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Canada Assistance Plan

R.S.C. 1985, C-1

An Act to authorize the making of contributions by Canada toward the cost of programs for the provision of assistance and welfare services to and in respect of persons in need

WHEREAS the Parliament of Canada, recognizing that the provision of adequate assistance to and in respect of persons in need and the prevention and removal of the causes of poverty and dependence on public assistance are the concern of all Canadians, is desirous of encouraging the further development and extension of assistance and welfare services programs throughout Canada by sharing more fully with the provinces in the cost thereof;

THEREFORE, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:

SHORT TITLE

Short title

1. This Act may be cited as the Canada Assistance Plan.

R.S.C. c. C-1, s. 1.

INTERPRETATION

Definitions

2. In this Act,

"assistance"

"assistance" means aid in any form to or in respect of persons in need for the purpose of providing or providing for all or any of the following:

(a) food, shelter, clothing, fuel, utilities, household supplies and personal requirements (hereinafter referred to as "basic requirements"),

(b) prescribed items incidental to carrying on a trade or other employment and other prescribed special needs of any kind,

(c) care in a home for special care,

(d) travel and transportation,

(e) funerals and burials,

(f) health care services,

(g) prescribed welfare services purchased by or at the request of a provincially approved agency, and

(h) comfort allowances and other prescribed needs of residents or patients in hospitals or other prescribed institutions;

"child welfare authority"

"child welfare authority" means any provincially approved agency that has been designated by or under the provincial law or by the provincial authority for the purpose of administering or assisting in the administration of any law of the province relating to the protection and care of children;

"health care services"

"health care services" means medical, surgical, obstetrical, optical, dental and nursing services, and includes drugs, dressings, prosthetic appliances and any other items or health services necessary to or commonly associated with the provision of any such specified services, but does not include insured health services within the meaning of the Canada Health Act or any other prescribed hospital care services;

"home for special care"

"home for special care" means a residential welfare institution that is of a kind prescribed for the purposes of this Act as a home for special care and that is listed in a schedule to an agreement under section 4, but does not include a hospital, correctional institution or institution whose primary purpose is education, other than that part of a hospital that is used as a residential welfare institution and that is listed in a schedule to an agreement under section 4;

"Minister"

"Minister" means the Minister of Human Resources Development;

"municipality"

"municipality" means an incorporated city, metropolitan authority, town, village, township, district or rural municipality or other incorporated municipal body however designated, and includes any other local government body that is established by or under a law of a province and that is prescribed for the purposes of this Act as a municipality;

"person in need"

"person in need" means

(a) a person who, by reason of inability to obtain employment, loss of the principal family provider, illness, disability, age or other cause of any kind acceptable to the provincial authority, is found to be unable, on the basis of a test established by the provincial authority that takes into account the budgetary requirements of that person and the income and resources available to that person to meet those requirements, to provide adequately for himself, or for himself and his dependants or any of them, or

(b) a person under the age of twenty-one years who is in the care or custody or under the control or supervision of a child welfare authority, or a person who is a foster-child as defined by regulation,

and for the purposes of paragraph (e) of the definition "assistance" includes a deceased person who was a person described in paragraph (a) or (b) of this definition at the time of his death or who, although not such a person at the time of his death, would have been found to be such a person if an application for assistance to or in respect of him had been made immediately before his death;

"prescribed" means prescribed by regulation;

"provincial authority"

"provincial authority" means the provincial Minister or other official or body specified by the province in an agreement entered into under section 4 as being charged with the administration of the provincial law;

"provincial law"

"provincial law" means the Acts of the legislature of a province that provide for

(a) assistance, or

(b) welfare services in the province,

under conditions consistent with the provisions of this Act and the regulations, and includes any regulations made under those Acts;

"provincially approved agency"

"provincially approved agency" means any department of government, person or agency, including a private non- profit agency, that is authorized by or under the provincial law or by the provincial authority to accept applications for assistance, determine eligibility for assistance, provide or pay assistance or provide welfare services and that is listed in a schedule to an agreement under section 4;

