This paper proposes future directions to strengthen the public policy environment for the Social Economy as a key agenda to building a more people-centred economy in Canada. It highlights the public policy findings of research by the Canadian Social Economy Hub and Research Partnerships and suggests the significant recent trends in public policy by governments at all levels to invest in the Social Economy as a means to address social, economic and environmental issues. Specific analysis is provided on key issues in the public policy environment for the SE in Canada, and in its potential contribution to social, economic and environmental outcomes.
Examples of public policy are provided that contribute to an enabling environment for the SE by all levels of government, and cross cutting themes in the policy development process are identified based on key informant interviews. Finally the paper suggests some key lessons for actors in the Social Economy (co-operatives, social movements, community non profit organizations, credit unions and others) on how they can work to co-construct a common policy agenda based on their shared values and objectives. Based on this analysis, proposals are provided to strengthen the public policy environment for the SE in Canada for it to contribute to a more people-centred economy in Canada.