Towards a New Architecture for Canada's Adult Benefits
Ken Battle, Michael Mendelson and Sherri Torjman, June 2006

Since its creation in 1992, the Caledon Institute of Social Policy has worked to modernize Canada’s social security system.  We have made the case for major changes not just to individual social programs but to the basic structures and functions – the ‘architecture’, to use the current vogue term – of social policy.  This paper advances our work on the modernization agenda in a large area of Canadian social policy that has for the most part defied successful reform – income security programs and supportive services for working-age adults, which Caledon has dubbed ‘adult benefits.’  The first part of the paper explains why current programs – especially welfare and Employment Insurance, the two core adult benefits – fail to meet the needs of working-age Canadians.  Fundamental and comprehensive reform is required, through integrated changes to both federal and provincial/territorial programs and a realignment of governments’ roles and responsibilities.  The second part offers our thinking on how to build a new architecture for adult benefits.

ISBN - 1-55382-198-X

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