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Section IV

Other Items of Interest

Programs Supporting Priorities by Strategic Outcome

Policies and Programs that meet the human capital and social development needs of Canadians

Program Activity: Policy, Research and Communication

The policy, research and communication program activity provides strategic policy leadership with a focus on domestic and international partnerships, and supports the development of programs and policies with audit, evaluation and research functions. This activity also supports the achievement of the Department's strategic and operational goals through planning and communications.

Strategic Policy

The Department focuses on addressing social and human capital challenges of Canadians through strategic, innovative solutions. To move forward with implementing the Government's commitments in the area of human resources and social development, the Department develops foundational policy frameworks and strategies. These frameworks and strategies also enable the Department to identify emerging policy issues for Canadians.

Knowledge, Analysis, Audit and Evaluation

Knowledge management, audit and evaluation support strong accountability, innovative and responsive policies and programs and evidence-based decision-making by governments, public institutions, businesses, communities, families and citizens.

Public Affairs and Engagement

The Department pursues engagement activities to develop better policies and programs by seeking Canadians' views and broadening knowledge and research.

Enhanced Canadian productivity and participation through efficient and inclusive labour markets, competitive workplaces and access to learning

Program Activity: Labour Market

Labour market programming includes income benefits and active employment measures which provide temporary income support to eligible workers and enables Canadians to develop their skills, maintain or improve their employment earnings and become more adaptable to labour market changes.

Employment Insurance

Employment Insurance promotes individual well being, economic stability and a flexible labour market by providing temporary income support to unemployed workers who qualify under Part I of the Employment Insurance Act. Employment Insurance encompasses a wide range of benefits to address the needs of workers and the labour market.

Employment Insurance Benefits- This program provides temporary financial assistance to unemployed Canadians (including self-employed fishers) while they look for work, participants in work-sharing agreements, and to Canadians who need to take a temporary absence from work for sickness, pregnancy and childbirth, caring for a newborn or adopted child, or to provide care or support to a gravely ill family member with a significant risk of death. Temporary income support is provided to unemployed workers under Part I of the Employment Insurance Act. Through an Agreement with the Government of Canada, as of January 2006, the province of Quebec provides its own maternity and parental coverage for its residents, rather than through the Employment Insurance program.

Operational activities that support delivery of Employment Insurance benefits include:

Claims Processing - Assessment, calculation and adjudication of Employment Insurance claims to determine entitlement and eligibility for benefits.

Appeals - This provision of the Employment Insurance Act provides a right of appeal for claimants, employers and the Employment Insurance Commission. There are four levels of appeals, namely, the Board of Referees, the Umpire, the Federal Court and the Supreme Court of Canada.

Investigation and Control - Prevention, deterrence, and detection activities and controls that prevent abuse and fraud against the Employment Insurance Program.

Program Management and Service Improvement - This measure provides functional guidance, policy direction, actuarial services, performance measurement and reporting, and Employer services including premium reductions.

Employment Insurance Premium Collection - Payments to Canada Revenue Agency for the collection of Employment Insurance premiums, insurability rulings and related appeals on behalf of the Employment Insurance Commission.

Employment Programs

Employment programs and services are funded under the Consolidated Revenue Fund and Part II of the Employment Insurance Act. These enable Canadians, including unemployed adults and targeted groups such as youth and Aboriginal peoples, to develop their skills and encourage them to invest in themselves and become self-reliant.

Employment Benefits and Support Measures

Part II of the Employment Insurance Act authorizes the design and implementation of Employment Benefits and Support Measures to help unemployed participants to prepare for, find and keep employment and to support organizations, businesses and communities that provide employment assistance services.

Labour Market Development Agreements Transfers

Under the authority of the Employment Insurance Act, Labour Market Development Agreements have been signed with all provinces and territories, including a recent agreement with Ontario implemented January 1, 2007. Eight of these agreements are in the form of a transfer agreement under which six provinces and two territories have assumed responsibility for the design and delivery of provincial/territorial programs and services similar to Employment Benefits and Support Measures. Under co-management Labour Market Development Agreements in four provinces and one territory, the Employment Benefits and Support Measures are designed and managed jointly among Service Canada, Human Resources and Social Development Canada and the provinces/territories. Pan-Canadian programs maintained under the Human Resources and Social Development Canada management are available to address labour market issues and priorities that are national or multi-regional in scope.

