Repairing Canada’s Social Safety Net
The Department of Human Resources and Social Development Canada invited departmental representatives and four outside panelists to a roundtable to consider options for repairing Canada’s social safety net. This paper summarizes the highlights from Caledon’s contribution, which made the case for the need to reform Employment Insurance and welfare in concert and in association with labour market changes. The presentation noted the problems in the current social security system as well as the economic, social and political pressures that are driving the need for reform. Our proposals included the diversion of funds from the current Universal Child Care Benefit and newly-introduced child tax credit into an enhanced Canada Child Tax Benefit. The federal-provincial Child Care Agreements should be resurrected in respect of the need throughout the country for high-quality, affordable space. The Registered Disability Savings Plan announced in the federal Budget was a welcome measure but does not replace the importance of reforming the disability income system and investing in the supply of disability supports.