Voluntary Sector Task Force Final Report
Policy and Coordination
In addition to its responsibility for providing guidance and
coordination for all the joint tables and other collaborative
mechanisms, the policy and coordination responsibility of the
1. Providing policy advice to the government
- Drafting and coordinating submissions to Cabinet and
to the Treasury Board; and
- Ensuring horizontal coordination across government, including
liaison with central agencies.
- The Reference Group of Ministers on the voluntary sector;
- The ADM Executive Committee;
- The ADM Advisory Committee; and
- The Interdepartmental Working Group on Policy.
- Designing the Sectoral Involvement in Departmental Policy
Development (SIDPD) initiative and managing rounds one and two
of the project selection.
- The development of evaluation frameworks for the VSI
and its components.
The VSTF served as the secretariat, which included issuing notices
of meetings, preparing agendas, developing and coordinating supporting
material for the federal mechanisms, and providing meeting follow-up
and shared secretariat responsibility for RGM meetings with the
Social Development Policy Secretariat at PCO. It also provided
briefings and support for meetings between ministers and senior
Its responsibilities ranged from providing strategic advice at
the highest level to ensuring that agendas, minutes and other
working documents for committees and joint tables were prepared,
approved and disseminated.
Reference Group of Ministers
In spring 2000, the Prime Minister appointed a Reference Group
of Ministers (RGM) on the voluntary sector to provide stewardship
to the VSI, including strategic policy direction and coordination
for the government, stewardship of the relationship and a locus
for dialogue between government and voluntary sector leadership.
Oversight of the development of the Accord was one of its key
Chaired by the Honourable Lucienne Robillard, President of the
Treasury Board of Canada, the RGM originally included:
- The Honourable Herb Gray, then Deputy Prime Minister
- The Honourable Sheila Copps, Minister of Canadian Heritage
- The Honourable Allan Rock, Minister of Health (now Minister
- The Honourable Martin Cauchon, Minister of National Revenue
and Secretary of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada
for the Regions of Quebec) (now Minister of Justice and Attorney
General of Canada)
- The Honourable Jane Stewart, Minister of Human Resources
- The Honourable Maria Minna, then Minister for International
- The Honourable Hedy Fry, then Secretary of State (Multiculturalism)(Status
RGM membership was adjusted as a result of subsequent Cabinet
changes. The following replaced ministers Gray, Minna, Fry, and
- The Honourable Anne McLellan, Minister of Health
- The Honourable Claudette Bradshaw, Minister of Labour
and then Secretary of State (Multiculturalism)(Status of Women)
- The Honourable Elinor Caplan, Minister of National Revenue
- The Honourable Jean Augustine, Secretary of State (Multiculturalism)(Status
The VSTF worked in concert with the Social Development Secretariat
of PCO to plan and support meetings of the RGM, which included
occasional participation by Patrick Johnston as voluntary sector
co-chair of the Joint Coordinating Committee.
The last meeting of the RGM was held on April 22, 2002. The VSTF
also organized a meeting for Minister Robillard and Minister Caplan
with the co-chairs of the Joint Regulatory Table in August of
2002 before the launch of the Joint Regulatory Table cross-Canada
By fall 2002, the RGM had completed its mandate of overseeing
the launch of the VSI and the development of the Accord.
Assistant Deputy Minister Executive Committee
The VSTF provided secretariat support to the ADM Executive Committee
until its final meeting on September 3, 2002. This committee included
assistant deputy minister level participation from the departments
with ministers who were members of the Reference Group of Ministers.
It provided the overall government operational leadership to the
- Advice and strategic direction to the VSI;
- Policy coordination in areas that crossed departmental
- Guidance to the work of the VSTF.
Three Interdepartmental Working Groups supported this committee:
Operations, Policy and Communications.
Assistant Deputy Minister Advisory Committee
The VSTF supported the ADM Advisory Committee, which met approximately
twice a year to:
- Provide advice to the ADM Executive Committee on government-wide
policy and strategy development for the voluntary sector;
- Enhance horizontal policy-making and provide the focal
point for the voluntary sector in its relationship with the Government
of Canada in areas that cross departmental mandates; and
- Support and facilitate departmental initiatives ensuring
appropriate coordination and cooperation.