Gilles Séguin,
the Canadian Social
Research Links Guy

(more photos)



Updated March 1, 2013

[ Go to Canadian Social Research Links Home Page ]

*** See also : About this site ***

This site is dedicated to the memory of my dear mother Muriel Berthiaume,
who passed away on January 27, 2005.


Proud co-recipient of
the 2009 Weiler Award

October 2009


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Welcome to Canadian Social Research Links!

My name is Gilles Séguin.

I started working in the social program information field in the fall of 1975, when I joined the Cost-Shared Programs Directorate of the Department of National Health and Welfare to work in a shop called the Canada Assistance Plan. My job there was to produce summaries of provincial/territorial social assistance (welfare) programs based on the legislation and policy manuals of each jurisdiction.

Less than a year later, I was asked if I'd be interested in taking on the responsibility of maintaining a similar report in a different branch, for distribution to some 300 federal, provincial and territorial government welfare administrators; I thought it might be fun for awhile, so I monitored and chronicled welfare programs from the summer of 1976 --- until 1994. That's when the welfare mandate was transferred and I moved, along with the other welfare reserach folks, to a new department called Human Resources Development Canada. HRDC went through a few name changes and mandate changes over the years. Since August 2013, the Department's name is Employment and Social Development Canada.

[ For a more complete history of the name changes of my former department, see ]


And here's a link to the publications page of the Social Policy Directorate (where I worked) as it appeared in 2009:
- includes 35+ links to valuable historical info

Nineteen-ninety-four was the start of a tumultuous period that saw the rise and fall of the ill-fated Lloyd Axworthy Social Security Review and the announcement, in the February 1995 federal budget, of a significant change in the way the feds would be contributing to provincial/territorial social programs starting in April 1996.
(See the CAP/CHST Resources page of this site for more on all that...)


Beginning in the summer of 1996, I spent a year on secondment with the National Council of Welfare*. During that time, I did the research for and wrote the provincial-territorial section of a report entitled Another Look at Welfare Reform (PDF - 6.75MB, 134 pages --- 100+ pages of information on Canadian welfare reforms in the nineties, published in the fall of 1997) and the 1995 welfare incomes report.
NOTE : The National Council of Welfare closed its doors and shut down its website in September 2012.
For more information, see

In the summer of 1997, I rejoined my old group in the Social Policy Directorate of the Strategic Policy Branch in HRDC.

In November of 1997, I launched Canadian Social Research Links, on my own time and on my own dime, so that I could share my collection of web links with colleagues in the social research community, whether in government, the non-governmental sector or academia. I started the Canadian Social Research Newsletter as a convenience within a few months after the site launch for folks who didn't have the time to visit the site regularly, and it quickly took on a life of its own. the point where I decided the day job was taking up time that I preferred to devote to maintaining my site and newsletter.

I left the federal civil service on October 17, 2003 to do just that.


Even though I'm no longer working with the federal government, I'd still like to draw
your attention to some excellent social program resources from my old Directorate:

Social Assistance Statistical Report: 2008
[Posted online July 2011]

Prepared by:
Federal-Provincial-Territorial Directors of Income Support

Social Assistance Statistical Report: 2008
Produced by the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Directors of Income Support
(PDF - 608K, 141 pages):

[Posted online July 2011]

This report includes a description of, and statistics related to, the welfare system in each province and territory, information about federal-provincial-territorial jurisdictional and funding issues, a bit of historical info on the Canada Assistance Plan and the Canada Health and Social Transfer, etc.

"In recognition of the growing public demand for comprehensive information on provincial and territorial social assistance programs and caseloads, the Social Assistance Statistical Report: 2008 is the fifth annual joint publication by federal, provincial and territorial governments. The report provides a general overview of social assistance in Canada, as well as a description of income support-related/social assistance programs in each jurisdiction. This report does not include social assistance rates as this information is currently available to the public on most provincial and territorial government Web sites."
(Excerpt from Chapter 1 - Summary)

NOTE: Chapter Two of the report is a seven-page descriptive overview of social assistance in Canada in 2008, comprising a (very) brief history of federal social assistance since 1966 and general information about how welfare works in Canadian provinces and territories (including the treatment of federal child benefits under welfare programs, welfare eligibility conditions and administrative rules, etc.). Other chapters of the report provide, for each province and territory, information on eligibility (including asset and income exemption levels) and benefits (but no actual benefit levels), as well as an impressive number of statistical tables, graphs and charts providing numbers of cases and beneficiaries (time series statistics going back as far as the mid-1990s, depending on the jurisdiction), profile information (age/education/sex of household head, cases by reason for assistance) and even (for most jurisdictions) the percentage of households reporting income.

