Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), the June 3, 2011, budget recognized that social partners, such as businesses and charities, are working together to develop innovative ways to address local challenges such as homelessness and persistent unemployment.
Recognizing that often the “best solutions to tackling these difficult problems are found locally”, the Government of Canada committed in this budget to “take steps to complement community efforts by encouraging the development of government/community partnerships, enabling communities to tackle local challenges and testing new approaches to improve performance”.
Moving forward, the Government of Canada is exploring these new approaches and ways to foster more effective partnerships that would help to streamline the management of grants and contributions, reduce red tape for community organizations, support social innovation, and ensure a focus on results in addressing persistent social challenges. Examples of how Human Resources and Skills Development Canada programs support social partnerships include the following:
In January 2011, the Prime Minister announced the creation of the Prime Minister’s Volunteer Awards to recognize the exceptional contributions of volunteers, local businesses and innovative not-for-profit organizations in improving the well-being of families and their communities.
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada is providing support to partners Volunteer Canada and Manulife Financial to create a pan-Canadian web-based volunteer matching service that links volunteers with opportunities in their communities.
With regard to (b), Human Resources and Skills Development Canada is the lead on the social partnerships file. Consultations have begun within the federal government, and Human Resources and Skills Development Canada has met with officials from the Public Health Agency of Canada, Industry Canada, the Canada Revenue Agency, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, Finance Canada, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada and Public Safety Canada.
Provinces, measurement experts and literacy and essential skills experts will continue to be engaged by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada to address literacy and essential skills challenges for Canadian adults.
With regard to (c), various social partnership projects are planning to undertake stakeholder consultation in addition to preparing to issue calls and requests for proposals.
With regard to (d), the government has not allocated money for the work of the Task Force on Social Finance.