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Home Policy Articles: Welfare & Social Issues: Subsidies


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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).

Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped Public Policy Initiative

Anne Makhoul describes the influence of the Calgary and Area United Way vis-à-vis the review and modification of the Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH) program.

Canada’s Social Contract: Evidence from Public Opinion

This article by Matthew Mendelsohn provides “a detailed synthesis of the last ten years of Canadian public opinion data on what Canadians think about the social contract”, specifically how Canadians are “reconciling pressures for competitiveness, innovation, efficiency, and globalization, with the traditional view of a sharing and caring Canadian identity.” Mendelsohn finds that Canadians are overwhelmingly internationalist, open to immigration and integration, and manifest a strong sentiment of social solidarity and of belonging to the Canadian state. They have, however, moved away from the traditional left by becoming more open to trade liberalization and being committed to the maintenance of a balanced budget.

Framing the Canadian Social Contract: Integrating Social, Economic and Political Values Since 1940

This report by Greg Clarke and David Laycock lays out an “analytical framework for understanding key dimensions of post-war thinking about the implicit Canadian social contract.” The social contract entails for the authors, among other things, the rights and responsibilities of citizenship and Canada’s sense of responsibility towards the rest of the world. The authors subsequently outline the three major social contract models in Canadian public discourse as well as the trade-offs each entails.

Maintaining Investment in Nova Scotians: Alternative Provincial Budget 2006-2007

According to the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, the Nova Scotian provincial government underestimates its surpluses. This propensity for underestimation stifles debate on how public funds should be distributed, and thereby diminishes the opportunities available to improve services and infrastructure.

The Politics of Milk in Canada

This article by William T. Stanbury argues that “Canada's dairy policy is an exemplar of the logic of collective inaction under which the well organized few can exploit the dispersed many by persuading government to create the appropriate policies.” Stanbury argues that, contrary to popular belief, these well-organized few are the dairy producers themselves. Were they to desire the end of what he considers to be an economically ineffective Canadian milk production system, Stanbury suggests the federal government would be unlikely to raise objection.

Welfare Incomes 2004

This report on welfare incomes estimates income in four types of households: a single employable person, a single person with a disability, a single-parent family with a 2-year-old child, and a two-parent family with two children aged 10 and 15. The report uses these scenarios to find the practical assistance received in each province and territory by people who rely on welfare. Other forms of social assistance are added to the equation, but the report finds that total welfare incomes across the country fall below the poverty line. The report also looks at welfare incomes in comparison to average incomes and considers the effects of the "clawback" of National Child Benefit Supplement from welfare in certain provinces.