Category: Social Policy News

Indigenous Child and Family Services Legislation

Government of Canada, with First Nations, Inuit and Métis Nation leaders, announce co-developed legislation will be introduced on Indigenous child and family services in early 2019.

Indigenous children represent 52.2% of children in foster care in private homes in Canada. The over-representation of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Nation children in the child welfare system is a humanitarian crisis. Indigenous children who have been in care face greater risks of adverse health outcomes, violence and incarceration.

Legislation is an important step toward more comprehensive reform. This announcement is the culmination of intensive engagements throughout this year which focused on identifying ways to reduce the number of Indigenous children in care. Currently, Indigenous families are bound by rules and systems that are not reflective of their cultures and identities. The goal of the proposed legislation is to change that. It aims to support Indigenous families to raise their children within their homelands and nations as well as increase efforts to prevent child apprehension where possible and safe to do so….

Federal Finance Minister released the Fall Economic Statement 2018

Federal Finance Minister released the Fall Economic Statement 2018


Better Public Policy Through Cooperation
To make the most of what charities have to offer, Canada needs a regulatory environment that respects and encourages the full participation of charities in public policy dialogue and development.

A Stronger Role for Charities in Developing Public Policy
Recognizing the important contributions that charities make to public life and public policy in Canada, the Government has committed to allow charities to do their work on behalf of Canadians free from political harassment, with clearer rules governing political activity. To this end, the Government announced in August 2018 that it would amend the Income Tax Act to remove the limits on political activities, allowing charities to participate fully in public policy development. Canadians provided feedback on draft legislative proposals, and legislation to implement these measures was introduced on October 29, 2018 as part of the Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2.

A Permanent Advisory Committee on the Charitable Sector
The Government is committed to engaging in a meaningful dialogue with charities, and ensuring that the regulatory environment in which they operate is appropriate and supports the important work they do. In response to the recommendations of the Consultation Panel on the Political Activities of Charities, as well as the Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy Co-Creation Steering Group, the Government is establishing a permanent Advisory Committee on the Charitable Sector. Led by the Canada Revenue Agency, the Advisory Committee will be made up of stakeholders from the charitable sector, and will provide advice to the Government on important issues facing charities on an ongoing basis. The Government is providing $4.6 million in new funding over the 2018–19 to 2023–24 period for the Advisory Committee to strengthen the relationship between government and this important sector.

A New Tool to Help Solve Big Challenges: The Social Finance Fund
Though Canada is a prosperous country, many of our communities still face persistent and complex social challenges that make it difficult for some individuals—including Indigenous Peoples, seniors, youth, immigrants, persons with disabilities, members of LGBTQ2+ communities and women fleeing violence—to succeed and reach their full potential…

New Government Report Released: Profiling the Nonprofit Sector in Alberta

Profiling the Nonprofit/Voluntary Sector in Alberta | An Alberta Non-profit/Voluntary Sector Initiative Discussion Paper On the Value and Contributions of the Nonprofit/Voluntary Sector October 2018
This paper provides a high-level summary of the Nonprofit/Voluntary Sector (NPVS) in Alberta, how it does its work, and the impact its work has on the cultural, economic, social and political fabric of the province. This paper is meant to be a starting point for conversations about the role of the NPVS in Alberta, and examines the relationship between government and sector, now and in the future…Read the full report →

CPJ released Poverty Trends 2018

CPJ released Poverty Trends 2018, our annual report on poverty in Canada, a day ahead of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. It reports that a staggering 5.8 million people in Canada (or 16.8%) live in poverty. The report uses several low-income indicators, including the Low-Income Measure (LIM), the Census Family Low Income Measure (CFLIM) and the Market Basket Measure (MBM). Each measure of low income provides different information on poverty using different methodologies to calculate rates of poverty…

Apathy is Boring Looking for RISE Ambassadors in Edmonton & Youth Election Readiness Tool Kit

Apathy is Boring Looking for RISE Ambassadors in Edmonton
Apathy is Boring is a non-partisan, charitable organization that supports and educates youth to be active and contributing citizens in Canada’s democracy. An initiative of Canada Service Corps, the RISE program is one way for young people to take action in their communities. Over the course of 20 weeks, the RISE Ambassadors from Edmonton, Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto will co-create and execute a community project promoting social inclusion in their cities.

