Policy Organizations: Advocacy Groups
An advocacy group is an organization that attempts to influence public policy without putting up candidates for election (as political parties do). Advocacy groups exist along a spectrum that runs from broadly ideological to extremely issue-specific. An example of a fairly broad ideological advocacy group would be the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, whereas a group such as the Pro-Choice Action Network is largely single-issue. Advocacy groups are quite similar to lobby groups, though they do not engage in direct lobbying of governments (which requires registration as a lobby organization). Instead, advocacy groups pursue their respective causes through a variety of indirect means. Advocacy groups generally speak on behalf of a particular constituency in society, attempting to advance the special interests of that constituency accordingly.
The Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women (CRIAW) is a research institute that seeks to facilitate the advancement of social justice and equality for all women. CRIAW recognizes that women have diverse experiences and perspectives; accordingly, the Institute creates opportunities for women to expand their knowledge base while it decreasing any regional isolation they may experience. Communication links between and among researchers and organizations actively work to promote social justice and equality for all women.
Created in 1997, the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) is an advocacy organization with a mandate to strengthen the struggle for social justice. The Centre is based in Ontario, but its work that stretches across Canada and even into the international arena. Of ongoing interest to the Centre: working strategically to decrease the gap between rich and poor; challenging the corporate domination of Canadian politics; and, pressing for policy changes that promote economic and social justice.
The mission of Citizens for Public Justice (CPJ) is to promote public justice in Canada through the organization’s involvement in important public policy debates, as well as research and analysis, publishing, and public dialogue. CPJ has established guidelines based on an awareness of human dignity; mutual responsibility; economic equity; social justice; environmental integrity; and, fiscal fairness.
The National Citizen’s Coalition believes in free enterprise, individual freedom, and personal responsibility. It is an advocacy group that speaks to citizens rather than politicians and bureaucrats.
The organization Canada25 gathers young Canadians who share an intense commitment to problem-solving and addressing the challenges that confront their communities and country.
Founded in 1974, Canada’s Venture Capital & Private Equity Association (CVCA) is the association that represents Canada’s venture capital and private equity industry. The CVCA’s mission is to promote the development of the Canadian venture capital industry through its role as the industry’s leading public policy advocate.
The Canadian Co-Operative Association (CCA) is a not-for-profit co-operative owned by its members. As a collective, the CCA represents the co-operatives and credit unions of Canada.
Within the Canadian Co-Operative Association, there is a Government Affairs & Public Policy (GAPP) unit. The GAPP unit is responsible for ensuring that CCA members and the co-operative sector are kept abreast of developments in government affairs and public policy through a monthly electronic publication and through individual communication.
The Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE) is a not-for-profit, non-partisan organization comprised of CEOs from Canada’s leading enterprises.
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) is Canada’s foremost taxpayer advocacy organization. The Federation is focused on lowering taxes, eliminating government waste, and holding politicians accountable to Canadian taxpayers.
The Centre for Security and Defence Studies (CSDS), located within the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs (NPSIA) at Carleton University.
The Firewood Democracy Project seeks to increase Canadians’ awareness about the pressing need for grounded improvements to our democratic institutions and processes.
The Foster Care Council of Canada is an organization started by John Dunn in 2002. The mandate of the Foster Care Council is to assist individuals whose lives have been adversely affected by child welfare services, including adoption.
The Public Policy Resource Centre functions as a virtual public policy desktop. The Centre displays the policy content of corporations, associations, NGOs and think tanks. The Public Policy Resource Centre also provides useful Canadian and international government resources.
Founded in 1989, PLAN is a not-for-profit charity that was created by, and for, families who have a family member with a disability. The goal of PLAN is to offer peace of mind to these families by offering a safe and secure future for the family member with a disability, if necessary. For parents of a child with a disability, there remains a pressing concern over who will care for their child/children with a disability/disabilities if one or both of the parents dies.
The Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation, an independent Canadian grant-making foundation, is committed to the development of sound and innovative public policies.
The mandate of the Water Sustainability Project is to promote demand management for water as part of the larger goal of sustainable water management.