Briefing

Federal government invests $300 million in new Equality Fund

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The funding will go to a group of organizations and funders that will invest the money in companies that meet specific feminist principles, such as pay equity and women’s representation on boards. Participants include women’s rights organization Match International, as well as Oxfam Canada and RBC. The consortium has raised $100 million on top of the government’s contribution; it aims to raise $1 billion total and spend the funds over the next 15 years. (Toronto Star)

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Talking point: The move comes ahead of the final report from the expert panel on sustainable finance, which is expected to offer Ottawa and industry recommendations on environmental, social and governance investing. The Equality Fund has a two-part mandate: first, the fund will invest in organizations that adhere to its feminist principles; then, it will take those returns and distribute grants to activist groups in Canada and globally, with the goal of “disrupting the charity model,” said Status of Women Minister Maryam Monsef. The structure of the fund is designed to be election-proof. Whether or not the Liberals win in October, it’ll be difficult for any future government to claw back investments once the deals are inked with groups like RBC.