Government of Canada Invests $805M in Social Finance

November 22, 2018

12 Recommendations for a Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy for CanadaSince the creation of a Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy for Canada was included in the 2015 Ministerial mandate letters, the federal government has taken steps to develop a strategy, culminating in the release last August of the recommendations of the Co-Creation Steering Group for a Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy for Canada. 

The Fall Economic Statement presented to Parliament yesterday took an important first step towards that strategy with significant measures to support charitable, non-profit and social-purpose organizations, notably :

  • $755M over 10 years for a Social Finance Fund that will :
    • Support innovative solutions on a broad range of social challenges through a competitive, transparent and merit-based process.
    • Attract new private sector investment to the social finance sector. It is expected that the Fund would achieve matching funding from other investors.
    • Share both risks and rewards with private investors on any investments.
    • Only support investments that are not yet viable in the commercial market.
    • Help create a self-sustaining social finance market over time that would not require ongoing government support.
  • $50M over two years for an Investment and Readiness stream, for social purpose organizations to improve their ability to successfully participate in the social finance market.
  • The creation of a permanent Advisory Committee on the Charitable Sector, led by the Canada Revenue Agency, and made up of stakeholders from the charitable sector, which will provide advice to the Government on important issues facing charities on an ongoing basis.
David LePage, Marie Bouchard, Francine Whiteduck and David Upton at EconoUs2018

Co-Creation Steering Group members David LePage, Marie Bouchard, Francine Whiteduck and David Upton presenting at EconoUs2018

Details on the governance and parameters of the Social Finance Fund will be developed further in the coming months and released in early 2019.

In addition to these measures, the Government committed to working on other recommendations from the Steering Group’s report. 

According to CCEDNet Executive Director Michael Toye, “The creation of a Social Finance Fund is an important first step towards a social innovation and social finance strategy for Canada that will accelerate innovative solutions to our most complex social challenges. We welcome the government’s commitment to strengthening social investment and readiness and look forward to advancing all of the recommendations put forward by the Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy Co-Creation Steering Group.” 

CCEDNet congratulates Minister Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister Patty Hajdu, the sector leaders who crafted the Co-Creation Steering Group’s report, and Employment and Social Development Canada officials who contributed to this historic advance. 

Further Reading

Reactions from CCEDNet members and partners