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Rupert is the former Executive Director of the Canadian CED Network and its co-director for the Canadian Social Economy Research Hub. The Network is a national member-based NGO committed to supporting community economic development and building Canada’s social economy, with offices in Victoria, Winnipeg, Toronto, and Ottawa supporting the work of thousands of community based organizations and other stakeholders in every province and territory. The Network is committed to reducing unemployment, poverty and social disadvantage in Canada by supporting the work of grass roots community development organizations through public education, policy development, research, practitioner development and peer learning.
Mr. Downing was previously an Executive Director of the BC Ministry of Community Development, and worked on major policy and legislative initiatives in the Cabinet Policy office, and Ministry of Employment and Investment of the BC government.
Prior to joining government, Mr. Downing worked as a community development practitioner and policy advisor in rural, urban, and Aboriginal communities in Canada, Latin America, and Europe for over 25 years. He has written several publications on the importance of community led approaches to building dynamic and sustainable local economies inclusive of disadvantaged people and communities.
Mr. Downing lives with his wife, Christine, in Victoria, British Columbia, has two daughters and three grandchildren.