Creating A Sustainable Dialogue Around Elections Election Readiness Toolkit Manual
This manual has been developed to help community organizations, like yours support youth engagement and involvement when an election is called.

This short informative video explains how government works and how issues that YOU care about are affected by voting and relevant policies.

ALIGN Directory – Election 2019 Alberta Nonprofit/Charities and Election News, Tool Kits & Resources Re Political Activity

CCVO Report Released State of the Alberta Nonprofit Sector 2018

The report explores the state of the nonprofit sector, looks to the year ahead, and shares priorities of nonprofits for the upcoming provincial election – and some suggestions for collective action.

HIGHLIGHTS– a sample of what we heard from nonprofits across Alberta:

1. There is a cautious optimism among sector leaders – despite the lingering impacts of the economic downturn on funding availability.

2. There is uncertainty about the impact of the next provincial election around potential changing priorities and available funding.

3. There are three main issues that the sector would like to see addressed by political parties in the upcoming provincial election:

  • Clearer communications between the government and the sector.
  • Recognition of the contributions that the nonprofit sector makes both socially and economically.
  • More sustainable, predictable, and flexible funding.

Visit CCVO Site for Details and Report CCVO State of the Alberta Nonprofit Sector 2018

ALIGN Directory – Election 2019 Alberta Nonprofit/Charities and Election News, Tool Kits & Resources Re Political Activity

Imagine Canada Early Alert May 2018

Report Released on the Federal Role in Social Finance
he report identified ways federal funding will allow social finance funds to indirectly support charities and non-profit organizations in expanding their programs, as well as assisting social enterprises, including those created by charities and non-profits, to address social needs with innovative solutions and financing from a range of investors… Read Report Here

Parliamentary Committee Work
The Special Senate Committee on the Charitable Sector met last Monday to look at the economic impact of charities and nonprofits, as well as the synergistic relationship between the economy and charities in Canada. The committee heard from Brian Emmett, Chief Economist for the Charitable and Nonprofit Sector, as well as Catherine Van Rompaey, the Director of National Economic Accounts Division of Statistics Canada. You can watch the full meeting here… Watch Full Meeting Here

View Imagine Canada Early Alerts May 2018 for Additional Updates

Alberta Non-profits Unaffected by New Lobbyists Amendment Act.

The Government of Alberta introduced legislation to amend the Lobbyist Act and strengthen rules and regulations around lobbying activity.
Edmonton and Alberta non-profits should take note that these proposed amendments will not affect the current exemption in place for public benefit non-profits.
Click here to read more of the announcement April 16, 2018 including where to direct inquiries

Building a Youth Policy for Canada

Help develop Canada’s first-ever Youth Policy. Shape the future of young people in Canada! The Government of Canada has launched consultations on a first-ever youth policy for Canada and needs your help. Youth  can submit their ideas through or join a youth dialogue taking place near them. Youth are also encouraged to host their own dialogues. Deadline Mid April 2018.


Open Government, Engagement and Policy-Making in Canada Calgary 6 March 2018 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM MST

Share your thoughts on how the Government of Canada can ensure open government and citizen engagements are meaningful, inclusive, and effective contributions to the policy-making process. In addition to the overview, and if there is enough interest, there may be  specific discussions on the Open Government Plan related to different sectors  Calgary 6 March 2018 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM MST

Standford Social Innovation Review Winter 2018

Standford Social Innovation Review Winter 2018
Building a Canadian Social Finance Fund Government and its partners can achieve transformative change by taking a big leap By Stephen Huddart & Tim Draimin Winter 2018
Excerpt: A social finance fund in Canada would stimulate innovation in the public service and bring new dynamism to the social sector, renewing the relationship between government, philanthropy, and the private sector at a time when meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals demands an all-out effort. Transformative change will require not only collaboration within government and across sectors, but also new sources of capital, new approaches to managing risk, and new uses of data..

