If you have lots of time on your hands over the summer you might want to read the report "Exploring the Potential of Social Finance in Canada" from Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities. The report provides a summary of various proposals that have been discussed over the last decade. There is not much that is either new or useful. Probably the most interesting part of the Report was the NDP dissenting opinion of page 59. The NDP is concerned that social finance can be used as a way to outsource social programs and destroy the social safety net. I am not sure where they get their ideas from - oh they probably have been watching the UK over the last few years!
The report is not a total waste. There is a good discussion on social procurement on page. 40. David LePage is quoted "Government can create significant social impact at no added cost, no loss of quality, and create a true value and dividend for Canadian taxpayers through social purchasing programs." Between the purchasing power of government and the non-profit and charitable sector there are huge opportunities for social procurement.
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Mark Blumberg is a partner at the law firm of Blumberg Segal LLP in Toronto and works almost exclusively in the areas of non-profit and charity law.