Social planning organizations in Canada

An informal network of non-profit community organizations across Canada. The work of social planning organizations (also referred to as "Social Planning Councils") focuses on a range of community development and social justice issues.


The general purpose of social planning organizations is to help build and strengthen community.

Social planning organizations may undertake a variety of activities, including:

Their work focuses around social issues affecting individuals and families, including:


Social planning organizations face numerous challenges in their work:


Informal networking between SPOs has taken place to varying degrees since 1976. In the beginning, the Canadian Council on Social Development (CCSD) took a leadership role in bringing the local/regional councils together around social policy issues. Since the 1980s, individuals social planning organizations have taken a greater role in organizing SPO conferences and collaborating on social issues.

Due to the high number of social planning organizations in Ontario, communication and collaboration between SPOs in that province are more frequent than in other provinces across Canada. The Social Planning Network of Ontario (SPNO) has often facilitated discussions between Ontario based organizations.

National SPO collaborations

Falling Fortunes (2006–2008)

A two-year national project (January 2006 through March 2008) aimed at identifying strategies to improve the income and wages, including the living wage, of young families and their children.


Inclusive Cities Canada (2003)

A multi-year cross-Canada civic initiative with the purpose of enhancing social inclusion across Canada. The goals of Inclusive Cities Canada (ICC) are to strengthen the capacity of cities to create and sustain inclusive communities for the mutual benefit of all people, and to ensure that community voices of diversity are recognized as core Canadian ones.


List of social planning organizations

Northwest Territories

British Columbia





New Brunswick

Newfoundland and Labrador

External links


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