United Way of the Lower Mainland

United Way of the Lower Mainland
United Way Public Policy Institute

United Way Public Policy Institute

June 22, 2010 13:10 ET

Mike Harcourt to Lead New United Way Public Policy Institute

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - June 22, 2010) - Former BC premier Mike Harcourt is the lead faculty member of a public policy institute to be launched by United Way of the Lower Mainland.

The first of its kind in British Columbia, the United Way Public Policy Institute will bring together public policy experts to work with senior managers in social services and health-related agencies who want to better understand and influence the public policy process. The first session is scheduled for January 2011.

Harcourt said he chose to become involved because the complexity of social and economic issues today demands that government and non-profits work together to better understand each other's worlds. He will be joined by a faculty of public policy leaders with a range of perspectives and experiences.

"Whether the challenge involves homelessness, rising health-care costs or the quality of life of our Aboriginal peoples, the choices we make have sweeping impact on our communities and the people of BC," he said. "We need the best minds working together on strengthening the link between public policy and innovative reform of community services."

Michael McKnight, President and CEO of the United Way of the Lower Mainland, said the institute fits well with United Way's mandate to help lead social change by focusing on prevention and strengthening the non-profit sector.

"We see our job as acting as a catalyst to bring people together to create a better future for our community," said McKnight. "This means more than funding agencies to do the incredible work they do to support the vulnerable. It also means taking steps to influence public policy, remove barriers that prevent change, and shift attitudes about today's tough social issues and the solutions required."

The United Way institute is modeled on similar successful institutes offered by the Maytree Foundation in Ontario and the Max Bell Foundation in Alberta.

An initial group of approximately 25 participants will participate in six, two-day modules over a period of six months. Sessions will be held in Vancouver and Victoria. Case studies will focus on current issues, as participants explore such topics as public policy research, analysis of policy alternatives, and decision-making. Bursaries are available to successful applicants. For more information visit uwlm.ca.

Contact Information

  • United Way of the Lower Mainland
    Michael Becker
    Media Relations
    604-268-1333; cell 778-896-4507