Partnering with Non-Profits, Charities, and Volunteers

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“Every day, tens of thousands of Albertans give their time, charitable donations, and talent to help those most in need. These volunteer efforts are often informal and are sometimes coordinated by charities and non-profit groups. They care for those struggling with addiction, homelessness, social isolation, poverty, violence, and so many other challenges. A United Conservative government will be a champion of civil society groups who take the lead in making Alberta a compassionate society.”

A United Conservative Government Will Help Expand Civil Society Efforts By:

  • Adopting a Freedom to Care Act that allows for charitable and non-profit groups to apply for a “common sense exemption” from regulations that are designed primarily for commercial application, where those regulations have the unintended consequence of preventing a social good from being performed.
  • Creating a Premier’s Charities Council to advise the government on how best to assist the efforts of civil society groups.
  • Creating a weekly Points of Light Award to recognize outstanding groups or individuals who exemplify Alberta’s spirit of volunteerism.
  • Creating a $20 million Civil Society Fund supported by the Alberta Lotteries Fund to support innovative cost-shared programs delivered by community groups.
  • Wherever possible, partnering with civil society organisations to deliver government programming and services where they can achieve results more efficiently and effectively.
  • Ensuring that faith-based charities and non-profits have equal access to government grants and contributions.
  • Supporting projects like the Alberta Social Venture Initiative, and the Trio Foundation’s Social EnterPrize, a national award that celebrates the best and brightest of Canada’s social entrepreneurs.
  • Reducing the bureaucratic burdens such as renewal obligations for proven civil society groups that deliver results for Albertans, including moving to five-year funding agreements if and where possible.
  • Maintaining the most generous charitable tax credit of any province in Canada to incentivize charitable giving.

For More Information, Please See Below

The “get ‘er done” spirit of Albertans means we don’t sit around waiting for the government to “solve” a social problem. We volunteer more hours and contribute more to charities than Canadians in any other province.​

One of the first principles of conservatism is that civil society should come before government, and that volunteer groups are generally more effective in preventing and reducing social problems, than a big, bureaucratic state.​

Sadly, all too often, the state gets in the way of simple efforts by community groups to help those in need. Some examples include:​

Pastor Elizabeth Karp of the Harvest Healing Centre Church decided to help the homeless in her community by creating a shelter. But the project was delayed by two years because regulations required her to install a $250,000 industrial sprinkler system. In the name of safety, people were forced to sleep outside in the winter.​

When thousands of Calgarians were displaced by the 2013 flood, women from a nearby Hutterite colony delivered hundreds of sandwiches to a temporary shelter, but city bureaucrats threw out the food because they didn’t comply with regulations.

Thousands of sad stories like these show why government should apply a softer hand to good-faith efforts by poorly-resourced community groups simply trying to help their neighbours.

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