Aboriginal Human Resources Development Strategy

The Aboriginal Human Resources Development Strategy is designed to assist Aboriginal people to prepare for, find and keep employment and builds Aboriginal capacity for human resources development. The Aboriginal Human Resources Development Strategy is delivered through agreements with 80 Aboriginal Human Resource Development Agreements holders across the country. The Aboriginal Human Resources Development Strategy integrates most of the Department's Aboriginal programming

Aboriginal Skills and Employment Partnerships

Complementary to the Aboriginal Human Resources Development Strategy, Aboriginal Skills and Employment Partnerships is a nationally managed program geared toward supporting collaboration among Aboriginal groups, the private sector and provincial/territorial governments. The goal of Aboriginal Skills and Employment Partnerships is to ensure sustainable employment for Aboriginal people in major, large-scale economic opportunities, (such as diamond mining, oil and gas exploration and development and major forestry initiatives) leading to long-term Benefits for Aboriginal communities, families and individuals.

Youth Employment Strategy

The Youth Employment Strategy programs ensure that Canada's youth are well prepared to participate and succeed in today's changing labour market. The Strategy is delivered in partnership with the private sector and non-governmental organizations through the collective efforts of twelve federal departments, agencies and corporations, with the Department in the lead role. Under the Strategy, youth employment initiatives target youth from 15 to 30 years of age who are unemployed or underemployed. This national strategy offers a broad range of initiatives under three programs: Skills Link, Summer Work Experience and Career Focus.

Youth Awareness Initiative: Youth Awareness is an initiative funded under EI Part II that complements the Youth Employment Strategy Programs. The Youth Awareness Program provides young Canadians with accurate information that will enable them to make appropriate career choices. Youth Awareness also ensures that employers find well-prepared young people to respond to future labour needs.

Labour Market Adjustments

Labour Market Adjustments provide assistance to employers and workers to avert temporary layoffs and retain skills by providing timely response to emergencies.

Official Language Minority Communicates

Enabling Fund for Official Language Minority Communities - Human Resources and Social Development Canada provides funding to Official Language Minority Communities designated organizations, Regroupements de dveloppement conomique et d'employabilit and Community Economic Development and Employability Committees through contribution agreements. The funding ensures continuity of activities for the organizations that foster the development of human resources, economic growth, and job creation and retention in official language minority communities.


Work Sharing Program

The Work Sharing Program enables employers to retain workers and avoid layoffs during temporary work slowdowns, while allowing employees to maintain their skills.

Targeted Initiative for Older Workers

Targeted Initiative for Older Workers is a two-year federal-provincial/territorial cost shared initiative to assist unemployed older workers in communities affected by significant downsizing or closures, or ongoing high unemployment, through programming aimed at reintegrating them into employment. The initiative is delivered through bilateral agreements with provinces and territories which are responsible for identifying affected communities, as well as the design and delivery of projects.

This interim initiative has been put in place while a feasibility study to evaluate current and potential measures to address the challenges faced by displaced older workers is undertaken.

Program Activity: Workplace Skills

The Workplace Skills program activity supports the collaboration of industry partners and stakeholders in identifying, addressing and promoting workplace skills development and recognition issues that reflect the realities of Canadian workplaces in our rapidly evolving labour market. It also develops and disseminates knowledge and information, which is vital in supporting and contributing to a well-functioning labour market.

Workplace Partnerships

Workplace Partnerships advance partnerships with industry and the learning system to ensure that Canadians have the skills and knowledge required for the workplace. The activities are divided into the following main business lines/programs.

Sector Council Program

Sector Councils are formal, national partnerships of businesses and workers that address human resources and workplace skills development on a sectoral basis. Contribution payments under the Sector Council Program support research and project based activities proposed by Sector Councils and other national organizations (sector-like) working on skills and learning issues.

Sector Council Program supports sector council activities that include:

  • Labour market forecasting and analysis;
  • National occupational standards;
  • Curriculum tailored to industry needs;
  • Skills development tools, including e-learning;
  • Essential skills initiatives; and
  • Integration of foreign trained workers.

Trades and Apprenticeship

The Directorate implements the Trades and Apprenticeship Strategy in cooperation with the Canadian Council of Directors of Apprenticeship and provides direction and advice to Service Canada for the implementation of the new Apprenticeship Incentive Grant program. The Directorate also works with the provinces and territories through the Canadian Council of Directors of Apprenticeship to facilitate and increase the labour mobility of skilled trades' workers; and works with public and private sector partners and stakeholders to strengthen apprenticeship systems in Canada enabling them to respond more effectively to the demands of the knowledge-based economy.