"welfare services"

"welfare services" means services having as their object the lessening, removal or prevention of the causes and effects of poverty, child neglect or dependence on public assistance, and, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, includes

(a) rehabilitation services,

(b) casework, counselling, assessment and referral services,

(c) adoption services,

(d) homemaker, day-care and similar services,

(e) community development services,

(f) consulting, research and evaluation services with respect to welfare programs, and

(g) administrative, secretarial and clerical services, including staff training, relating to the provision of any of the foregoing services or to the provision of assistance,

but does not include any service relating wholly or mainly to education, correction or any other matter prescribed by regulation or, except for the purposes of the definition "assistance", any service provided by way of assistance;

"welfare services provided in the province"

"welfare services provided in the province" means welfare services provided in the province pursuant to the provincial law to or in respect of persons in need or persons who are likely to become persons in need unless those services are provided;

"year"

"year" means a twelve month period ending on March 31.

R.S.C. 1970, c. C-1, s. 2; 1984, c. 6, s. 24; R.S.C. 1985, c.C-1, s. 2; S.C. 1996, c. 11, s. 95.

PART I
GENERAL ASSISTANCE AND WELFARE SERVICES
Interpretation

Definitions

3. In this Part,

"agreement"

"agreement" means an agreement made under section 4;

"contribution"

"contribution" means an amount payable by Canada under an agreement.

R.S.C. c. C-1, s. 3. Agreement Authorized

Agreement authorized

4. Subject to this Act, the Minister may, with the approval of the Governor in Council, enter into an agreement with any province to provide for the payment by Canada to the province of contributions in respect of the cost to the province and to municipalities in the province of

(a) assistance provided by or at the request of provincially approved agencies pursuant to the provincial law; and

(b) welfare services provided in the province by provincially approved agencies pursuant to the provincial law.

R.S.C. c. C-1, s. 4.

PART I
GENERAL ASSISTANCE AND WELFARE SERVICES
Termination of Payments Limitation on payments

4.1 Notwithstanding any agreement made under this Act,

(a) no payment shall be made to a province under this Act in respect of any fiscal year commencing on or after April 1, 1996; and

(b) no payment shall be made to a province under this Act on or after April 1, 2000.

1995, c. 17, s. 31.

PART I
GENERAL ASSISTANCE AND WELFARE SERVICES

Final adjustment of contributions

4.2 Where, after March 1996, the Minister determines that contributions payable to a province under this Act in respect of a year ending before April 1996 differ from the total of payments made to the province under this Act in respect of the year,

(a) the amount, if any, by which those contributions exceed that total may be added to the amounts payable to the province under the Federal-Provincial Fiscal Arrangements Act; and

(b) the amount, if any, by which that total exceeds those contributions may be deducted from amounts payable to the province under the Federal-Provincial Fiscal Arrangements Act.

S.C. 1996, c. 18, s. 59. Contributions

Amount of contributions

5. (1) The contributions payable to a province under an agreement shall be paid in respect of each year and shall be the aggregate of

(a) fifty per cent of the cost to the province and to municipalities in the province in that year of assistance provided by or at the request of provincially approved agencies, and

(b) fifty per cent of either (i) the amount by which

(A) the cost to the province and to municipalities in the province in that year of welfare services provided in the province by provincially approved agencies

exceeds

(B) the total of

(I) the cost to the province, in the fiscal year of the province coinciding with or ending in the period commencing April 1, 1964 and ending March 31, 1965, of welfare services provided in the province, and

(II) the cost to municipalities in the province, in the fiscal years of those municipalities coinciding with or ending in the period commencing April 1, 1964 and ending March 31, 1965, of welfare services provided in the province,

or

(ii) the cost to the province and to municipalities in the province in that year of the employment by provincially approved agencies of persons employed by those agencies

(A) wholly or mainly in the performance of welfare services functions, and

(B) in positions filled after March 31, 1965,

at the election of the province made at such time or times and in such manner as may be prescribed.

