Updated May 25, 2017
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An Old Idea is New Again : A Royal Commission
on a new amending formula for Canadas Constitution to fix our fiscal
By John Stapleton
May 24, 2017
As Canadians commemorate the nations 150th anniversary in 2017, few among us are thinking about what happened 100 years ago. When we do think about 1917, it evokes for many Canadas coming of age in the great World War I victory at Vimy Ridge in April of that year. However, another momentous event affecting all Canadians in deeply personal and financial ways also took place though it is often forgotten. The government passed a law bringing income taxes to Canada. One hundred years later, there are no events, no stamps, no coins, no conferences and no celebrations despite its major impact on Canadian history.
Bold Ideas: Policy Beyond Canada 150
As Canada marks its 150th birthday this year, Canadians have a historic opportunity not only to celebrate a century and a half of accomplishments, but also to look forward to what we can achieve in the future. The Mowat Centre is releasing a series of short written pieces and video interviews in the weeks leading up to July 1st that will look ahead and present a variety of bold, potentially transformative policy ideas.
Federal Income Assistance
--- For All Canadians
--- For Families and Children
--- For Newcomers to Canada
--- For People with Disabilities
--- For Seniors
--- For Veterans
Speech from the Throne
December 4, 2015
On December 4, 2015, His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, delivered the Speech from the Throne to open the 42nd session of Parliament and outline the Governments agenda.
Government of Canada
FULL TEXT of the Throne Speech
Throne Speech Backgrounders
(Click the link above to access any of the articles below):
* Throne Speech Ignored Alberta: Tory MP
* No Sign Of Slower Spending In Liberal Throne Speech
* Ambrose, Mulcair Highlight The Words Left Unsaid
* Liberals Hope For New Era With Indigenous Peoples
* Throne Speech Reiterates Big Liberal Promises
Huffington Post Canada
Canada] Bill tabled
to ban refugees from social assistance
A Conservative MP's private member bill is quietly making its way through the legislature and, if passes, could exclude refugees from accessing help.
Bill C-585 [ http://goo.gl/sjTW9f ], which is before Parliament for second reading later this month, would allow provinces to individually impose residency requirements for eligibility for social assistance benefits and restrict access to those benefits by refugees.
Currently, the Federal-Provincial Fiscal Arrangements Act, which lays out the terms of the Canada Social Transfer, stipulates that a province may not impose a minimum period of residency to restrict eligibility for social assistance or it will risk losing some or all of its social transfer payments. The condition is meant to ensure that a national standard is in place to support those in need of help. Embedding such a major change in a private members bill has irked antipoverty and refugee advocates because such bills, as opposed to government bills, are less transparent and undergo less scrutiny; theyre usually put forward to address issues of regional significance.
About those "NDP satellite offices"
in Quebec and Saskatchewan...
From the Board of Internal Economy:
[The Board of Internal Economy is the governing body of the House of Commons.]
Use of House of Commons Resources for
Political Offices (small PDF file)
Coming into force April 14, 2014
Ottawa April 8, 2014 The Honourable Andrew Scheer, Speaker of the House of Commons and Chair of the Board of Internal Economy, has confirmed that the Board is conducting an investigation into the use of House of Commons resources in offices outside of the Parliamentary Precinct or constituency offices. This investigation is further to allegations of improper use of House resources brought forward to the Board, specifically related to the Members By-law (section 4.3).
Large-Volume Mailings (small PDF file)
Ottawa March 24, 2014 Today, the Board of Internal Economy confirmed that it is reviewing a matter related to large-volume mailings in response to complaints regarding the appropriateness of such mailings sent by Members of the House of Commons in ridings not held by their party.
FEDERAL BUDGET 2013 - March 21, 2013
ECONOMIC ACTION PLAN 2013*
JOBS, GROWTH AND LONG-TERM PROSPERITY
[* formerly known as the federal budget. ]
March 21, 2013
The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, today unveiled the next phase of the Harper Governments plan for jobs, growth and long-term prosperity, Canadas Economic Action Plan 2013.
