I guess it's a bit of a coincidence that Professor Mulvale just mentioned the housing first program, with which I've had a tremendous amount of experience, both in my life prior to being elected as a member of Parliament and being very involved in the program At Home/Chez Soi, through the Mental Health Commission of Canada, in Toronto. I actually think that's an excellent model and an excellent example of how social enterprise can work.
There is a component of that, you could argue, where someone makes a bit of a profit, and obviously that's the owner of the apartment building. He's providing an apartment unit at a market rent. The rent is subsidized through a government program. The clients who participated in the At Home/Chez Soi program were actually selected through a research project done through St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, and social workers were very much involved as partners in that very successful program.
When I think of a social enterprise model, that's what I think of. There might be one or two partners who might make a little bit of money out of it, but it is the outcomes that are important here. We housed 300 people with severe mental illness issues in permanent, solid housing, and in most cases we turned those people's lives around. That is a successful social enterprise model.
I want to ask Professor Mulvale, would you not agree that this is exactly the kind of model we're talking about here? We're not talking about social enterprise or social finance taking over public health care or public community support services that are being publicly funded and administered. We're talking about trying to do things a little bit better, and encourage collaboration and cooperation among a whole bunch of agencies.
I remember when we had the first meeting. There were groups that sat there in Toronto City Hall—I'll never forget the meeting—when I was running the apartment association. Organizations were there that had never spoken to each other ever, because they all worked in silos until this project was launched by the Mental Health Commission of Canada. It actually brought those people to the table to ask whether there was a better way to help people with mental illness who are homeless, turn their lives around, get the medication and support they need, and make sure they have a roof over their head.
Would you not agree, Professor, that that's an excellent example of the kind of thing we should be supporting as the Government of Canada?