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Manning Centre Envisions "Big Society" For Canada

17 June 2011

Would a U.K-style "Big Society", in which co-operatives are viewed as alternative way of delivering public services, work in Canada? The Manning Centre, a Canadian conservative think tank, seem to think so.

On June 10, the Manning Centre held a special briefing for delegates to the Conservative Party convention in Ottawa entitled Social Reform: Opportunities to build a "Big Society" agenda in Canada.

The U.K.’s "Big Society" policy aims to give communities more power; encourage people to take a more active role in their communities; transfer power from central to local government and support co-ops, mutuals, charities and social enterprises.

The event was covered by Toronto Star reporter Susan Delacourt, who wrote that she was "immediately struck by how many times the ’Big Society’ project in the United Kingdom was referenced by attendees."

"It’s possible that (U.K. Prime Minister) David Cameron is being seen as a trail-blazer for modern conservatism, in the same way that Margaret Thatcher was an exemplar for many of these Canadian conservatives in the 1980s".

Source: CCA

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