Government of Canada supports social enterprise initiative in Calgary that will benefit Canadians with Autism Spectrum Disorder

CALGARY, Nov. 22, 2013 /CNW/ - The Government of Canada is proudly partnering with social enterprise business Meticulon to give Canadians with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) greater access to training and employment opportunities. The Honourable Mike Lake, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry and Member of Parliament for Edmonton-Mill Woods-Beaumont, made the announcement today on behalf of the Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State (Social Development).

"The Government of Canada, through Economic Action Plan 2013, introduced key measures to improve life outcomes for Canadians with disabilities, children, families and other vulnerable Canadians.We are committed to exploring new ways to find effective, concrete solutions for those facing these challenges by working with innovative not-for-profit organizations and forward-thinking businesses," said Mr. Lake. "The Autism Calgary Association and its social enterprise business, Meticulon, are developing fresh and innovative solutions in their community and we are proud to support them in their efforts to achieve real results for Canadians with autism."

The Autism Calgary Association is receiving more than $1.2 million in federal funding for its With Precision: Autism Advantage Meticulon project that will recruit, train and employ people with ASD over the next five years. This project is the result of a new partnership between our government, the Autism Calgary Association and the Sinneave Family Foundation. Together with its partners, the association will ensure the Meticulon social enterprise is viable and increases job opportunities for people with ASD.

"Thanks to support from the Government of Canada, the Autism Calgary Association's social enterprise is able to challenge conventional approaches to supporting individuals with autism. This initiative is the launching pad for its social enterprise business, Meticulon Consulting," said Garth Johnson, Chief Executive Officer, Meticulon. "In launching Meticulon Consulting in July of this year, we started the process of matching the invaluable talents and skills of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder to fulfill niche business needs in Canada's technology, energy and related sectors. This will help individuals with autism engage in meaningful employment and will also demonstrate that these individuals with autism can contribute towards a positive and enabling work environment, increased productivity and improved business results."

This project is possible because of the Government of Canada's Social Partnerships Strategy, which encourages innovation, community-based partnerships and a better use of resources to tackle complex social problems.

Economic Action Plan 2013 reinforces the need to bring partners together to find innovative approaches to local challenges, such as building partnerships across sectors and leveraging new ideas and sources of funding.


Social Development Partnerships Program

The Social Development Partnerships Program (SDPP) is a grant and contribution program that supports investment in not-for-profit organizations to help improve life outcomes for people with disabilities, children and families, and other vulnerable populations.

The SDPP has two core components: Children & Families and Disabilities. The program also provides the funding authority to support the Prime Minister's Volunteer Awards program, which recognizes the "enormous contribution volunteers make to Canada."

SDPP objectives are to:

  • support the development and utilization of effective approaches to address social issues and challenges;
  • develop, exchange and apply knowledge, tools and resources that address social needs of individuals, families and communities;
  • foster partnerships and networks to address existing and emerging social issues;
  • recognize and support the ability of not-for-profit organizations to identify and address social development priorities; and
  • recognize and promote community engagement initiatives (e.g. volunteerism, corporate social responsibility, innovation by not-for-profit organizations, partnerships, coalitions) that mobilize community assets and develop capacities and resources for action.

Social enterprise

Social enterprise is the use of business strategies by both for-profit and not-for-profit organizations to achieve a social good. This emerging business model is helping to increase the financial strength of community organizations by providing an alternate source of revenue to tackle complex social problems.

Social enterprises invest in change and adopt new approaches for greater organizational resilience, provide services to diverse communities, include people who are excluded, and address social problems.

The Government of Canada's support of social enterprise will enhance a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation, while sharing risk and responsibility. Through a social enterprise, a not-for-profit organization can advance its mission, fill a market need in its community and provide opportunities for its client base to participate in community.

For more information on the SDPP, visit

SOURCE: Canada's Economic Action Plan

For further information:

Andrew McGrath
A/Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of State (Social Development)

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development

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