The Interprovincial Standards "Red Seal" Program

This is an interprovincial program, designed to facilitate mobility through interprovincial certification based on national occupational standards and examinations for the 49 Red Seal trades. It also encourages standardization of provincial and territorial apprenticeship training and certification programs. Apprentices who have completed their training and certified journeypersons are able to obtain a "Red Seal" endorsement on their Certificates of Qualification and Apprenticeship Completion by successfully completing an Interprovincial Standards "Red Seal" Examination.

The Training Centre Infrastructure Fund

The Training Centre Infrastructure Fund was a three-year pilot project to encourage, through federal funding, increased investment by unions and employers in purchasing up-to-date training equipment for union-employer training centres. The Infrastructure Fund was discontinued in the Fall of 2006.

The Worklace Skills Initiative

This initiative supports partnership-based projects that test and evaluate promising, outcomes-focused approaches to skills development for employers and employed Canadians.

The Workplace Partners Panel

The Panel provided Canadian industry and the Government of Canada with a forum to exchange perspectives and intelligence, and a research capacity focused on workplace skills issues. It was charged with galvanizing Canadas industry, educational partners and governments to integrate the workplace into Canadas learning system. The Workplace Partners Panel completed its work and was disbanded in the Fall of 2006.

Foreign Workers and Immigrants

Foreign Workers and Immigrants helps internationally trained individuals integrate and participate effectively in the Canadian labour market, as well as enhances interprovincial mobility of internationally and domestically trained workers. This work is done in conjunction with Provincial and Territorial partners and stakeholders across Canada, including other federal departments, industry, and regulatory bodies. The activities are divided into four main business lines/programs.

Foreign Credential Recognition

Foreign Credential Recognition supports knowledge and project-based activities proposed by various stakeholders such as sector councils, industry groups, regulatory bodies, provinces/territories, and educational bodies, working on foreign credential assessment and recognition issues.

Going to Canada Immigration Portal

Going to Canada immigration portal provides prospective immigrants, students, workers and newcomers with settlement and labour market information, services and tools to help them make informed decisions about coming to Canada and facilitate their integration into Canada's labour market and society.
Workplace Skills is responsible for enhancing the Working Canada section of the Going to Canada Immigration Portal. Workplace Skills is responsible for enhancing the Working In Canada section of the Going to Canada Immigration Portal.

Foreign Worker Program

The Foreign Worker Program assists Canadian employers in meeting their human resource needs by facilitating the entry of temporary foreign workers into areas of the labour market with demonstrated occupational shortages, while still considering the employers' efforts to hire and recruit Canadians.

Interprovincial Labour Mobility

Interprovincial Labour Mobility co-ordinates federal activity to improve interprovincial labour mobility under the Agreement on Internal Trade, so that workers who qualify in one province/territory can have their qualifications recognized in another.

Skills and Labour Market Information

Skills and Labour Market Information is available to help employed and unemployed job seekers, people choosing a career, career practitioners, employment service providers, employers, education/learning institutions, and community development organizations in making informed decisions related to skills, human resources and the labour market. LMI and related products and services contribute to a well-functioning labour market. Workplace Skills' LMI activities are divided into three main business lines.

National Occupational Classification

National Occupational Classification provides a standardized language for describing the work performed by Canadians in the labour market and continues to be the authoritative resource on occupational information in Canada. The NOC contains the classification structure and descriptions of 520 occupational unit groups and includes over 30,000 occupational titles.

Essential Skills

Essential Skills are required for work, home and community, provide the foundation for learning all other skills, such as job-related technical skills, thus enabling people to evolve with their jobs and adapt to workplace and workforce changes. The Essential Skills Initiative aims to improve the essential skills levels of Canadians who are entering - or already in - the labour market. The starting point is the development of profiles that show how Essential Skills are used in various occupations and their level of complexity, and provide samples of authentic workplace materials used on the job. Partnerships with provinces/territories and other workplace stakeholders help to increase the knowledge base of Essential Skills; promote understanding and their greater utilization in the workplace; and develop tools and other resources to facilitate their integration into the workplace.

Labour Market Information

Labour Market Information policy development and research activities are designed to contribute to the enhancement of skills and labour market information and the Pan-Canadian consistency of LMI content, products and services. Through HRSDC and Service Canada, information is provided on: national and regional employment trends; local employment prospects; wage rates; skills and education required by occupation; employment and training opportunities. Service Canada also offers job posting, job search, job alert and job matching services to job seekers and employers.