Transforming the Criminal Justice System Consultations

The Government of Canada is undertaking a broad review of Canada’s Criminal Justice System to ensure that it is just, compassionate and fair, and promotes a safe, peaceful and prosperous Canadian society. Find out more about why they are doing this.

Your input in this consultation will help the department understand what Canadians expect from the Criminal Justice System. The consultation is taking place until January 15, 2018.

Calgary Foundation’s Vital Signs 2017

For the past decade, Calgary’s Vital Signs Report has featured expert research combined with results of a citizen survey. This year, over 2,500 Calgarians took the Vital Signs survey to grade their quality of life..

Government of Canada – Speech from Minister Jean-Yves Duclos at the 10th Social Finance Forum

November 10, 2017 “The Government of Canada is committed to developing a Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy – not simply for Canadians, but with Canadians.” The minister hailed social finance and social innovation as ways to solve big problems and helping those most in need…

The Vanier Institute of the Family’s 2016–2017 Annual Report

The Vanier Institute of the Family’s 2016–2017 Annual Report is now available to download, featuring an overview of highlights from their publications, projects, partnerships and other activities over the past year. As Canada celebrates its 150th anniversary, many families across Canada – whether newly arrived or firmly rooted for generations – are reflecting on the past, contemplating and discussing the present, and envisioning our future together. While much has changed since Confederation, one thing that has remained constant is the unique and vital role that family has played as the cornerstone of society and the engine of the economy…

Federal Minister of Finance Launches Consultations on Budget 2018

Federal Minister of Finance Bill Morneau has launched his consultations in advance of Budget 2018. The consultation includes surveys on supporting the middle class, the Canada’s economic future, investments in education and training, and efforts to advance gender equality. Comments are also accepted by email.

Alberta Findings – Vital Signs Reports October 2017

So far, twenty-two community foundations across Canada helped shed a light on local priorities  during Vital Signs week this October by getting word out about their Vital Signs reports. Meanwhile, even more foundations are hosting Vital Conversations to get communities talking about how to put this vital knowledge into action.As more and more communities join the Vital Signs movement, they collectively help paint an increasingly detailed picture of the strengths and challenges facing Canada today.

National report on belonging
Community reports across Canada


Poverty, stress and high prices worry Calgarians in Vital Signs report

Editorial: Building a stronger city


Nearly one-fifth of Edmontonians feel socially isolated: Report


Vital Signs takes pulse of city, area well-being

Northwestern Alberta

2017 NW Alberta’s Vital Signs report released

Crime still considered region’s top issue: Vital Signs

Alberta Framework Survey – Approach to Cannabis Legalization

Review the draft framework and provide feedback by completing the online survey or emailing us a written submission by midnight on Friday, October 27.

Canada Social Report – October 2017 Federal and Provincial/Territorial Policy Monitors

Monitoring the daily policy announcements of Canadian federal and provincial/territorial governments provides both a searchable record of action and a dynamic view of the country’s social policy priorities. Now Available Canada Social Report – October 2017 Federal and Provincial/Territorial Policy Monitors

Alberta Disability Forum – Opportunity to Network October 5, 2017 Edmonton

Event to be held at the following time, date, and location:

Thursday, 5 October 2017 from 9:30 AM to 2:30 PM (MDT) Edmonton

The forum is an opportunity to network with other organizations that are connected to the disability sector, with discussion and consultation on the future direction of Voice of Albertans with Disabilities,  presentations on the national consultation on accessibility legislation and the Hotel Accessibility Project and updates on the work being undertaken by ADF Working Groups re Accessible and Affordable Housing and Accessibility.

