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Shifting Public Outlook

RETHINKING SOCIAL CANADA

The following presentation was delivered by Frank Graves to the 2016 Queen’s International Institute on Social Policy held from August 22-24, 2016 in Kingston, Ontario.

The conference was hosted by the Queen’s University School of Policy Studies:

“Canada has entered a new period of social policy interest at both the federal and provincial levels, with significant resources committed to social policy renewal. Given this new phase of policy action, it is time to stand back and reflect on the changes underway in Canadian society, the priority challenges facing us, and our capacity to develop effective policy change.

Canada, like other OECD countries, has constructed a complex social policy architecture which Tom Courchene of Queen’s University famously titled Social Canada. He argued that this network of policies and programs came to embody Canadians’ shared values related to equality of opportunity, income security and social inclusion.

In many ways, this social policy architecture has served Canadians well. However, some Canadians have consistently fallen through the cracks, most significantly Canada’s indigenous people. And contemporary economic, labour market and social dynamics are posing new challenges. The labour market is increasingly skewed between high and low skilled jobs; income growth is stagnant for many; younger Canadians struggle to secure sustainable career and life paths; many young and old alike worry about retirement income; and new cracks have appeared in Canada’s increasingly diverse social fabric.

QIISP will explore the forces shaping social conditions, how these have shifted, and how Canada compares to its peers. It will examine persistent and/or new social fault-lines and ask where new approaches and new thinking are needed.”

For more information about the conference, please visit their website.

Click here for a PDF version of this presentation: Shifting Public Outlook: Rethinking Social Canada (August 24, 2016)

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