The Apprenticeship Incentive Grant

The Apprenticeship Incentive Grant was introduced to reduce the financial barriers faced by many Canadians who wish to pursue a career in the skilled trades. It is available to registered apprentices who have completed their first or second year in a Red Seal trade program, on or after January 1, 2007. Information on how to apply and conditions of eligibility, can be found on Human Resources and Social Development's website at

In addition to the Apprenticeship Incentive Grant Budget 2006 announced two other measures, an Apprenticeship Job Creation Tax Credit and a Tradesperson's Tools Deduction, all of which are aimed at recognizing the important contribution that apprenticeships and trades people make to the Canadian economy. Information on these tax-based measures can be found at:

Program Activity: Learning

The Learning program activity assists Canadians to acquire the education and skills that will enable them to participate more fully in a knowledge-based economy and society. Programs within this area are delivered nationally and include statutory and non-statutory programs. The operating expenditures are funded from the Consolidated Revenue Fund and the Employment Insurance Account.

Student Financial Assistance

Canada Student Loans Program, Repayment and Management Assistance, the Canada Access Grants and the Canada Study Grants

The Canada Student Loans Program, including Canada Access Grants and Canada Study Grants, promotes accessibility to post-secondary education by providing loans and grants to help lower financial barriers for those with a demonstrated financial need. The Program also offers debt management measures to borrowers to help with repayment. These include Revision of Terms, Interest Relief, Debt Reduction in Repayment and loan forgiveness in the event of the permanent disability or death of a qualified borrower. and

Canada Education Savings Program

Canada Education Savings Grant and the Canada Learning Bond

Canada Education Savings Program includes the Canada Education Savings Grant and the Canada Learning Bond. This program provides grants to encourage Canadians to save for the post-secondary education of their children through Registered Education Savings Plans. The Canada Learning Bond is designed to help low-income Canadian families to acquire education savings for their children.

Adult Learning, Literacy and Essential Skills Program

On March 23, 2006, Treasury Board approved the integration of three of its grants and contributions programs into a single coherent program. The Adult Learning, Literacy and Essential Skills Program brings together the National Literacy Program, the Office of Learning Technologies Program and the Learning Initiatives Program under one set of Terms and Conditions. Adult Learning, Literacy and Essential Skills Program works through non-statutory grants and contributions. The key objectives of the Adult Learning, Literacy and Essential Skills Program are:

  • to promote lifelong learning by reducing non-financial barriers to adult learning; and
  • to facilitate the creation of opportunities for Canadians to acquire the learning, literacy and essential skills they need to participate in a knowledge-based economy and society.

International Academic Mobility

The International Academic Mobility initiative advances the development of international skills and knowledge among Canadian students, and promotes international linkages among post-secondary education institutions.

Safe, healthy, fair, stable, cooperative and productive workplaces and effective international labour standards

Program Activity: Labour

The Labour Program actively promotes and sustains stable industrial relations and a safe, fair, healthy, equitable and productive workplace within the federal labour jurisdiction. It collects and disseminates labour and workplace information, represents Canada at international labour activities, fosters constructive labour-management relationships and ensures that minimum labour standards and occupational health and safety protections are enforced.

Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service

This service is responsible for providing dispute resolution and dispute prevention assistance to trade unions and employers under the jurisdiction of Part I (Industrial Relations) of the Canada Labour Code and Part II of the Status of the Artist Act.

National Labour Operations

This program ensures consistent and cost-effective administration of Part II (Occupational Health and Safety) and Part III (Labour Standards) of the Canada Labour Code, as well as the Employment Equity Act, Federal Contractors Program for Employment Equity, Fair Wages and Hours of Labour Act and the Non-smokers' Health Act. National Labour Operations is responsible, as well, for administering the Government Employees' Compensation Act and the Merchant Seamen Compensation Act. It also administers Fire Protection Services on behalf of Treasury Board.

International and Intergovernmental Labour Affairs

This program promotes the development, observance and effective enforcement of internationally recognized labour principles, and fosters cooperation and coordination among labour jurisdictions in Canada on international and national labour issues and facilitates dialogue with Program stakeholders.

Workplace Policy and Information

This program identifies emerging trends and changes in the workplace and provides leadership in labour policy development. It manages a national database of collective agreements, conducts research on employment relationships and disseminates key information, research and analysis. See Work-life Balance and Ageing Workforce at:


Aboriginal Labour Affairs

Aboriginal Labour Affairs Office ensures a coordinated program approach to Aboriginal labour issues and facilitates the identification of, and appropriate response to, issues arising in the context of self-government negotiations and program service delivery.

Enhanced income security, access to opportunities and well-being for individuals, families and communities

Program Activity: Social Investment

Human Resources and Social Development Canada develops and administers a broad range of programs that address the needs of seniors, persons with disabilities and children and families.

