Small Technicality; Big Problem
The Canada Assistance Plan (CAP) allows the federal government to share with provinces the cost of welfare and social services. The Social Security Review should pay attention to a CAP technicality that has far-reaching implications. CAP allows funding under the ‘assistance’ and the ‘welfare services’ provisions – generally interpreted to mean money for welfare and for social services, respectively. Yet the distinction is not this simple: the assistance provisions allow the funding of welfare, ‘income-in-kind’ (e.g., technical aids and equipment) and services (e.g., child care or homemaker services). The funds currently spent under the assistance provisions are being used for more than welfare alone. There is not as much money as appears at first glance to roll into new income measures. Moreover, a possible restructuring of the assistance provisions of CAP means that many households – especially persons with disabilities – could lose the disability-related goods and services currently funded under the assistance provisions.
ISBN – 1-895796-17-X