NOTE: For links to all 2013 budget papers
and related Finance Canada documents, along with budget analysis and critique
from almost two dozen media and NGO sources, go to the 2013 Canadian Government
Budgets Links page of this website:
New report lifts fog on government job
May 16, 2012
Due to the opaque reporting methods used by the federal government to detail its spending and employment projections, getting a clear picture of core public service job losses is unnecessarily complicated. However, CCPA Senior Economist David Macdonald has analyzed data from recently released 2012-13 Reports on Plans and Priorities [see below] as well as the 2012 federal budget to assess the impact of several rounds of spending cuts on federal employment.
The report, Clearing Away the Fog: Government Estimates of Job Losses, finds that the total number of federal core public service job losses over the next three years will be 29,600far more than the 19,200 estimate that is now commonly cited. The Departments of National Defence, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, and Public Works and Government Services Canada will be particularly hard hit. The analysis also notes that a significant number of positions at Crown corporations, non-profit agencies, and private sector firms who do business with the government outside of the core public service will also be lost, although it is difficult to determine just how many.
Read the full report:
Clearing Away the Fog: Government Estimates
of Job Losses (PDF - 238K 5 pages)
Federal documents reveal 29,600 job cuts by 2015
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
201213 Part III - Reports on Plans
Click on the name of a federal department or institution for detailed information on plans and priorities for the next three years.
NOTE: The RPPs do **not** include any of the federal civil service job cuts announced in the March 29 (2012) federal budget:
Reports on Plans and Priorities (RPPs)
RPPs are individual expenditure plans for each federal department and agency (excluding Crown corporations). These reports provide increased levels of detail over a three-year period on an organizations main priorities by strategic outcome(s), program activity(ies) and planned/expected results, including links to related resource requirements.
RPPs are part of the
Estimates for the Government of Canada and Other Supporting Documents
Part I and II - Main Estimates
Part III - Reports on Plans and Priorities
Part III - Departmental Performance Reports
Appropriation Acts (Supply Bills)
Governor General Special Warrants
Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
Government Takes Action to Support Jobs and Growth
November 8, 2011
The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, today announced that the Harper Government is taking targeted action to support jobs and economic growth. The Minister made the announcement as he released an update of the Governments economic and fiscal projections, which shows Canada remains on track to eliminate the federal deficit over the medium term.
of Economic and Fiscal Projections
* Speech by the Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, to the Calgary Chamber of Commerce
* Backgrounder: Supporting Jobs and Growth through Employment Insurance Premium Rates
* Backgrounder: Supporting Jobs and Growth through Work-Sharing
From Finance Canada:
of Canada Releases 2010-2011 Annual Financial Report
October 12, 2011
The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, today released the Annual Financial Report of the Government of Canada for 201011, which shows a 40-per-cent reduction in the deficit from 200910. The deficit was also $2.8 billion lower than forecast in the June 2011 budget due to higher revenues and lower program expenses than forecast.
Financial Report of the Government of Canada: Fiscal Year 20102011
* Fiscal Reference Tables - October 2011
< Begin rant. .>
WTF? This is Progress?
In the good old days, that is, pre-Harper Government days, one could access all federal govt. news releases from a single, convenient page on the federal government website. In the New Order of Things, I accessed the Canada News Centre website earlier today looking for a particular news release from a few months ago.
I f you click the link in the previous sentence, you'll find ONE release (as at 9am on November 13) about a telecommunications agreement with Mexico --- after all, the page *is* entitled "Today's National News and Information". If you're seeking something that predates TODAY, though, toughski shitski.
(HINT : You can find links to earlier releases, but only by typing the name of the desired month into the search box in the top right-hand corner of the page.)
Thanks for the user-friendly interface, Government of Canada web design shmucks.
< /End rant. .>
Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat:
Board President Clement Lays
Groundwork for Responsible Government Spending
June 3, 2011
Ottawa The Honourable Tony Clement tabled his first document as President of the Treasury Board today, laying the foundation for responsible government spending with the 201112 Main Estimates. (...) The 201112 Main Estimates total $250.8 billion in expenditures for transfer payments and operating and capital costs, as well as public debt charges. The Main Estimates provide a listing of the resources required by individual departments and agencies for the upcoming fiscal year.