Seniors and Pensions

Canada Pension Plan

The Canada Pension Plan is a joint federal-provincial plan that operates throughout Canada, except in Quebec, which has its own comparable plan. The Canada Pension Plan provides for a variety of benefits based on life changes. It provides benefits for surviving partners and children of contributors, people with disabilities and their children and a one-time maximum benefit of $2,500 in the event of death. It is a contributory plan; contributors are employers, employees or self-employed persons between the ages of 18 and 70 who earn at least a minimum amount during a calendar year. Benefits are calculated based on how much and for how long a contributor has paid into the Plan. Benefits are not paid automatically - everyone must apply and provide proof of eligibility. Approximately 12 million Canadians over the age of 18 contribute annually to the Plan and approximately 4 million Canadians received benefits during 2006-2007.

Old Age Security

The Old Age Security program is one of the cornerstones of Canada's retirement income system, providing a basic monthly pension to most Canadians aged 65 or older who meet the residence and legal status requirements. It is financed from Government of Canada general tax revenues and indexed quarterly to the Consumer Price Index. Recognizing the difficult financial circumstances faced by many seniors, the Old Age Security program provides additional income-tested benefits for low-income individuals, namely the Guaranteed Income Supplement, the Allowance and the Allowance for the Survivor.

  • The Guaranteed Income Supplement is a monthly benefit available to Old Age Security pensioners with little to no other income. The amount of the benefit is dependent upon income, residence, and marital status.
  • The Allowance is a monthly benefit paid to a 60-64 year old spouse or common-law partner of an Old Age Security pensioner. The Allowance for the Survivor is available to low-income persons aged 60-64, and whose spouse or common-law partner is deceased. To be eligible, Allowance and Allowance for the Survivor recipients must reside in Canada and have low income.
  • The Allowance for the Survivor is available to low-income individuals aged 60 to 64 whose spouse or common-law partner is deceased and who have not re-married nor entered into a common-law relationship.

Approximately 4.3 million Canadians are in receipt of Old Age Security benefits, of which 1.5 million also receive Guaranteed Income Supplement benefits.

New Horizons for Seniors Program

The New Horizons for Seniors Program provides funding for community-based projects across Canada. Its projects encourage seniors to contribute their skills, experience and wisdom in support of social well-being in their communities and promote the ongoing involvement of seniors in their communities to reduce their risk of social isolation. The New Horizons for Seniors Program funding also strengthens networks and associations among community members, community organizations, and governments; and enhances opportunities for building community capacity and partnerships to respond to existing or emerging social challenges.

Disability Programs

Human Resources and Social Development Canada is the lead department for the Government of Canada on issues affecting people with disabilities. The Office for Disability issues provides a national focal point on disability within the Government of Canada, and promotes the full participation of people with disabilities in all aspects of society and community life. The Department builds awareness and engages partners, citizens, and Provincial and Territorial partners in order to improve disability policy and programming.

The Office for Disability Issues also administers a variety of programs for people with disabilities. In 2006-2007, these programs included Labour Market Agreements for Persons with Disabilities, which provide provincial governments with support related provincial programming and the Opportunities Fund, which assists eligible people with disabilities to prepare for, obtain, and keep jobs or self-employment. Through the Social Development Partnerships Program -- Disability Component, the Department supports non-profit organizations that are working to meet the social development needs of people with disabilities.

Through the Social Development Partnerships Program - Disability Component, the Department supports non-profit organizations that are working to meet the social development needs of people with disabilities.

Labour Market Agreements for Persons with Disabilities

The goal of the Labour Market Agreements for Persons with Disabilities is to improve the employment situation of Canadians with disabilities, by enhancing their employability, increasing the employment opportunities available to them, and building on their existing knowledge base. The Agreements facilitate coordination in labour market programming targeted to persons with disabilities through agreements with provinces.

Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities

The Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities is designed to assist people with disabilities who are otherwise ineligible for employment programs available through the Employment Insurance program to return to work. Funding under the Opportunities Fund assists eligible people with disabilities to prepare for and obtain employment or self-employment as well as to develop the skills necessary to maintain that new employment. The Fund also supports effective and innovative activities such as encouraging employers to provide individuals with work opportunities and experience; assisting individuals to increase their employment skill level and helping individuals to start their own business; and working in partnership with organizations for people with disabilities, including the private sector, to support innovative approaches to integrate individuals with disabilities into employment or self-employment, and address barriers to an individual's labour market participation.

