11/22/2012 05:28 EST | Updated 01/22/2013 05:12 EST

Why Social Finance Is on Our Radar


As a Government, we play an important role in supporting thousands of organizations across this country who are working hard to address some of Canada's most persistent social challenges. Equally important though is that we regularly aim to achieve different -- and better -- results for Canadian taxpayers, which means that we always need to look for new ways of doing things.

In early November, I was pleased to announce a new initiative for the Harper Government, where we are inviting individuals and organizations to send us their ideas and suggestions on addressing social challenges like homelessness, literacy and crime, to name but a few.

This work is part of our Government's commitment to explore social finance in Canada. Broadly speaking, social finance is an emerging field in a number of countries which encourages stronger collaboration between government, private business and investment and the local foundations and not-for-profit organizations who are on the ground in their communities.

This "call for concepts" is open now and information is available. My hope is that Canadians submit new and exciting ideas that can possibly shape future social policy in Canada or identify new partners with whom we can work or learn.

I firmly believe that governments, at all levels, can't do everything; nor should we. There is tremendous knowledge, experience and capital in this country -- and it's a gold mine that we need to tap into more effectively. That's why I encourage you to think creatively and innovatively about how we can work differently to deliver even better results for Canadians and their tax dollars -- and ultimately create an even stronger Canada.