Backgrounder - the big picture
"Connecting you to Government Benefits"
Canadian Government Information
Toll-Free Telephone Number:
1 8ØØ O-Canada
(1 800 622-6232)
Ministry to govern for all Canadians
Harper Government Ministry in 2011
2011 Task Force on Financial Literacy in Canada
- this link takes you to a section of the Federal Government Department Links page of this website
websites are presently being updated to implement the "Common Look and Feel
Standards for the Internet (CLF 2.0)."
Consultation on Canada's
The Government of Canada invites your views on the goals of a Canadian digital economy strategy, the concrete steps needed to reach these goals and how governments, the private and not-for-profit sectors can best collaborate to create a strategy for future success. The consultation paper proposes a set of key challenges to meet, describes what has been done to date and poses questions on what needs to be done in the future.
Online submissions or comments can be posted at digitaleconomy.gc.ca.
The deadline for responses was July 9, 2010
The consultation paper:
Improving Canadas Digital Advantage Strategies
for Sustainable Prosperity
Consultation Paper on a Digital Economy Strategy for Canada
Undated document (PDF file created April 30, 2010)
HTML version - table of contents + links to individual sections (all in HTML)
PDF version (1.8MB, 40 pages)
* Related online resources
Government Departments involved (how and why)
- Industry Canada
- Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC)
- Canadian Heritage
to Modernize the Copyright Act
June 2, 2010
NOTE: If the expression "digital economy" makes your eyes glaze over, you're not alone. There are, however, a number of important linkages between digital technology and social policy, such as:
neutrality (Submission by Steve Anderson)
- the view that democratization and empowerment should be supported via Open Access to Canada's Public Sector Information and Data (Submission by Tracey Lauriault), or
- a suggestion to use a rights-based approach (Submission by Azim Lila) to managing information communication technology - to declare information technology as a public good available to all, like water or electricity. For the poor and the disadvantaged, the potential for further exclusion is increased by issues of accessibility and affordability of access.
The Gomery Enquiry
- anyone still interested in the Sponsorship Scandal? this link takes you to some Gomery links further down on the page you're now reading...
Social/Income Assistance for Immigrants
apply depending on whether someone wishes to come to Canada as an immigrant (i.e.,
permanently), a visitor, a worker (temporarily), a student or a refugee.
Select a link below for more information on eligibility and benefit levels for each program.
If you want to immigrate to Canada, there are a few different ways to apply. You will need to decide which immigration program will work best for you and your family.
Every year, more than 5million people visit Canada. Depending on where you live, and the reason for your visit, you will need to meet certain entry requirements. In some cases, if you plan to stay in Canada for a certain period of time, you will need a Temporary Resident Visa.
Every year, over 90,000 foreign workers enter Canada to work temporarily in jobs that help Canadian employers address skill shortages, or as live-in caregivers.
A work permit is needed for most temporary jobs in Canada, though for some positions and business people it is not necessary.
More than 130,000 students come to study in Canada every year and even more come to Canada to learn English or French.
Refugees and people needing protection are people in or outside Canada who fear returning to their home country. Groups and individuals can sponsor refugees from abroad who qualify to come to Canada.
Canada International (Government of Canada)
- Government of Canada Home Page
- incl. links to the following content:
Society --- Aboriginal - Archives and Libraries - Arts - Culture - Events - Genealogy - Health - Historic Sites - History - Human Rights - Languages - Learning Resources - Multiculturalism - Multimedia - Museums - People - Society - Statistics - Sports and Recreation
Government --- About Government - Awards and Honours - Ceremonial and Canadian Symbols - Promotion - Elections and Voting - Going to Canada - Government History - Government Resources - Government Structure - Government Statistics - Justice - Safety
Land --- Climate - Environment - Geography - Land Statistics - Maps -Natural Resources - Sustainable Development - Transportation - Travel - Weather
Economy --- About Economy - Business/Industries - Economic Statistics - Families - Government and the Economy - International - Money
of the Prime Minister of Canada - The Honourable
February 6, 2006
- incl. links to : The Prime Minister - The Ministry - mission - Priorities - Media Centre
Complete Text of the Speech from the Throne - also includes * What is a Speech from the Throne (SFT) * Frequently Asked Questions * Previous SFTs available on the Web
from the Throne
could face 'several difficult years': throne speech
of Canada Publications
Provides a reference to over 100,000 Government of Canada publications.