Homeless Hub New Report – Child Welfare and Youth Homelessness in Canada: A Proposal for Action

Excerpt 0 Almost sixty percent (57.8%) of homeless youth in Canada report involvement with the child welfare system at some point in their lives. In comparison, among the general population in Canada, roughly 0.3% of youth have child welfare involvement. This suggests that youth experiencing homelessness are 193 times more likely than youth in the general population to report involvement with the child welfare system…

Seeking Solutions from Youth Ages 12 – 24 on Reducing Poverty in Canada

The Government of Canada is inviting youth ages 12 – 24 from coast to coast to coast to answer one question: How can we reduce poverty in Canada?
Do you have a great idea or solution? Have you seen something in your community that works? Tell it in a creative way! You could be invited to showcase your entry at a national poverty reduction conference with the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Jean-Yves Duclos in Ottawa in September 2017. All entries must be submitted online: Complete the entry form. Be sure to read the full contest rules, privacy and legal information before submitting your entry. Please note, a signed consent and release form may be requested. Promote your entry by tagging it with #ReducePoverty on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram! All submissions must be received by August 21, 2017. Selected individuals will be contacted.

Canada Social Report: September 2017 Federal and Provincial/Territorial Policy Monitors

Canada Social Report:
A Compendium of Social Information

Originally inspired by the dismantling of the long-form Census in 2010, the Canada Social Report acts as a major hub for social information.  It is a resource for the entire social sector – to give all of us a strong voice and a powerful evidence base for informed policy conversations and the formulation of intelligent policy solutions.

See the September 2017 Federal and Provincial/Territorial Policy Monitors, and the spring 2017 edition of the Municipal Monitor

CYDL Releases New Reports From the Longitudinal Study Experiences of Alberta Children and Youth Over Time, 2005-06 to 2010-11.

Four new reports have been released from the CYDL’s longitudinal study, Experiences of Alberta Children and Youth Over Time, 2005-06 to 2010-11. This longitudinal, cross-ministry study is an analysis of over two million Albertans and their use of government services over the span of six years.

Findings like those shown in the infographic above can be found in four new reports:

The longitudinal study is ground-breaking in it’s multi-year, cumulative approach to the service use of Albertan children and youth as studying experiences over several years of development adds a valuable level of richness.

All current deliverables from this project can be accessed here.

Minister Ganley Addresses Treatment of a Victim of Crime

Alberta Government News Release June 5, 2017

Kathleen Ganley, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General, has issued the following statement in response to the way “Angela Cardinal” was treated:

“It is clear our justice system failed this Albertan. She was a young woman and the victim of a horrific crime. The way she was treated in the system is absolutely unacceptable.

“When I was made aware of this situation, I was shocked, angry and heartbroken. It is obvious we failed her at every level and her story is a crucial reminder that we must do better. In my opinion, there were obvious mistakes and poor decisions made in this case…

New Commission to Guide Opioid Emergency Response

Alberta Government Release May 31, 2017 The province has established a dedicated emergency commission to help ramp up Alberta’s ability to respond to the opioid crisis.

The province has established a dedicated emergency commission to help ramp up Alberta’s ability to respond to the opioid crisis. The Minister’s Opioid Emergency Response Commission was created with a new regulation under the Public Health Act. The commission’s mandate is to implement urgent coordinated actions to address this public health crisis…

See Related News and Updates

Social Policy Trends: Income Support Caseloads in Alberta

This U of C School of Public Policy summary looks at the number of Albertans collecting income support from April 2005 to January 2017. f. The number of people in Alberta, collecting social assistance, increased sharply during the 2009 recession, but did not fall back to the pre-downturn level in the following years. Numbers are rising again. The recent 2015-2016 downturn has seen the number of claimants soar, reaching a high of 54,374 in January of 2017, with no clear sign of leveling of.  For social agencies, these numbers signal what will likely be increased demands for their services in the near future.