Canada Pension Plan - Disability

The enhanced social and economic participation of people with disabilities is also supported through the disability benefits that are payable to eligible individuals under the Canada Pension Plan. The Canada Pension Plan Disability Program is Canada's largest long-term disability insurance plan. In 2006-2007, $3.4 billion in benefits were paid to 304,000 individuals and 90,000 of their children. Approximately 64,000 new applications were received in the same year.

Canada Pension Plan - Disability Benefits

Canada Pension Plan - Disability benefits are payable to contributors who meet the minimum contributory requirements and whose disability is "severe and prolonged," as defined in the legislation; that is, a mental or physical disability that prevents them from working regularly at any job at a substantially gainful level. In determining an individual's medical eligibility, consideration is given to personal characteristics such as age, education and work experience. Socio-economic factors such as the availability of work are not. Children of Canada Pension Plan disability beneficiaries are also eligible for a monthly benefit up to the age 18, or up to age 25 if attending school full-time.

Community Development and Partnerships

The Social Development Partnerships Program enables social non-profit organizations to improve the social well-being of children and families, individuals with disabilities, and minority language communities, and encourages Vibrant Communities and other community-based collaborations.

In addition, this program carries out policy research, analysis and development; monitors Canadian and international experience for model approaches and lessons learned; supports the efforts of the community sector to innovate, strengthens networks of collaboration, promotes self-sufficiency, and shares good practices to contribute to community well-being; and brings together experts from the federal government and external organizations to discuss issues, challenges and opportunities and to share best practices in collaboration to address the complex problems facing our cities, communities and community sector.

Social Development Partnerships Program

The Social Development Partnerships Program provides funding to organizations to promote new knowledge, develop networks and strengthen the non-profit sector's ability to meet the needs of vulnerable populations. It funds projects to support social inclusion, improve the lives of children and families, people with disabilities and official language minority communities. It also provides funding for the Understanding the Early Years initiative and the Voluntary Sector Strategy.

Understanding the Early Years

Understanding the Early Years helps communities across Canada better understand the needs of their young children and families. Understanding the Early Years is a national initiative providing communities with information about the readiness to learn of their children, community factors influencing child development, and local resources available to support young children and their families. Communities use this information to develop community action plans to guide future policies, programs, or investments that help their children thrive in the early years.

Program Activity: Children and Families

This Program provides support and choices for families, through Canada's Universal Child Care Plan and other existing initiatives, to help ensure their children have the best possible start in life.

Child Care

In 2006, the Government of Canada introduced Canada's Universal Child Care Plan consisting of two key elements designed to give parents choice in child care so they can balance work and family life.

Universal Child Care Benefit

In July 2006 families began to receive up to $1,200 per year for each child under six, taxable in the hands of the lower-income spouse. Payments are made directly to parents so that they can choose the child care that is best for their children and their family's needs. The Universal Child Care Benefit is provided in addition to existing federal programs such as the Canada Child Tax Benefit and the National Child Benefit Supplement and does not affect the benefits families receive under these programs or the Child Care Expense Deduction. Further information can be found at

Supporting the Creation of Child Care Spaces

Recognizing the availability of child care spaces is a challenge faced by many families. Budget 2007 proposes to transfer $250M per year to provinces and territories via the Canada Social Transfer, with federal support growing by 3% every year thereafter to 2013-2014. This new investment will support provinces and territories in the creation of child care spaces that are responsive to the needs of parents and administered in an efficient and accountable manner. In addition, effective March 19, 2007, a 25% non-refundable investment tax credit, to a maximum of $10,000 per space created, is available to support businesses in the creation of licensed child care spaces in the workplace for the children of their employees and potentially, for children in the surrounding community.

Multilateral Framework for Early Learning and Child Care

The objectives of the federal, provincial and territorial Multilateral Framework on Early Learning and Child Care are to promote early childhood development and support the participation of parents in employment or training by improving access to affordable, quality early learning and child care programs and services. In 2003-2004, the Government of Canada began transferring $1.05 billion over five years through the Canada Social Transfer to support provincial and territorial government investments in early learning and child care. Further information can be found at

Early Childhood Development Agreements

Through the Early Childhood Development Agreement, federal, provincial and territorial governments have committed to improving and expanding early childhood development supports for young children-prenatal to age six-and their parents. The Government of Canada transfers $500 million per year, via the Canada Social Transfer, to provincial and territorial governments to improve and expand programs and services in four key areas: promoting healthy pregnancy; birth and infancy; improving parenting and family supports; strengthening early childhood development, learning and care; and strengthening community supports.

