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An Introduction to Canada's Public Social Services: Understanding Income and Health Programs

An Introduction to Canada's Public Social Services: Understanding Income and Health Programs (Paperback)

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In the mid-1990s, every established social programme in Canada was fundamentally reassessed; most were radically changed. Faced with continuing deficits and mounting debts, all the provinces changed the basic structure of their public assistance programmes and/or reduced their benefits, and looked for ways to cut spending on hospital and medical services. For its part, the federal government revamped unemployment insurance, replaced long-standing universal benefits-Family Allownaces and Old Age Security-with programmes based on tax expenditures that exclude many above-average-income Canadians, and altered the basis (and reduced the scale) of its sharing of the costs of provincial programmes. In this revised editon of what has become a standard text, Dr Frank McGilly fits these recent developments into context. He explains how governmental income and health care programmes have evolved in response to changes in Canadian society, how they function, and how they are financed and administered. The author not only analyses how the programs work, but also explores their underlying policy orientations.

Topics covered include income programmes for seniors and for the unemployed, workers' compensation, public assistance, child and family benefits, hospitalization insurance, medicare, and occupational and community health. Special attention is given to the dynamics of the federal-provincial relationship in social policy. This volume lays the groundwork for an informed critique of social policy in Canada. To provoke such a critique, the strengths and weaknesses of programmes, as perceived from various points of view, are assessed. The book concludes with an overview of the challenges facing the Canadian welfare state on the threshold of the twenty-first century.

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