Alberta Gets a “C” on Social Performance

The Conference Board of Canada on Canada’s Social Performance
Canada is a “B” performer and places 10th overall on our society report card, but poor rankings relative to peer countries on income inequality and poverty highlight the scope for improvement. Ten indicators were used to evaluate the overall social performance of Canada and 15 peer countries. Canada is a middle-of-the-pack performer on most of the indicators—it gets two “A”s, five “B”s, and three “C”s…

Government of Alberta Introducing Legislation Supporting Survivors of Sexual and Domestic Violence

Alberta Government News Release March 7, 2017
Supporting survivors of sexual and domestic violence
The Government of Alberta is introducing legislation today that would increase access to the legal system for survivors of sexual and domestic violence…

Bill 2: An Act to Remove Barriers for Survivors of Sexual and Domestic Violence

Listen to the news conference

A Profile of Poverty in Edmonton Update (2017)

A Profile of Poverty in Edmonton Update (2017)
The Edmonton Social Planning Council released a new report this week which updates many of the poverty trends and challenges it identified two years earlier within the context of broader social and economic trends in the community.

Children’s Rights Can Make Canada Work Better A Discussion Paper January 2017

Children’s Rights Can Make Canada Work Better A Discussion Paper CCRC January 2017
Could implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child make federalism work better in Canada? Alternatively, do we accept that our federal system of government limits the fulfillment of children’s rights in Canada? These questions were explored at a November forum to honour the 25th Anniversary of Canada’s ratification of the Convention. They are also appropriate questions for the 150th Anniversary of Confederation.

Participants in the forum concluded that there is potential to make our federal system of governance work better through more robust attention to children’s rights across the country. Many practical suggestions were compiled in a discussion paper for further consideration.

The discussion paper is available on the CCRC website. The CCRC will be pursuing some of these suggestions during 2017 and encourages all supporters of children’s rights to consider what they can do.


Canada Social Policy Report Federal and Provincial Reports 2016

The Caledon Institute of Social Policy has released their latest Federal and Provincial reports. These reports summarize recent developments in social policy across the country, and the work in various jurisdictions to move the needle on challenges nonprofits work every day to address. These reports present recently released statistics, and puts them into context, adding perspective on government commitments and new and ongoing programs
Canada Social Report Federal Policy Monitor November 2016
Canada Social Report Provincial/Territorial Policy Monitor November 2016


Paperless Petitions Now Available 2016

Paperless Petitions Now Available Canadian residents looking to draw attention to an issue of public interest, and to request government action, can now submit petitions online. The process involves drafting the petion, finding five potential supporters and a MP to sponsor their petition, and collecting at least 500 signatures. If at least 500 signatures are received in the time frame the e-petition will be tabled in the House of Commons and the government will issue a formal written response within 45 days.

Tamarack Institute Community Change Series 2016

Sometimes to Hear the Music you Have to Turn Down the Noise | A Game-Changer Approach to Poverty Reduction Strategy and Evaluation
Evaluating Community Impact, Publications, Mark Holmgren, Vibrant Communities
From a poverty reduction perspective, we are inundated with the voices of our clients, our funders and donors, our colleagues, governments at all levels, business leaders and their labour counterparts, and on it goes. And of course, we add our voice to the mix as well. It’s like sitting in a room with 100 people who are all talking about important things but overall the messages in the room are undecipherable.
What we all want to make and listen to is beautiful music with rich melodies and harmonies that move us and inspire us to keep creating, keep singing together. That’s what this article is about: lessening the noise that envelopes us and increasing our capacity to make music together when it comes to identifying, acting on, and evaluating poverty reduction efforts…

Our Community Can Change | When We Work Together Well Paul Born
The Promise: Give People Good Information And Effective Tools, And They Will Organize And Work Together To Create The Kind Of Communities They Want.