[ Human Resources and Skills Development Canada ]

< Begin social researcher's lament. >

It's great to see the 2008 edition of this report online*, but the numbers in this report *are* over three years old --- none of the welfare ripple effects of the economic disaster of 2008 and 2009 are evident in the March 2008 stats in this report. This really isn't timely enough to help in the policy formulation process, nor is it timely enough to ensure accountability with respect to spending by federal, provincial and territorial governments on Canada's social assistance programs.
* "Social Assistance Statistical Report: 2008" is online, but not on the HRSDC website. The above links point to a copy of the report that was archived by the Internet Archive. Thanks for nothing, HRSDC.

So why are timely welfare statistics important?
To tell, among other things, how many new welfare cases are "EI exhaustees" (households whose Employment Insurance benefit period has expired) and how many are there because they didn't qualify for EI in the first place. Welfare reporting must be comprehensive AND reasonably current.
Perhaps it's time to farm out the production of welfare statistics and related information to an objective, non-politicized third party...

< /End social researcher's lament. >


Source of this archived copy:
The Wayback Machine
* Also available from the Government of Canada Web Archive:

Over 40 pages of information on Canadian social assistance programs as they operated in 1994
. Much of the information in this document is still as relevant today as it was back then - eligibility, benefits, administrative rules, and more. Includes information about cost-sharing of welfare costs under the Canada Assistance Plan. Question-and-answer format for quick reference. This work was part of a larger study of social assistance in 24 countries released by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) early in 1996. I was the author of this report, with a lot of input from a number of colleagues in the Department at the time. This is a snapshot of what welfare was like in Canada before the Canada Health and Social Transfer in 1996...
[ More info about the OECD study of welfare in 24 countries - includes a country report on Canada - *also* recommended reading! ]


Social Security Statistics, Canada and Provinces, 1978-79 to 2002-03



Social Security Statistics, Canada and Provinces
1978-79 to 2002-03

NOTE: Since January 2012, this report is no longer available on the website of Human Resources and Skills Development (HRSDC) or its successor, Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). This report and many others were moved to the web archive collection at Library and Archives Canada (LAC).

[By Gilles, March 1, 2014]


This report is a goldmine of statistical information (beneficiary data and expenditure data) on current and defunct Canadian federal social programs, and even some on provincial/territorial programs.

This report offers 25 years of longitudinal data on costs and numbers of beneficiaries for most programs - over 100 tables - covering a large number of programs --- here's a partial list:
- Child Tax Benefit, Family Allowances, the Child Tax Credit, Old Age Security/Guaranteed Income Supplement/Spouse's Allowance ("The Allowance"), Federal Training and Employment Programs, Federal Goods and Services Tax Credit, the Canada/Quebec Pension Plans, War Veterans' and Civilian War Allowances, Veterans' and Civilians' Disability Pensions, Unemployment/Employment Insurance, the Canada Assistance Plan, Workers' Compensation, Youth Allowances, Social Assistance and Social Services for Registered Indians --- and more...


NOTE : All links below are functional.
Click any link and you'll find the desired content on the website of

Preface (short blurb only)

List of Tables
Read the Introductory notes at the top of the page and in Appendix A:
of this report for all methodological notes.
"...Tables in this report have been organized into two parts. Part I presents three Overview Tables which illustrate the trends in social security expenditures by all levels of government for Canada. Part II comprises Component Tables which provide data on beneficiaries and expenditures for individual programs."

Overview Tables:

Table 1:
Total Social Security Expenditures in Canada, 1978-79 to 2002-03

Table 2: Social Security Expenditures by Welfare Program and Total Health and Education Expenditures, Canada, 1978-79 to 2002-03

Table 3
Expenditure Analyses of Social Security Programs, Canada, 1978-79 to 2002-03

Many of the tables are historical and likely of little interest except to historians and CAP-o-philes --- they offer historical caseload and expenditure statistics on each of the CAP cost-sharing components (General Assistance - Homes for Special Care for Children and Adults - Child Welfare - Health Care - Other Welfare Services and Work Activity).

Scroll down the list of tables
[ ]
... to find a particular program, then click on its name to access the HTML version of the table (the HTML page includes links to the PDF and Excel versions of the table).