National Child Benefit Initiative

Introduced in 1998, the National Child Benefit initiative is a key commitment in helping to ensure that children in low-income families get the best possible start in life. The National Child Benefit is a partnership among federal, provincial, and territorial governments39, including a First Nations component, which provides income support, as well as benefits and services, to low-income families with children. The National Child Benefit aims to: help prevent and reduce the depth of child poverty; promote attachment to the labour market by ensuring families are always better off as a result of working; and reduce overlap and duplication by harmonizing program objectives and benefits and simplifying administration.

Under this initiative, the Government of Canada provides income support to low-income families with children through the National Child Benefit Supplement40. Maximum National Child Benefit Supplement benefits for a two-child family were $3,665 in 2006-2007. Human Resources and Social Development Canada is responsible for policy development with respect to the National Child Benefit, and the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development represents the Government of Canada in this federal/provincial/territorial initiative. Joint federal/provincial/territorial reports on the progress of this initiative are available on the National Child Benefit website:


Child Disability Benefit

The Child Disability Benefit is paid by the Canada Revenue Agency as a monthly supplement to the Canada Child Tax Benefit and Children's Special Allowances payments to low- and modest-income families with a severely disabled child. Social Development Canada participated in the development of the Child Disability Benefit and is involved in its ongoing implementation.

The Department also plays a key role, on behalf of the Government of Canada, in the development and exchange of knowledge, information, and best practices related to children and their families.

Program Activity: Housing and Homelessness

This program activity assists communities, through partnerships, in implementing measures - such as shelters, supportive and transitional housing, and related support services - that help homeless individuals and families as well as those at risk of homelessness move towards self-sufficiency, thereby contributing to society and the economy.

Supporting Communities Partnership Initiative

The Supporting Communities Partnership Initiative aims to increase availability and access to a range of services and facilities (emergency shelters, transitional/supportive housing, and prevention) along the continuum from homelessness to self-sufficiency and an independent lifestyle. Projects funded by the Supporting Communities Partnership Initiative support the priority areas identified through an inclusive community planning process. Along with providing financial support to communities, the Supporting Communities Partnership Initiative encourages them to work in partnership with provincial/territorial and municipal governments as well as the private and voluntary sectors to strengthen existing capacity and to develop integrated responses to homelessness. Communities are allocated a maximum funding level that must be matched from other community sources (i.e., fundraising, local sponsors, etc.). Communities must also explain how their activities are sustainable (i.e., how they will continue once Supporting Communities Partnership Initiative funding ends).

Urban Aboriginal Homelessness

Aboriginal homelessness is a serious issue in some communities and is best addressed by developing local responses. The National Homelessness Initiative will continue to address the unique needs of the Aboriginal population through its Urban Aboriginal Homelessness component. This component provides flexibility to meet the needs of homeless Aboriginal people, through culturally sensitive services. Enhancing capacity building - both within and outside of Aboriginal communities - through community planning, decision making and the formulation of partnerships is a key Urban Aboriginal Homelessness focus. Cost-matching is not required; however, community contributions are encouraged where and when possible. The Housing and Homelessness Branch, formerly called the National Secretariat on Homelessness, works with the Federal Interlocutor's Division of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada to ensure the complimentarity of the Urban Aboriginal Strategy pilot projects and the National Homelessness Initiative's Urban Aboriginal Homelessness component.

Regional Homelessness Fund

The Regional Homelessness Fund is designed to provide support to small and rural communities that are experiencing homelessness in their local areas, but often need to build greater capacity in order to respond to homelessness issues. Homeless individuals or those at risk of homelessness in smaller, isolated communities must often move to larger urban centres to access homeless-related supports and services. This in turn can place a burden on the service systems of these larger communities. The Regional Homelessness Fund provides funding to establish support services needed to prevent homelessness and to help stabilize the living conditions of at-risk individuals and families. The Fund also encourages a wide range of partnerships and takes the unique needs of youth populations into consideration in the planning and implementation process.

National Research Program

The National Research Program is designed to address the gaps and priorities in knowledge around issues of homelessness in Canada. The program works to: further increase the base of policy and community-relevant research; encourage and support research partnerships (with research and community organizations, other federal departments, and academic researchers); and facilitate the sharing of best practices and transfer of knowledge. By providing funding to partners to strengthen their capacity to develop a deeper understanding of homelessness, the National Research Program will help foster the development and assessment of appropriate and effective solutions to homelessness. This is vital to making efficient use of scarce resources and sustaining community efforts over the long term.

