Income security

Income security overview

Our work on income security includes mapping current public policy systems that are intended to promote opportunity and provide a social safety net, and understanding where those systems are working well, where they are under pressure, and where we have gaps. We also work to identify policy solutions and convene conversations to improve our social safety net.

  • Social Assistance Summaries: Series that tracks the number of recipients of social assistance (welfare payments) in each province and territory.
  • Welfare in Canada: Reports that look at the total incomes available to those relying on social assistance (often called “welfare”), taking into account tax credits and other benefits along with social assistance itself.
  • Financial security: outlines three policy-ready ideas to increase financial security of low- and modest-income families in Canada.
  • COVID-19 crisis: Resources and responses: providing resources and ideas to governments and organizations working on policy solutions that support people living in poverty during the crisis and in the long term.

Relevant publications

Policy backgrounder

Published on 07/11/2017

Newly released roadmap for income security in Ontario calls for a Minimum Income Standard and substantial increases to the income support available to low-income Ontarians.

Overview On November 2, 2017, the Ontario Government released “Income Security: A Roadmap for Change,” an expert panel report on reforming social assistance and the broader income security system. The government initially appointed an Income Security Reform Working Group in June 2016, later joined by two working groups representing First Nations and urban Indigenous perspectives. […]

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Caledon report

Published on 15/05/2017

This paper describes the concept of the ‘welfare wall’ and explores its application to persons with disabilities.

This paper describes the concept of the ‘welfare wall’ and explores its application to persons with disabilities. There would be less need to rely on Canada’s programs of income support and less concern about the welfare wall if individuals who wanted to work had better access to employment opportunities and associated independence. For most Canadians […]

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Policy backgrounder

Published on 27/03/2017

This backgrounder provides an introduction to the Working Income Tax Benefit program, explores how it impacts low-income workers, and how it could be improved.

Canada’s social safety net includes a variety of programs intended to support people experiencing long-term or temporary poverty. One such program is the Working Income Tax Benefit (WITB) for individuals who are employed but have low incomes, and their families. The federal government has indicated that it will expand WITB by approximately $250 million per […]

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Policy backgrounder

Published on 16/11/2016

Looking at our system of maternity and parental leaves and benefits today and how they could be improved.

The federal government’s consultation on maternity and parental leaves and benefits is an opportunity for us to have a conversation about how well we support families to have childcare choices and stay connected to the labour market. This backgrounder looks at our system today, how it could be improved, and the government’s proposed changes. Download […]

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Opinion

Published on 31/10/2016

Choosing to delay to index the Canada Child Benefit is a stealth cut that will be felt most by the low-income families that can least afford it.

Minister of Finance Bill Morneau announced that the Canada Child Benefit will be indexed to keep up with inflation…in 2020. Choosing to delay erodes the value of the benefit. It is a stealth cut that will be felt most by the low-income families that can least afford it. In this open letter to Minister Morneau, […]

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Submission

Published on 04/08/2016

The federal government should preserve the strength of the Canada Child Benefit by indexing it to inflation in the 2017 budget.

The Canada Child Benefit (CCB) is a transformative policy that will provide immediate and meaningful help to low-income families with children. In our pre-budget submission to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance, Maytree recommends that the federal government preserve the strength of this investment by indexing the CCB to inflation in the 2017 […]

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