BusinessGateway.ca: Services for Canadian Business
Services for non-Canadians
Canadians - Government of Canada
The Prime Minister in Canadian Life and Politics
"Drawing on a wide variety of documents and artifacts, this site explores five main themes [Alone at the Top - The Path to Power - Leading Canada - Private Life - Afterwards] relating to Canada's prime ministers. The site examines our leaders' political careers as well as their private lives. It also sheds light on Canadians' perceptions of our prime ministers.
Source: National Library of Canada
"Information about federal, provincial and territorial programs that involve payments to individuals can be found on the site. More specifically you can find out about: government student loans - public pension plans - employment insurance - housing assistance - social assistance - payments or financial assistance to parents, immigrants, refugees, disabled individuals, veterans, athletes and artists.
You can navigate the site to find information that's relevant to you by self-identification ("I Am..."), by life event, by keyword search, by using the A-Z Benefits Index, or by using the Benefits Finder."
The Canada Site
Service Canada was created in 2005 to improve the delivery of government programs and services to Canadians, by making access to them faster, easier, and more convenient. Service Canada offers single-window access to a wide range of Government of Canada programs and services for citizens through more than 600 points of service located across the country, call centres, and the Internet.
A to Z Services Index - federal government services.
NOTE: If you're looking for information on provincial and territorial welfare programs, click the Financial Benefits link on the Service Canada page, because that link includes both federal AND provincial/territorial programs. Once you're on the Financial Benefits page, click on "In need of social assistance...", and then, on the Canadian map that appears in the next screen, click the name of any province or territory. The next screen (finally!) offers links to needs-tested welfare program(s) in the selected jurisdiction.
OR you can find wayyyy more welfare information
by using the Canadian Social Research Links Key Welfare Links page:
with Disabilities Online
"Persons with Disabilities Online is an Internet site, where persons with disabilities, their family, their caregivers, and others with an interest in disabilities can access a broad range of information concerning disabilities."
This is the Government of Canada portal to hundreds of links to federal government programs and services for people with disabilities.
The site currently covers the following areas : Links to Federal Government Information (10 categories) - Access To Travel - Mapping for the Visually Impaired - Assistive Technology Links.
Government of Canada
Great site for seniors - includes links to info about : HEALTH (Alternative Medicine, Nutrition, Women's Health) - MONEY (Pensions, Taxes, RRSP) - EMPLOYMENT (Education, Programs, Volunteer) - HOME AND HOUSING (Adaptation, Long-Term Care, Residences) - FAMILY (Injury, Medical History, Medication) - LEGAL (Advice for Seniors, Consumer Protection, Travel) - EDUCATION (Courses) - SAFETY AND SECURITY - TRAVEL
Accounts of Canada (all editions, from the latest right back to 1995)
Accounts of Canada, 2007-2008
Supplementary Estimates, 2007-2008 (All depts.)
Sample content from Public Accounts:
Public Accounts of Canada
Section 7 includes
detailed info about:
and Remote Canada Online
Tabling of Canada's Performance Reports 2006-2007
NOTE: Along with the Public Accounts of Canada (see the link below, under "Related links), Departmental performance reports are a valuable resource for government watchdogs and for students of federal government programs and policies --- these departmental reports include descriptive info on the programs administered by the federal government, along with targets and achievements for each federal government institution. Because the main focus of the Canadian Social Research Links website is information about welfare and financial assistance from governments to individuals, I've presented (below) links to departmental reports only for Human Resources and Social Development Canada and the Department of Finance Canada, the two main federal departments in the social program field. And yes, I *know* that there are many more federal departments and agencies (like the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the Canada Revenue Agency and Status of Women Canada, to name but a few) that are involved in the social program field. The content below is presented as a sample only of the impressive amount of information that you can find for each federal institution in these performance reports.
of Canada's Performance 2006-2007
Performance Reports (DPRs) - Part III Estimates
Select a federal institution from the above list to see detailed information about the programs it administers, and how well it is administering those programs. For example, Human Resources and Social Development Canada expenditures on programs and services in 2006-2007 exceeded $79 billion. Follow the (HTML or PDF) link below to see how they spent it.