Homeless Individuals and Families Information System

Homeless Individuals and Families Information System is a user-friendly, robust software application that provides a portrait of shelters and their clientele. It gives service providers an electronic data management system that enables them to share information and develop partnerships with local, private, municipal, provincial/territorial and federal levels. Data on demographic characteristics and shelter use patterns of people experiencing homelessness address knowledge gaps and support local planning efforts. The benefits resulting from a network of data-sharing communities contribute to the development of a national database that informs effective policies and programs.

The Homeless Individuals and Families Information System Initiative have compiled a National Shelter List. It has identified 1,020 shelters representing more than 26,000 regular shelter beds. The Homeless Individuals and Families Information System have up to 520 registered users, including shelters and other service providers such as food banks, drop-in centres and supportive housing organizations.

These projects would test innovative approaches to homelessness through collaboration at the federal level. HRSDC will mobilize federal departments such as Health, Justice, Citizenship and Immigration, and Indian and Northern Affairs Canada to work collaboratively on

Surplus Federal Real Property for Homelessness Initiative

The Surplus Federal Real Property for Homelessness Initiative provides surplus federal properties to communities across Canada to address their local homelessness-related needs through the Housing and Homelessness Branch coordination. The homelessness projects, which must be financially viable and sustainable, help communities overcome the high capital costs of buying land or buildings. Government departments and agencies, which are encouraged to identify such properties, receive compensation at market value and transfer them - to community organizations, the not-for-profit sector and other orders of government - for a nominal cost to help alleviate and prevent homelessness. Additional funding for construction and renovation costs may also be available through related federal programs such as the Supporting Communities Partnership Initiative and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation programs. Three Government of Canada organizations - Public Works and Government Services Canada, Human Resources and Social Development Canada and the Housing and Homelessness Branch, and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation - act as partners at the national and regional levels in implementing and managing this initiative.

Achieve better outcomes for Canadians through service excellence

Program Activity: Service Canada

Seamless, Citizen-Centred Service

This program activity focuses on delivering seamless citizen-centred service by providing integrated, one-stop service based on citizen needs and helping to deliver better policy outcomes.


This program activity seeks to enhance the integrity of programs by building trust and confidence in the integrity of our social programs and by achieving significant savings in program payments. Its expected results are that benefits are delivered in the most cost-effective manner to the right citizen, at the right time, and for the purpose they were intended.

Collaborative, Networked Government Service

This program activity seeks to encourage work as a collaborative, networked government by building whole-of-government approaches to service that enables information sharing, integrated service delivery and strategic investment for the benefit of Canadians. Its expected results are that programs and services are synchronized within the federal government and across jurisdictions to enhance efficiency and ease of accessibility for citizens.

Accountable and Responsible to Government

This program activity seeks to demonstrate accountable and responsible government by delivering results for Canadians and government, savings for taxpayers, and transparency in reporting. Its expected results are sound stewardship of public funds ensuring value-for-money and transparent performance reporting.

Service Excellence Culture

This program activity seeks to build a service excellence culture by supporting our people, encouraging innovation, and building leadership and capacity to provide citizen-centred service. Its expected results are the presence in Service Canada of a skilled and dynamic workforce focused on citizen-centered service.

As part of its citizen focus, Service Canada has developed a Service Charter that describes its commitment for better service, service standards to communicate the level of service Canadians should expect, and a Performance Scorecard which includes service indicators for measuring access and Client Satisfaction results. An Office for Client Satisfaction was created to monitor and manage suggestions, compliments and complaints and identify where Service Canada can improve its processes to be more responsive and fair.

Website References

Human Resources and Social Development Canada Website shtml

The Honourable Monte Solberg P.C., M.P.
Minister of Human Resources and Social Development Canada 3388def0e162&Language=E&Section=FederalExperience

The Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn
Minister of Labour and Housing

Acts and Regulations Governing Human Resources and Skills Development Canada and Social Development Canada

Human Resources and Social Development Canada Internal Audit

Human Resources and Social Development Canada Evaluation

Human Resources and Social Development Canada Overview

Speech from the Throne, April 4, 2006

Enhanced Canadian productivity and participation through efficient and inclusive labour markets, competitive workplaces and access to learning

Labour Market

Workplace Skills


Safe, healthy, fair, stable, cooperative and productive workplaces and effective international labour standards


Enhanced income security, access to opportunities and well-being for individuals, families and communities

Social Investment

Children and Families

Housing and Homelessness

Achieve better outcomes for Canadians through service excellence

Questions and Public Enquiries

If you have questions about departmental programs and services, you may contact your nearest Service Canada office listed in the Government of Canada pages of the telephone book or through the HRSDC website at

To obtain HRSDC publications, please contact the Public Enquiries Centre at