March 7, 2014
Social Policy in Canada
Key terms: welfare state, history of the Canadian welfare state, liberal welfare state
The welfare state: government expenditures to ensure some minimum standard of
living/protection from hardships resulting from unemployment, sickness, and old age.
Types of programs:
Income transfers: for example, employment insurance, low income assistance and
Social care services: healthcare, long term care for the elderly, childcare
Tax expenditures: money the state doesn’t get tax exemptions on
Two key objectives:
-Decommodification: originallyAnderson’s only objective
Aperson can maintain a livelihood with reliance on the market. For example, if
you’re really sick, there will be a program that will allow you not to have to go to work to
Degree to which a household’s welfare and caring responsibilities are relaxed
First steps, 1840-1890
In comparison to European countries, Canada is a welfare lagger. For a longtime, the role
of the state was simply regulation, and it was the role of the church to deal with harity and not
For example, Quebecers less likely to volunteer, as in Quebec it was originally seen as
the responsibility of the church and people in the church.
Ontario the first to adopt the EducationAct- made it mandatory for children before a
certain age to attend school.
Period of transition, 1891-1940
1. No massive industrialization like Europe, or the US
a. Afterwards, in 1914, workers’compensation is adopted (Ontario): other provinces
follow suit 2. First world war
a. Many things contributing to welfare are wars
i. Disabled soldiers, soldiers who died and left behind families. Pressure on
the state to take care of them.
ii. Disability and survivor pensions, old age pension, and “widows’” pension
1. Family allowances: check sent to every one based on the number
of children they have as well as old age pension
3. Great depression
a. Bennett’s new deal proposes starting a new assistance program
i. Debate: whatever is in the constitution about social services is the
responsibility of the provinces, but they don’t have the funds.
Social gospel movement