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Home Policy Articles: Welfare & Social Issues: Social Security


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Canada's New Social Risks: Directions for a New Social Architecture popular

Jane Jenson provides a synthesis report for the year-long analysis undertaken by Canadian and international experts for a research program organized by the CPRN.

Redesigning the “Welfare Mix” for Families: Policy Challenges popular

In this paper, Jane Jenson examines the welfare mix in Canada: the policies and programs adopted by the Canadian government in response to the challenges of restructured labour markets, deepening poverty, economic marginalization and social exclusion, changing family patterns, an ageing society, and the evolution to a knowledge-based economy. Jenson suggests the concept of welfare goes beyond social assistance; according to Jenson, the four sources of welfare include market income, family resources, community resources, and government assistance.

A Bad Time to be Poor: An Analysis of British Columbia's New Welfare Policies

In January 2002, the BC government announced a dramatic program of welfare restructuring, and a 30 percent reduction in the Ministry of Human Resources’ operating budget over the next three years. According to Klein and Long, these budgetary savings are being achieved through cuts to welfare benefits and a further tightening of eligibility rules.

Are Wage Supplements the Answer to the Problems of the Working Poor?

This paper explores the notion of wage supplementation in Canada as a solution to the high levels of failure to reach the poverty-income line (as defined by Statistics Canada).

Behind the Issues: Ontario 2003 - Whatever happened to Welfare?

In his report, Michael Oliphant examines the issues of welfare. In the 1995 and 1999 elections, welfare was a hot-button issue; however, it is noticeably absent from the 2003 debate. Despite its disappearance from campaign debates, Oliphant contends the need for welfare is increasing in Ontario.

Building a Citizens' Good Food Policy

A movement, called Food Charters, is taking place in Canada to build a strategy for good food policy, to mobilize action at the local and regional levels, and to influence public policy.

Citizens' Values and the Canadian Social Architecture: Evidence from the Citizens' Dialogue on Canada's Future

This paper is one in a series of research reports published for the CPRN's Seeking Social Architecture for Canada's 21st Century project.

Community Initiation of Welfare-to-Work

Christopher Leo and Todd Andres argue that recent changes in the global economy have increased productivity, thereby creating new ways to generate wealth and create economic growth.

Current Issues Surrounding Poverty and Welfare Programming in Canada: Two Reviews

This first article, by Garson Hunter, is entitled Race to the Bottom: Welfare to Work Programming in Saskatchewan, and its Similarities to Programming in the United States and Britain. Hunter argues that Canada has developed a hybrid welfare programming model – one that is based on the US model of welfare programming and blended with ideology borrowed from British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s Third Way welfare approach.

Evaluation Framework for Federal Investment in the Social Economy: A Discussion Paper

This discussion paper presents a Results-Based Accountability Framework for the Social Economy Pilot Initiatives announced in the 2004 federal budget.

Fragile Recovery: The State of Public Services in Manitoba

A number of contributors helped prepare this Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) report which assesses the state of Manitoba’s public services – including health care, education, emergency services, parks, libraries, and cultural institutions.

Getting the Balance Right: Saskatchewan Alternative Budget, 2006-07

This alternative Saskatchewan budget, presented by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, focuses on three areas that the Centre considers undervalued: economic security, health services, and education.

Intergovernmental Relations, Social Policy and Federal Transfers After Romanow

This article by Tom McIntosh, originally published in the Spring 2004 edition of Canadian Public Administration, explores the old and new intergovernmental dynamics around federal transfers to the provinces for health and social policy spending in the aftermath of the Romanow Report.

Legal Aid Denied: Women and the Cuts to Legal Services in BC

In this report, Alison Brewin and Lindsay Stephens carefully examine the massive cuts to legal aid coverage in BC in 2002. In particular, family law legal aid and poverty law services were substantially reduced or eliminated. While these cuts have affected all British Columbians, the authors posit they have had the greatest impact on women.

More of the Same? The Position of the Four Largest Canadian Provinces in the World of Welfare Regimes

In this paper, Bernard and Saint-Arnaud use the previous work of sociologist Esping-Andersen as a basis for studying welfare regimes in Canadian provinces. Esping-Andersen’s work identified three welfare regimes: social-democratic, liberal, and conservative. These authors add a fourth regime – familialistic – in order to round out their analysis. They identify Canada as having a liberal welfare regime, and analyze Canada’s four larges provinces from that starting point.

New Perspectives on Income Inequality in BC

This paper examines income inequality in BC in the 1990s. Marc Lee draws on traditional survey data, as well as tax and census data, to paint a more comprehensive picture of income inequality while enabling a more detailed look at income distribution.

Presentation to the Finance Committee Pre-Budget Consultation

Sherri Torjman, Ken Battle and Michael Mendelson prepared this paper for the Finance Committee’s pre-Budget consultations. The authors present key principles they contend should guide the federal government’s spending of its surpluses, namely, transparency, balance, and purpose.

Productivity and Popular Attitudes Towards Welfare Recipients in Saskatchewan, 1970-1990

Popular attitudes towards welfare recipients in Saskatchewan underwent significant change in the period from 1970 to 1990. Much of the reason behind this shift toward hardened and less sensitive attitudes rests with the deteriorating economic situation of the late 1970s and most of the 1980s.

Saving’s Grace: A Framework to Promote Financial Independence for Low-Income Canadians

In this backgrounder, Poschmann and Robson are examining policies that promote saving/financial independence in low-income families. According to them, policymakers have recently been giving fresh attention to these initiatives, with the idea of promoting forward thinking about personal investments and encouraging financial independence throughout life. Another important consideration is that promoting personal savings can cushion against the adverse events that can knock vulnerable individuals and families from financial independence to social assistance.

Social Protection Reforms in Europe: Strategies for a New Social Model

This research report, by Bruno Palier, isolates major trends that are reshaping social policies in Europe, as well as policy methods and concrete reform processes.

Targeting the Most Vulnerable: A Decade of Desperation for Ontario's Welfare Recipients

This report, by Michael Oliphant and Chris Slosser, is a technical paper meant to accompany the Ontario Alternative Budget 2003. Oliphant and Slosser argue that Ontario’s welfare system is broken.

The Great Social Transformation: Implications for the Social Role of Government in Ontario

This paper was commissioned in the Spring of 2002 by the Panel on the Role of Government, chaired by Ron Daniels of the University of Toronto Law School. It provides a broad survey of the way in which the patterns of family, work, and community life, for the people of Ontario, have been transformed in recent decades. Author Judith Maxwell argues that social policy principles developed in the 1960s and 1970s no longer provide adequately for the needs of Ontario citizens. She argues, however, that new ideas have begun to emerge.

The Nova Scotia Child Poverty Report Card 2004: 1989-2002

The Canadian government promised to eradicate child poverty by the year 2000. This report, written by Pauline Raven and Lesley Frank, provides information relating to that promise, and updates data since the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives’ 2002 Report. The authors focus on Nova Scotia, relative to the other Atlantic provinces and the rest of Canada.

Towards a New Architecture for Canada's Adult Benefits

The Caledon Institute of Social Policy was created in 1992. One of its primary objectives is to modernize Canada’s social security system. It has proposed changes both to individual programs and to the very structure and function of social policy.

Transitions Revisited: Implementing the Vision

In 1988, Transitions: Report of the Social Assistance Review Committee was released. It proposed a new vision for social assistance and a radically redesigned set of child benefits, a new income program for persons with disabilities, and a new direction to bring welfare recipients into the community mainstream.

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