Costs excluded

(2) In this section, "cost" does not include,

(a) with respect to assistance, any capital cost as defined by regulation for the purposes of this paragraph; (b) with respect to welfare services, any capital cost or any plant or equipment operating cost as defined by regulation for the purposes of this paragraph;

(c) any cost that Canada has shared or is required to share in any manner with the province, or that Canada has borne or is required to bear, pursuant to any other Part or pursuant to any Act of Parliament; or

(d) any cost of insurance premiums or of co-insurance or similar charges relating to the provision of

(i) insured health services within the meaning of the Canada Health Act, or

(ii) health or medical care services, if at the time the cost is incurred there is in force an Act of Parliament other than this Act, pursuant to which Canada is required to share in any manner with the province the cost of providing those services to the general public.

Cost of welfare services

(3) Notwithstanding paragraph (2)(c), the cost to the province and to municipalities in the province in a year of welfare services provided in the province as or as part of a project, other than a demonstration or research project as defined by regulation, approved by the Minister pursuant to the rules made by the Governor in Council for the purposes of the National Welfare Grants program shall be included for that year for the purposes of, and be deemed to be a cost within the meaning of, either clause (1)(b)(i)(A) or subparagraph (1)(b)(ii), depending on the election made by the province under paragraph (1)(b), if Canada has not previously made a payment to the province with respect to that cost.

Obligation to province satisfied

(4) Where any cost is included for the purposes of clause(1)(b)(I)(A) or subparagraph (1)(b)(ii) by virtue of subsection (3), Canada shall be deemed for the purposes of the rules made by the Governor in Council for the purposes of the National Welfare Grants program to have satisfied all of its obligations to the province with respect to that cost. R.S.C. c. C-1, s. 5; 1984, c. 6, s. 24.

Limitation on certain contributions

5.1 (1) Notwithstanding sections 5 and 8 and any agreement,where no fiscal equalization payment is payable to a province pursuant to section 3 of the Federal-Provincial Fiscal Arrangements and Federal Post-Secondary Education and Health Contributions Act for a year ending on March 31, 1991, March 31, 1992, March 31, 1993, March 31, 1994 or March 31, 1995 (in this section referred to as the "current year"), the contributions to that province in respect of the current year shall not exceed the product obtained by multiplying

(a) the amount of the contributions payable to the province for assistance and welfare services provided in

(i) the year ending on March 31, 1990, or

(ii) where a fiscal equalization payment was payable to the province for the year ending on March 31, 1990, the last current year for which such a payment was payable,

whichever is the later year,

by

(b) if the later year referred to in paragraph (a) is

(i) the first year preceding the current year, 1.05,

(ii) the second year preceding the current year, 1.1025,

(iii) the third year preceding the current year, 1.157625,

(iv) the fourth year preceding the current year, 1.215506, or

(v) the fifth year preceding the current year, 1.276282.

Idem

(2) Notwithstanding sections 5 and 8 and any agreement, the contributions to each province in respect of a year ending after March 31, 1995 shall not exceed the contributions to that province in respect of the year ending on March 31, 1995.

1991, c. 9, s. 2; 1992, c. 9, s. 1; 1994, c. 18, s. 12. Terms of Agreement

Provisions to be included in agreements

6. (1) An agreement

(a) shall include schedules for the purposes of the definitions "home for special care" and "provincially approved agency" in section 2 and a schedule listing the Acts of the legislature of the province referred to in the definition "provincial law" in section 2;

(b) shall provide for the exchange between Canada and the province of statistical and other information relating to the administration and operation of this Act and the provincial law;

(c) may provide that any home for special care or any provincially approved agency that is listed in a schedule to the agreement shall be deemed to have been so listed as of any specified day before the agreement is made; and

(d) shall contain such other terms and conditions as the Minister and the province may agree on or as the regulations may require.