Departmental Performance Report:
Details on Transfer Payment Programs
2006-2007 Departmental Performance
of Finance Canada : Transfer Payment Programs
Sense Out Of Dollars, 2007-2008
"This Financial Information Overview has been prepared by the Director Budget, Defence Economics Research and Analysis. The aim is to provide you with finance-related details that you may find informative and useful to incorporate in presentations, internal and external to your organization. The booklet includes financial and economic information on the Federal Government and National Defence, including comparisons with other countries."
- includes charts showing the following:
* Federal Government Revenues, Expenditures, Deficits and Surpluses from 1994-1995 to 2007-2008
* Trend in Share of Federal Government Revenues from 1994-1995 to 2007-2008
* Trend in Share of Federal Government Expenditures from 1994-1995 to 2007-2008
* Federal Government Spending as a Percentage of GDP from 1994-1995 to 2007-2008
* Federal Government Budgetary Expenditures as a Percentage of Total Expenditures for 1994-1995 and 2007-2008
* Comparison of Federal Government Revenues with Federal Program Expenditures Plus Debt Charges, 2007-2008
* Trend in Annual Federal Deficit and Federal debt (Accumulated Deficit) from 1994-1995 to 2007-2008
* Trend in Federal Government Debt (Accumulated Deficit) from 1994-1995 to 2007-2008
* Trend in Government Spending by Level of Government, 1977 to 2007
[ earlier editions of this resource - 2003-2004 to 2007-2008 ]
[ Assistant Deputy Minister (Finance and Corporate Services) ]
[ National Defence and the Canadian Forces ]
of the Government of Canada
- The Estimates and Supplementary Estimates contain information on the spending plans of the Government of Canada. Though primarily intended for members of Parliament, these documents are useful to anyone interested in federal government programs or concerned with financial management and accountability within the government.
Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
Parliamentary Internet - House of Commons, Senate of Canada
- links to the latest debates and the latest journals in both the Senate and the House of Commons
- links to committee Mandates, Membership, Lists of Studies and Committee Meetings as well as Schedules of Meetings, Minutes of Proceedings and Evidence and Press Releases are available for both the Senate and the House of Commons.
- incl. People - The Parliamentary Process - The Parliament Buildings - Education - Youth Programs - Photos - Related Information (government departments, the courts, political parties, etc) - A to Z Index - Partners for a Green Hill
- helpful information for tourists and visitors as well as for individuals doing business with Parliament --- maps, special events, guided tours, tourism/transit links, etc.
to Z Index
- arranges information provided on the site by subject for easy searching
Governors General of Canada
- information about the current Governor-General (Her Excellency Michaëlle Jean) and her predecessors
- links to the reports of the Information and Documentation Branch (7 reports) and the Parliamentary Information and Research Service (250+ reports)
Parliamentary Information and Research Service
The Library of Parliament offers a wide range of research publications that provide analysis to parliamentarians, parliamentary committees and parliamentary associations on current and emerging key issues, legislation and major public policy topics. The publications provide non-partisan, reliable and timely information on subjects that are relevant to parliamentary and constituency work.
Search or browse the research publications
by type of document and by category:
Publications by type:
* Current Publications:
* Legislative Summaries:
* Trade and Investment Series:
* Occasional and Commissioned Papers:
Publications by Category:
The Parliamentary Information and Research Service (PIRS) provides a consulting service for individual parliamentarians, responding to questions that require research and analysis on legal, economic, scientific, or social science matters. Researchers obtain and analyze material, and write letters, short notes and longer research papers at the request of Senators and Members of the House of Commons. In some cases, responses are provided to clients by telephone briefings or by meetings with individual parliamentarians and/or their staff.
