterprise as part of the Inclusive Innovation Agenda. Our conversation explored some of the most promising prospects for scaling up social enterprise support within ISED, and the importance of close collaboration between ESDC and ISED.
- CED and social enterprise as a tool for labour market attachment, including recommendations submitted to the Forum of Labour Market Ministers and the example of the Manitoba Social Enterprise Strategy, which is focused on job creation for job creation for people with multiple barriers to employment.
- CCEDNet members' track record on poverty reduction in many of the cities identified as part of the 'Tackling Poverty Together' project.
- CCEDNet's pre-budget recommendations submitted in our brief to the House of Commons Finance Committee.
We look forward to continuing the dialogue with Minister Duclos and collaborating with ESDC on our many files of common interest.