Undertakings by provinces

(2) An agreement shall provide that the province

(a) will provide financial aid or other assistance to or in respect of any person in the province who is a person in need described in paragraph (a) of the definition "person in need" in section 2, in an amount or manner that takes into account the basic requirements of that person;

(b) will, in determining whether a person is a person described in paragraph (a) and the assistance to be provided to that person, take into account the budgetary requirements of that person and the income and resources available to that person to meet those requirements;

(c) will continue, as may be necessary and expedient, the development and extension of welfare services in the province;

(d) will not require a period of residence in the province as a condition of eligibility for assistance or for the receipt or continued receipt thereof;

(e) will ensure the provision by law, not later than one year from the effective date of the agreement, of a procedure for appeals from decisions of provincially approved agencies with respect to applications for assistance or the granting or providing of assistance by persons directly affected by those decisions;

(f) will ensure the maintenance and availability, for examination and audit by the Minister or any person designated by the Minister, of such records and accounts respecting the provision of assistance and welfare services in the province as the agreement or the regulations may require; and

(g) will provide the Minister with copies of all Acts of the legislature of the province referred to in the definition "provincial law" in section 2 and of all regulations made under those Acts.

Undertakings by Canada

(3) An agreement shall provide that Canada

(a) will pay to the province the contributions or advances on account thereof that Canada is authorized to pay to the province under this Act and the regulations;

(b) will make available to the province, from time to time, statistical and other general reports and studies prepared by or under the direction of the Minister relating to assistance or welfare services programs or to related programs; and

(c) at the request of the provincial authority, will make available to the province where feasible, through the facilities of the Department of Human Resources Development, consultative services with respect to the development and operation of assistance and welfare services programs.

R.S.C. c. C-1, s. 6; R.S.C. 1985, c. C-1, s. 6; S.C. 1996, c.11, s. 97. Payment of Contributions

Payment of contributions

7. Contributions or advances on account thereof shall be paid, on the certificate of the Minister, out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund at such times and in such manner as may be prescribed, but all such payments are subject to the conditions specified in this Part and in the regulations and to the observance of the agreements and undertakings contained in an agreement.

R.S.C. c. C-1, s. 7. Operation of Agreements

Duration of agreements

8. (1) Every agreement shall continue in force so long as the provincial law remains in operation.

Amendments and termination

(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1),

(a) an agreement may, with the approval of the Governor in Council, be amended or terminated at any time by mutual consent of the Minister and the province,

(b) any schedule to an agreement may be amended at any time by mutual consent of the Minister and the province,

(c) the province may at any time give to Canada notice of intention to terminate an agreement, and

(d) Canada may, at any time, give to the province notice of intention to terminate an agreement,

and, where notice of intention to terminate an agreement is given in accordance with paragraph (c) or (d), the agreement shall cease to be effective for any period after the day fixed in the notice or for any period after the expiration of one year from the day on which the notice is given, whichever is the later.

R.S.C. c. C-1, s. 8. Regulations

Regulations

9. (1) The Governor in Council may make regulations providing for any matters concerning which he deems regulations are necessary to carry out the purposes and provisions of this Part and, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, may make regulations

(a) for the administration of this Part and of agreements;

(b) prescribing or defining anything that by section 2 or this Part is to be prescribed or defined by regulation;

(c) defining the expressions "personal requirements", "budgetary requirements", "community development services", "wholly or mainly in the performance of welfare services functions" and "positions filled after March 31, 1965";

(d) for the purposes of section 5 or any of the provisions of that section, defining the expression "cost to the province and to municipalities in the province" and prescribing the manner in which that cost is to be determined;

(e) for the purposes of clause 5(1)(b)(i)(B), defining the expressions "cost to the province" and "cost to municipalities in the province" and prescribing the manner in which those costs are to be determined; (f) adapting, modifying or extending, for the purposes of clause 5(1)(b)(i)(B) and either generally or in respect of a particular province, the definitions "welfare services" and "welfare services provided in the province", respectively, as set out in section 2; and

(f) adapting, modifying or extending, for the purposes of clause 5(1)(b)(i)(B) and either generally or in respect of a particular province, the definitions "welfare services" and "welfare services provided in the province", respectively, as set out in section 2; and

(g) respecting the payment to a province of advances on account of any amount that may become payable to the province pursuant to this Part, the adjustment of other payments by reason of those advances and the recovery of overpayments.