You'll find many key stats tables and some interesting analyses here - only a few of which appear below
- includes links to over two dozen tables (Tables 352-911) with info on federal contributions under the Canada Assistance Plan (CAP) and the Canada Health and Social Transfer (CHST) to the cost of provincial and territorial welfare programs.
NOTE: for more info about CAP, the CHST and the Canada Social Transfer (CST, which replaced the CHST in April 2004), see the Canada Assistance Plan / Canada Health and Social Transfer / Canada Social Transfer Resources page of this site:

A few sample tables:

Table 360
Total Federal-Provincial Cost-Shared Program Expenditures, 1978-79 to 1999-2000
NOTE: Table 360 traces the evolution/devolution of transfers under the Canada Assistance Plan (in dollars) from 1976 to 1999. No new claims were paid out under CAP after the Canada Health and Social Transfer came into effect in April 1996; amounts shown as CAP expenditures for the fiscal years after 1995-96 are final settlements with each jurisdiction for all outstanding commitments by the federal government.

Table 361
Canada Assistance Plan (CAP) - Number of Beneficiaries of General Assistance (including dependants), as of March 31, 1979 to 1996
- This is a key table for research on welfare programs - welfare dependency statistics by jurisdiction over the years. These are the final, definitive numbers.

Table 362
Total Federal-Provincial Cost-Shared Expenditures for General Assistance, by Province/Territory, 1978-79 to 1995-96
- this table should be of special interest for welfare historians and number-crunchers - it shows exactly when Canadian government spending on welfare (by the federal and provincial/territorial governments) started looking a little fuzzier. When the feds imposed the cap on CAP (max. 5% annual increase in total CAP payments) in Ontario, Alberta and BC in the early 1990s, those three provinces stopped reporting how much of their CAP dollars were going to welfare (vs. other CAP components covered under the same federal contribution). Table 362 shows that as of 1991-92, the federal contribution to those three provinces for General Assistance appears as "n/a" - so it's been impossible to produce a national figure since then. Unless, of course, one wanders over into the minefield of provincial government welfare statistics, where welfare programs (and related expenditures) have undergone a major transformation. If you *do* want to check out welfare stats for each Canadian jurisdiction, your best starting point is the Key Welfare Links Page of this website - - which includes links to welfare stats in each province and territory where they're available.

Table 434
Total Federal Payments under CAP, 1978-79 to 1999-2000
[The note under table 360 also applies to this table. ]

Table 435
Number of Beneficiaries (including dependants) of Provincial and Municipal Social Assistance, as of March 31, 1997 to 2003

Table 438
Provincial and Municipal Social Assistance Program Expenditures, 1980-81 to 2002-03

Table 526
Provincial and Territorial Children's Benefits and Earned Income Supplements, Expenditures for Fiscal years 1978-79 to 2002-03

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
Dept. name changed to Employment and Social Development Canada

Archive source:

Official Source:
Collections Canada --- BROKEN LINK!
[Library and Archives Canada]



Annie's Garden Pics


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During December 2011, Gilles' CLOSETCAM page was viewed 38 times,
and the CLOSETCAM Archive page was viewed 28 times.


Personal Photos

(sorry, no nudes - go here for the only nude on this site - and no, it AIN'T me.)
NOTE: I had some of the links to my photos on this page, but I've decided to keep the personal photos (of me) together on a single page. Go here to see my Toque Tuesday toque, my St. Christopher House T-shirt, my smoking cessation acupuncture photo, my $32.50 fish, etc...

Ode to Traductors
iconIf you're curious about my web experience, see my Web Authoring Tools page - I've included links to some of the web resources that I use. Light on the techno-babble, mostly links and leftovers picked up during my trip up the Internet learning curve...
How Stuff Works
The Middle-Aged Guy's Secret Guide to everything from air conditioners to Van de Graaff generators. A treasure trove of links to information about everything under the sun - or just about.
Makes me feel like a kid again, taking Dad's electric razor apart... 

Everyone should plan a visit to this site - I guarantee you'll find something to pique your curiosity. 
Procrastination Research Groups
- Here's a link to the real group at Carleton University in Ottawa (I found this while I was procrastinating about something else) 
-Here's a link to the Ottawa-Carleton Procrastination Group (I'm the Chairperson, webmaster and only member - I haven't gotten around to asking people to join...)
Thinking of moving to ROGERS@HOME?
See my Rogers@Home Adventure page
(I don't update this page anymore; I created it late in 1998 and I just saved it for "historical" purposes)
Gilles' Culinary Pages!!
1. My Culinary Guru's Philosophy
2. My Favourite Recipes
Links, Musings and Silly Stuff
My original home page
November 1997
it's, its - WHATEVER.

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Site launched November 13, 1997