Journal of Law and Social Policy

Publication Date

January 1998


Social security -- Canada; Unemployment insurance -- Canada

Document Type


English Abstract

This report contains information concerning the evolution of social security in Canada. It is part of the periodical review of the trends of social security. Produced by the International Social Security Association (ISSA), this report presents some indications about the most important changes that have happened in Canada in the last three years. It describes the major trends that explain the actual state of social security and gives some indication about the orientation of social policies that have a greater chance to happen in the near future. From their historical importance and from the perspective of change, we will examine five important programs. Given that the responsibilities of Canadian social security programs are shared by the federal and provincial governments, this report is in two parts: the federal initiatives and the provincial initiatives. Our study ends on September 1st, 1996. The main federal initiatives focus on the conversion of unemployment insurance into employment insurance, the funding of social programs and the announcement of a major reform of the old age pension plan and government pension funds. At the provincial level, the analysis is directed at the two most important programs of the Canadian social safety net: Health and Social Assistance. We also examine the three main federal and provincial initiatives that financially support children. Three provinces were part of this study: Québec, Ontario, and Alberta. These three provinces represent 75% of the population and the national wealth. However, we would like to emphasize that all the changes affect all the Canadian provinces. Finally, we have included our comments regarding the main characteristics of the management and terms & conditions of the programs in each section where necessary.