Social policy in Canada

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Unemployment benefits
Low-income support
Children and families

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Social policy in canada


Zav’yalov Alexandr | IFF 3-3

Social programs in Canada


    • Healthcare
    • Education
    • Housing
    • Unemployment benefits
    • Low-income support
    • Children and families




Generally speaking before the Great Depression most social services were provided by religious charities and other private groups. Changing government policy between the 1930s and 1960s saw the emergence of a welfare state, similar to many Western European countries. Most programs from that era are still in use, although many were scaled back during the 1990s as government priorities shifted towards reducing debt and deficit.



    • The various levels of government pay for about 70% of Canadians' health care, although this number has decreased somewhat in recent years.
    • By far the largest government health program is Medicare, which is actually ten provincial programs, that are required to meet the general guidelines laid out in the federal Canada Health Act. Almost all government health spending goes through Medicare, but there are several smaller programs. The federal government directly administers health to groups such as the military, and inmates of federal prisons.
    • About 27.6% of Canadians' health care is paid for through the private sector. This mostly goes towards services not covered or partially covered by Medicare, such as prescription drugs, dentistry and optometry. Some 75% of Canadians have some form of supplementary private health insurance; many of them receive it through their employers. There are also large private entities that can buy priority access to medical services in Canada

The Canadian system is for the most part publicly funded, yet most of the services are provided by private enterprises. Most doctors do not receive an annual salary, but receive a fee per visit or service.



    • provided publicly
    • funded and overseen by federal, provincial, and local governments



    •  primary education
    • Secondary education
    • post-secondary education

Length of study


Most education programs in Canada begin in kindergarten (age five) or grade one (age six) and go to grade twelve (age 17 or 18), except in Quebec, where students finish a year earlier. After completion of a secondary school diploma, students may go on to post-secondary studies.



    • mortgages are insured by the federal Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation
    •  federal, provincial, or local program designed to provide subsidized assistance for low-income and poor people

Unemployment benefits


    • Unemployment benefits are social welfare payments made by the state or other authorized bodies to unemployed people. Benefits may be based on a compulsory para-governmental insurance system. Depending on the jurisdiction and the status of the person, those sums may be small, covering only basic needs, or may compensate the lost time proportionally to the previous earned salary.

Low-income support


An alleviation of extreme poverty by providing a monthly payment to people with little or no income. The rules for eligibility and the amount given vary widely between the provinces. The welfare program for low income families exists in all provinces. It was created in the 1940s and in Quebec in 1958.

Children and families


Usually each province has a department or ministry in charge of child welfare and dealing with adoption, foster care, etc. As of 2007 the federal government also offers the Universal Child Care Benefit to subsidize the cost of daycare spots or other forms of childcare.

Thank you for your attention !




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