Ottawa courts private-sector funding for new approach to social policy

Associated Press

OTTAWA - The federal government is taking its first steps down a new road to paying for social policy.

Human Resources Minister Diane Finley is in Toronto today to formally ask the private sector for its best ideas on how to handle and pay for problems such as homelessness and hunger.

She is likely to float ideas such as social impact bonds — a concept that would see the government back bonds that would finance money-saving solutions for local social problems.

But she's open to other ideas as well — proposals that would see the private sector providing expertise and funding for solutions that can deliver concrete returns.

So far, though, the federal government has not put any money on the table for social financing, saying it wants to thoroughly test the waters before plunging in.

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