Build On Positive Results: CED's Best Practice In Canada Should Have Major Implications For Upcoming Reforms To Social Security Legislation
Cases such as RESO (Richard, 2004), Kitsaki Development Corporation (Decter and Kowall), Coastal Enterprises Inc (Black, 2006), and many others not included in this volume provoked interest inside a small agency called National Welfare Grants in the early ‘90s. They invested in research projects and symposia to learn more. One of the key projects was a national research project of Centre for Community Enterprise (CCE) and IFDEC (a Quebec-based research organization) on urban CED. This was one of the key investments that facilitated what became the first expression of a pan-Canadian policy agenda on CED. In a brief to the Parliamentary Committee on Human Resource Development (March 1994), the policy advisory council established by CCE insisted that social security policy reform would not translate into real benefits for poor people without organizational capacity at the local level. It asserted that a national strategy that links economic growth to increases in social equity was required. A cornerstone to such a strategy was building community-based organizations and institutions that could mobilize, direct, and manage development strategies dedicated to "growth with equity." In short, the strategy was to try and convince the Liberal government of the day that social security reform should take into account the learning and best practice flowing from a range of exemplary CED practices. By scaling up what was working well, by creating an enabling policy environment and supportive program supports, durable impacts could be generated at some significant scale. While dated, this article provides a contextual analysis of the times and some policy prescriptions that continue to have relevance (see O'Regan and Conway, 1994; Lewis, 2000; Greenwood, 2000; Perry, 2002). As important, for students with an interest in the field of CED and the Social Economy, it is part of the work that eventually led to the formation of the Canadian CED Network.