* Aboriginal affairs
* Agriculture, environment and natural resources
* Arts, culture and entertainment
* Business, industry and trade
* Economics and finance
* Education and training
* Employment and labour
* Government, Parliament and politics
* Information and communications
* International affairs and defence
* Law, justice and rights
* Science and technology
* Social affairs and population
Canadians Govern Themselves - 6th Edition
September 23, 2005
Library of Parliament
A good primer on Canadian Government; highly recommended!
- info is organized under the following headings: Introduction - Parliamentary Government - A Federal State - Powers of the National and Provincial Governments - Canadian and American Government - The Rule of Law and the Courts - The Institutions of Our Federal Government - What Goes On in Parliament - Provinces and Municipalities - Living Government- Governors General of Canada since Confederation - Canadian Prime Ministers since 1867.
Guide to the Canadian
House of Commons
PDF version (407K, 16 pages)
Revised August 2005
Table of Contents:
* Introduction * The Canadian Parliament * Whos Who in the House * A Working Day in the Commons Chamber * Notices of Motion for the Production of Papers * Parliamentary Highlights * Making Canadas Laws * The Role of a Member of Parliament * Being Part of Parliament * Finding Out More
Canada's Parliament (PDF file - 1.14MB, 41 pages)
June 17, 2002
"Inside Canada's Parliament is a publication that provides an introduction to how the Canadian Parliament works; it was commissioned by the Senate, the House of Commons and the Library of Parliament to provide those interested in Parliament - including members of the public, teachers, business people and parliamentarians from both here and abroad - with an understanding of the Canadian system. The information in this guide is intended to provide key facts about Parliament and, at the same time, capture its spirit and give readers some insight into how the work of Parliament actually gets done, and by whom."
Online version (HTML)
The Laws of Canada - Department of Justice
Elections Canada Online
Government Decision-Making in Canada
Processes, Institutions: Central Agencies in Decision-Making
PDF file - 235K, 41 pages
Although the program was designed to acquaint colleagues from Ukraine with the inner workings of the Canadian system of government, we believe it is a very useful resource for those interested in how government works. It is a concise window on the institutions, processes and players involved in decision-making in Canada.
Source : Institute on Governance
Intergovernmental Conference Secretariat
Research Initiative (PRI)
"The federal government requires the development of a strong knowledge base and policy capacity in order to respond to the increasingly complex policy issues facing Canada. The Policy Research Initiative's core mandate is to advance research on emerging horizontal issues that are highly relevant to the federal government's medium-term policy agenda, and to ensure the effective transfer of this knowledge to policy-makers.
- incl. links to : About The PRI - Research Projects - Capacity Building - Community Infrastructure - Events
Portal to Canadian government programs and services for youth
"YouthPath is your single access point to government related youth programs, services and information. Forget about surfing forever to find the info you need! With the help of hundreds of youth volunteers from coast to coast, the Government of Canada developed this site to help meet your needs. YouthPath is the realization of the hard work of each Team Leader and Virtual Youth Canada member who came together to share their expertise and skills in order to create this unique site."
- incl links to : Jobs - Education - Money - Health - Canada - Arts and Culture - Neighbourhood - Sports - Science - International - Travel - Environment - Message Board
Interactive- an Internet site designed to help Canadians access information
- Canadian Government
Launchpad to links to and about the federal government.
What you see below is the range of choices presented to visitors in this section of the Yahoo Canada site.
(The numbers in parentheses indicate the number of links in each category early in January 2008)
* Federal (456)
* Provincial (14)
* Chats and Forums (2)
* Civic Participation (12)
* Conventions and Conferences (1)
* Documents (9)
* Embassies and Consulates (84)
* Government Officials (4)
* Intelligence (2)
* International Organizations (9)
* Judicial Branch (2)
* Law (185)
* Local Government (17)
NOTE (October 8, 2008):
the Internet Archive's latest version of the Gomery Inquiry pages:
of Inquiry into the Sponsorship Program and Advertising Activities:
Commission of Enquiry into
by the Right Honourable Paul Martin, Prime Minister of Canada
The Right Honourable Paul Martin, Prime
Minister of Canada, Reacts to the Release of Justice Gomery's First Report
John H. Gomery to Consult Canadians
: Public Input
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