Alberta, Canada is on pace to create one of the largest – if not the largest – social development endowment backed by a government. The Alberta government is creating two new endowments to provide funding for social and cultural innovation, and agricultural innovation. Bill 1 enhances the Alberta Heritage Scholarship Fund to support Alberta’s apprentices and also establishes the Alberta Future Fund, which will provide the government with the financial resources to take full advantage of new opportunities in the future.
The endowments and the Alberta Future Fund will be allocated funds from within the Alberta Heritage Savings Trust Fund. The total combined allocation for 2014-15 is $1.1 billion.
Last year, over 31,000 Albertans created Alberta’s Social Policy Framework. The framework created a vision for social policy that reflected Albertans’ aspirations for a province that offers all Albertans the opportunity to reach their potential and to benefit from the highest possible quality of life. The $1 billion Social Innovation Endowment will deliver on the goals, vision and principles, defined by the framework and will strengthen and renew Alberta’s social and cultural sector. The earnings from this endowment will be put towards creating new knowledge and deliver models that will translate learning into action.
The Social Innovation Endowment will be established with an immediate capitalization of $500 million. An additional capitalization of $500 million will be provided in 2015-16. The Endowment will focus on funding new research and prototyping of public projects that produce improved social outcomes, and identifying and testing new social funding models.
“Growing our savings accounts for the first time in 25 years was a promise I made to the people of Alberta. We have a legislated plan to do that and it’s working. Under the next phase of the Building Alberta Plan, we will put our savings to work to support a stronger, more diverse economy in the future, ensuring Alberta remains Canada’s economic engine for decades to come,” said Alison Redford, Premier.