Friday, September 15, 2006

[Response] Considering Social Enterprise

Pleased to share the first reply from a candidate for leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada. If you haven't been following look here and here.

A number of the candidates - that number is three - said, "we'll get back to you". Only one has kept that promise, so far.

Here is the full reply from Martha Hall Findlay ...

Thank you for your questions that we received in August and for your follow up last week.

Your question is what would I do to promote Social Enterprise in Canada?

I strongly believe that real economic growth comes directly from the economic strength of our communities, and appreciate your question as focusing on something that we as politicians don't pay enough attention to. Social enterprise and the nature and role of communities (in their various forms) are, as you know, inextricably entwined. Communities that are strong, that have real social cohesion, and that are inclusive, do contribute to the generation of sustainable economic growth over time. And by 'economic', I don't mean just that which can be tracked through dollars alone, but that which contributes in many non-monetary ways but which still have critical value in contributing to our society. I can say that because I have extensive experience in the volunteer sector. I also have written and spoken a lot on governance in the non-profit sector. I believe that Ottawa, as well and our other levels of government, have a real role to play in encouraging strong, economically vibrant communities.

I hesitate over direct subsidies as they can often encourage non-economic behaviour. They are sometimes necessary but should be used sparingly. I am a bigger proponent of using the income tax system to encourage certain behaviours---we could consider, for example, some kind of tax credit recognition for volunteerism. Targetted reductions in taxes are also more effective in encouraging direct private sector investment in regionally depressed communities.

I encourage the co-operation among the private and public sectors, among, businesses, governments and the not for profit sectors, to help spur innovation and economic growth at the community level, and greater personal participation, all of which in turn make Canada a better place to live.

I hope that these thoughts help you as you seek greater support for the encouragement of social enterprise in Canada.

Has a ring of a "just society". I'm not going to quibble!

Ms. Hall Findlay,

A sincere "thank you".
--------------------- Tags for information about: for:vsef, Social Economy, Social Enterprise


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