Alteration of regulations

(2) No regulation that has the effect of altering any of the agreements or undertakings contained in an agreement entered into under this Part with a province, or that affects the method of payment or amount of payments thereunder, is effective in respect of that province unless the province has consented to the making of such regulation.

R.S.C. c. C-1, s. 9.

PART II INDIAN WELFARE

Definitions

10. In this Part,

"band"

"band" means

(a) a band, as defined in the Indian Act,

(b) a band, as defined in the Cree-Naskapi (of Quebec) Act, chapter 18 of the Statutes of Canada, 1984,

(c) the Band, as defined in the Sechelt Indian Band Self-Government Act, chapter 27 of the Statutes of Canada, 1986, or (d) a first nation named in Schedule II to the Yukon First Nations Self-Government Act;

"council"

"council" means

(a) the "council of the band", as defined in the Indian Act,

(b) the "council", as defined in the Cree-Naskapi (of Quebec) Act, chapter 18 of the Statutes of Canada, 1984,

(c) the "Council", as defined in the Sechelt Indian Band Self-Government Act, chapter 27 of the Statutes of Canada, 1986, or

(d) a first nation named in Schedule II to the Yukon First Nations Self-Government Act;

"Indian"

"Indian" means an Indian, as defined in the Indian Act;

"Indian to whom this Part applies"

"Indian to whom this Part applies", in relation to any province, means an Indian

(a) who is resident on a reserve in the province,

(b) who is resident on land in the province the legal title to which is vested in Her Majesty or on land in any territory in the province that is without municipal organization, or

(c) who is resident in the province and is designated by the Minister charged with the administration of the Indian Act as an Indian to whom this Part applies,

but does not include an Indian who is designated in or under an agreement entered into with the province pursuant to section 11 as an Indian to whom this Part does not apply;

"provincial welfare program"

"provincial welfare program" means a welfare program administered by the province, by a municipality in the province or privately, to which public money of the province is or may be contributed and that is applicable or available generally to residents of the province.

"reserve"

"reserve" means

(a) a reserve, as defined in the Indian Act,

(b) Category IA land or Category IA-N land, as defined in the Cree-Naskapi (of Quebec) Act, chapter 18 of the Statutes of Canada, 1984,

(c) Sechelt lands, as defined in the Sechelt Indian Band Self-Government Act, chapter 27 of the Statutes of Canada, 1986, or

(d) settlement land, as defined in the Yukon First Nations Self-Government Act, and lands in which an interest is transferred or recognized under section 21 of that Act.

R.S.C. 1985, c. C-1, s. 10; R.S.C. 1985, c. 20 (2nd Supp.), s.1; 1994, c. 35, s. 33.

Agreements authorized

11. (1) The Minister and the Minister charged with the administration of the Indian Act may, with the approval of the Governor in Council, enter into an agreement with a province with respect to the extension of provincial welfare programs to Indians to whom this Part applies and for the payment by Canada to the province of any portion of the cost to the province of extending provincial welfare programs to those Indians.

Consent of council of Indian band required

(2) An agreement entered into under subsection (1) shall provide for the extension of a provincial welfare program to a member of an Indian band who ordinarily resides with that band,only with the consent of the council of that band signified in such manner as may be prescribed by the Governor in Council.

R.S.C. c. C-1, s. 11.

Payments to provinces

12. Where an agreement has been entered into with a province pursuant to section 11, the Minister of Finance shall,on the certificate of the Minister, cause to be paid to the province out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund, when and in the manner required by the agreement, such amounts as are required to fulfil the obligations of Canada to the province under the agreement, but all those payments are subject to the observance of the agreements and undertakings contained in the agreement.

