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Canada’s Social Safety Net A Backgrounder. Civics Studies 11/Social Studies 11 MUNDY 2008. Social Safety Net . Refers to the programs and policies in place by a government meant to alleviate the effects of poverty

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Canada s social safety net a backgrounder

Canada’s Social Safety Net A Backgrounder

Civics Studies 11/Social Studies 11

MUNDY 2008


Social safety net
Social Safety Net

  • Refers to the programs and policies in place by a government meant to alleviate the effects of poverty

  • Social Safety Net programs allow ALL people to receive income, health care and other

  • Examples of programs include: pension plans, medicare, employment insurance, etc.

  • Also known as “demogrants”


Pension plans
Pension Plans

  • Pensions are given to people who are of retirement age (65 and older) as a source of income

  • Given that many cannot find work due to health issues, income cannot be generated any other way

  • Only some had family that could take care of them – others had immigrated to Canada, while some died in WWI


Pension plans1
Pension Plans

  • First introduced in 1927 during King’s minority government as coalition with Progressive Party

  • Basic pension = $240/a

  • Had to prove hardship through test

  • Only to British subjects who had lived in Canada 20 years or more

  • 70 years and older


Pension plans2
Pension Plans

  • 1951 – Old Age Security Act

  • Granted $40/mth - taxable

  • 70 and older

  • Directly administered by Federal Government

  • Also created Old Age Assistance Act for those 65-69 (also $40/mth)

  • Jointly funded by feds and prov. gov’ts


Pension plans3
Pension Plans

  • In 1964, became the Canada Pension Plan (in Quebec, the Quebec Pension Plan)

  • While rate before this had been raised to $75/mth, still not enough for cost of living

  • Thus, new program required workers to contribute monthly to CPP

  • Would receive about 25% of average salary upon retirement


Pension plans4
Pension Plans

  • In 1975, spouces of contributors to pension plan were allowed to receive benefits of partner’s plan

  • Currently payments have been reduced


Employment insurance
Employment Insurance

  • Monthly payments for those who have recently lost their job and are looking for work

  • Meant to give minimal income during time searching for new employment so that person will not lose house, car, etc.

  • Once person is in new job or not found work beyond a certain time, payments end


Employment insurance1
Employment Insurance

  • 1940 – created Unemployment Insurance

  • Before this, unemployed applied for payments from municipal gov’t.

  • From 1940, UI administered federally

  • People may claim by showing proof of employment between 420 – 700 hours (max $413/week)

  • Now called Employment Insurance


Family allowance
Family Allowance

  • A monthly allowance given to families in order to assist them in raising children

  • Amount determined by number of children in household


Family allowance1
Family Allowance

  • First introduced in 1945

  • Amounts based on age:

  • Under 5yrs old = $5/mth, 6-9yrs = $6/mth, etc.

  • Payments were non-taxable and each family received benefit regardless of income


Family allowance2
Family Allowance

  • In 1978, this system was revised to become Refundable Child Tax Credit

  • Families with incomes under $18000/a received $200/a

  • Families over $26000/a received nothing

  • In 1992, program became $85/mth max for children up to 18 based on low-income

  • Child expenses were tax-deductible, though


Minimum wage
Minimum Wage

  • First introduced in 1920’s both federally and in various provinces in response to workers’ strikes (including Winnipeg General Strike)

  • Federal minimum wage is set for federal employees, while provinces set provincial minimum wage for all other employees working within province (usually lower than federal level)


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