Milestone or Millstone? The Legacy of the Social Security Review
This paper is the text of the keynote address delivered at the 7th Social Welfare Policy Conference in Vancouver in June 1995. The paper argues that the official Social Security Review could have been a milestone in Canadian history because it provided an opportunity for the comprehensive reform of social programs. Instead, it was eclipsed by the real Social Security Review – the 1995 federal Budget – which will have a profound impact on the financing, availability and quality of human services in Canada. Despite the setbacks of recent years, there have been some important developments in international thinking that can help shape future directions in social policy. The concept of sustainable development, in particular, makes clear the links among social, economic and environmental issues. It points to three key social policy directions: economic security, social investment and social integration. Funds for these purposes could be harnessed through tax expenditures, monetary policy, community resources and corporate resources. The Social Security Review may not be a millstone after all if it forces Canadians to rethink and rebuild social policy and to continue supporting the investment of funds in people – arguably the most important resource of any nation.
ISBN – 1-895796-40-7