Starburst Speak, Share, Thrive 2015

Starburst Speak, Share, Thrive 2015
This package included a discussion guide, fact sheets and other important information in an easily accessible format. Sent to Albertans on the front lines of social services, community leaders and non-profit organizations, these materials helped foster discussions about social policy.

Renewing Canada’s Social Architecture 2015

Renewing Canada’s Social Architecture 2015
The purpose of the project is to advance public dialogue on our social architecture, and highlight areas where our core social programs and policies require modernization to meet Canadians’ needs. Each report contributed to the project is the responsibility of the authors alone, and does not necessarily reflect the views of the other contributors or organizations.
View Report

Public Policy Video 2015

Advocacy Video 2015
Volunteer Alberta and CCVO recently asked public policy experts why nonprofits should engage with public policy. Watch the brief video for their explanations of how and why we, as nonprofits, can magnify our impact through advocacy.

Action to End Poverty in Alberta 2015

Action to End Poverty in Alberta 2015
Poverty Costs 2.5: Investing in Albertans – A Blueprint for Reducing Poverty in Alberta – Revised Edition (2015) Poverty Costs 2.5 is a revamped and updated version of Poverty Costs 2.0. It includes updated statistics on what poverty looks like in Alberta, updated poverty reduction policy recommendations, and a summary of what Alberta municipalities are doing to reduce poverty in their local community.

New Alberta Social Innovation Endowment 2014

5 Things to Know About the New Alberta Social Innovation Endowment Canadian CED Network March 2014
For Albertans with an interest in addressing complex social issues such as poverty and family violence, the news of a new provincial Social Innovation Endowment was a clear highlight in the recent provincial budget announcement. Still, its potential impact is uncertain. Momentum has been watching the issue and is pleased to share with its community economic development colleagues across the country 5 things people in the field should know..

Using Alberta’s Social Policy Framework – A Workbook 2014

Using Alberta’s Social Policy Framework – A Workbook 2014
Launched in February 2013, Alberta’s Social Policy Framework is a vision for social policy that defines who we are as people and communities. It reflects our shared aspirations for a province that offers all Albertans the opportunity to benefit from their highest possible quality of life.
The Social Policy Framework has a guiding and influencing role among organizations, sectors, and governments. Its purpose is to encourage alignment and coordinated action on priorities – priorities we have collectively decided are important to us as Albertans. Whether you work in service delivery, program and strategic policy development, strategic planning, or make daily decisions in your frontline work with Albertans, the Social Policy Framework can influence and guide your work.
But how? So, we have a framework – so what? How does that affect me? How does having a Social Policy Framework change anything? These are familiar questions, some of which you may have asked yourself.
The Social Policy Framework is only as transformative as we make it. Alberta’s Social Policy Framework challenges all of us to live by the principles we drafted together and work together to co-create meaningful change.

Alberta Social Policy Framework 2013
The Government of Alberta asked Albertans to help create a social policy
framework. The result—Alberta’s Social Policy Framework—is a vision for social
policy that defines who we are as people and communities, one that reflects our
aspirations for a province that offers all Albertans the opportunity to reach their
potential and to benefit from the highest possible quality of life.
Developed with Albertans, the framework will direct the future of Alberta’s social
policy and programs, and it will guide how we come together to ensure that
everyone has an opportunity for fulfillment and well-being. This framework is
for all Albertans—it is a vision for Alberta and its people, and it is a call to action
for everyone to work together to achieve the spirit and goals of the framework.

Call to Action: Charities and Political Activities Nov. 2016

Call to Action: Charities and Political Activities
Imagine Canada has taken a lead role in developing a charitable sector position on this topic and has released a framework containing recommendations intended to add clarity to existing rules and CRA communications

Review CRA’s Online Consultation Download the Imagine Canada Framework from their resource page

Participate in  Webinar on Nov. 21, hosted in partnership with the Pembina Institute, Alberta Ecotrust, and Imagine Canada.

•Develop your own submission or use Imagine Canada’s template and send your comments to

The deadline for submissions is December 14,2016  (revised date)

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