Former Alberta Premier to talk social policy in BC

r-DAVE-HANCOCK-large570Alberta’s 15th Premier and past Minister of Human Resources Dave Hancock will explain how and why Alberta created a Social Policy Framework to a gathering of BC community social service agencies in Vancouver on November 27.

Hancock served as Premier in 2014 between Premier Redford and Premier Prentice. During 18 years in the Alberta government he served as Minister in 8 portfolios, on Treasury Board and as Government House Leader. He established the Human Services ministry under the Redford government, where he championed the creation of Alberta’s Social Policy Framework, a vision for social policy that defines who Albertan’s are as people and communities, that reflects their aspirations for a province that offers all Albertans the opportunity to reach their potential and to benefit from the highest possible quality of life.

“When I was out talking with the community I would emphasize that you can’t have strong economic policy without strong social policy,” says Hancock. “The social side supports the economic side as well as the quality of life: they are inextricably linked.”

Board Voice, a BC-wide organization of the board directors of community social service agencies is hosting Hancock at their annual conference. Board Voice has been advocating for a made-in-BC Social Policy Framework for over two years and recently partnered with the Federation of BC Social Services to begin holding community level province-wide conversations on what such a framework could look like here in BC.

Board Voice Chair Michael Davis believes a social policy framework could help government work across ministerial silos and bring the community and business into the conversation about how we all want to live together. “We have some serious and long-standing issues in BC, like child poverty, that are not getting better,” says Davis. “We need to do better and we think Mr. Hancock can share some valuable insights into the Alberta approach.”

Hancock’s approach is very pragmatic. “I don’t care why you support better social policy,” says Hancock. “Whether it is for your own self-interest in supporting a growing economy or because of your social commitment to solving some serious humanitarian issues, we just can’t afford not to have effective social policy. We can’t afford the loss of human potential nor the cost of social failure.”

The Board Voice conference begins Friday November 27 at the Coast Denman Hotel, with Mr. Hancock speaking at 10 AM.