R.S.C. c. C-1, s. 12.

Where no agreement in effect

13. Where, in the case of any province, no agreement is in effect pursuant to section 11, nothing in an agreement entered into with the province under Part I shall be construed to require the provision of assistance or welfare services to or in respect of any Indian to whom this Part applies.

R.S.C. c. C-1, s. 13.

PART III
WORK ACTIVITY PROJECTS

Definitions

14. In this Part,

"participant"

"participant" means any person described in the definition "work activity project" who takes part in such a work activity project;

"work activity project" "work activity project" means a project the purpose of which is to prepare for entry or return to employment persons in need or likely to become persons in need who, because of environmental, personal or family reasons, have unusual difficulty in obtaining or holding employment or in improving, through participation in technical or vocational training programs or rehabilitation programs, their ability to obtain or hold employment.

R.S.C. c. C-1, s. 14.

Agreements authorized

15. (1) Subject to this Part, the Minister may, with the approval of the Governor in Council, enter into an agreement with any province with which an agreement under Part I is in effect, to provide for the payment by Canada to the province of an amount equal to fifty per cent of the cost of a work activity project undertaken in the province.

Definition of "cost of a work activity project"

(2) In this section, "cost of a work activity project" means the cost to the province and to municipalities in the province of

(a) salaries, wages or other remuneration paid to persons for services performed with respect to the operation or maintenance of the work activity project,

(b) travel and living expenses paid to persons performing services away from their ordinary places of residence with respect to the operation or maintenance of the work activity project,

(c) such equipment, materials and operational costs relating to the work activity project as may be prescribed by regulations made by the Governor in Council, and

(d) allowances paid to participants,

but does not include any cost that Canada has shared or is required to share in any manner with the province pursuant to Part II.

Provisions to be included in agreements

(3) Every agreement made pursuant to this section shall

(a) provide that no person shall be denied assistance because he refuses or has refused to take part in a work activity project;

(b) provide that welfare services shall be made available as required to participants;

(c) provide that allowances may be paid to participants;

(d) provide that a participant shall be eligible for assistance if, notwithstanding any allowance that he receives as a participant, he is a person in need;

(e) specify the agency that shall be responsible for the undertaking, operation or maintenance of any work activity project or of any part thereof; and

(f) contain such other terms and conditions as the regulations may require.

R.S.C. 1970, c. C-1, s. 15; 1972, c. 1, Sch. (NHW) vote 30b;1976-77, c. 54, s. 74; R.S.C. 1985, c. C-1, s. 15; S.C. 1996,c. 11, s. 47.

Payments to provinces

16. Where an agreement has been entered into with a province pursuant to section 15, the Minister of Finance shall,on the certificate of the Minister, cause to be paid to the province out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund, at such times and in such manner as may be prescribed by the regulations or the agreement, such amounts as are required to fulfil the obligations of Canada to the province under the agreement, but all such payments are subject to the conditions specified in this Part and in the regulations and to the observance of the agreements and undertakings contained in the agreement.

R.S.C. c. C-1, s. 16. Regulations

17. The Governor in Council may, on the recommendation of the Minister, make regulations providing for any matters concerning which the Governor in Council believes regulations are necessary to carry out the purposes and provisions of this Part.

R.S.C. 1970, c. C-1, s. 17; 1976-77, c. 54, s. 74; R.S.C. 1985,c. C-1, s. 17; S.C. 1996, c. 11, s. 48.

PART IV REPORT TO PARLIAMENT

Annual report

18. The Minister shall, as soon as possible after the end of each year, prepare a report respecting the operation fo rthat year of the agreements made under this Act and the payments made to the provinces under each of the agreements,and shall cause the report to be laid before Parliament forthwith on the completion thereof or, if Parliament is not then sitting, on any of the first fifteen days next thereafter that either House of Parliament is sitting.

R.S.C. c. C-1, s. 19.

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