Michael Mendelson of the recently closing Caledon Institute http://www.caledoninst.org/ lays out a vision of a new agency to build upon the history of councils working on social welfare.
…Today the National Council of Welfare is gone. The Canadian
Council on Social Development barely exists, limping along with little
national presence. These two core national agencies, which provided a
prominent voice for ‘social Canada,’ are no longer heard. At the same
time, many other national groups that were important to social policy
have also disappeared, such as the Economic Council of Canada. As of
November 2017, the Caledon Institute of Social Policy, to which this author
is affiliated and which has been critical in developing many practical
social policy innovations over the last two and a half decades (most notably
the child benefit system introduced by the new Trudeau government),
will also close up shop.
WHAT WE NEED NOW
For Canada to remain a nation that aspires to protect our most
vulnerable citizens while providing equal opportunity for all, we cannot
stand still in the face of the challenges to come. We must evolve and
adapt our social security and development systems to the reality of the
world around us. This is not a task for government alone. Business,
labor, media, religious and Indigenous organizations and many others in
both our economic life and our civil society must play a role.
What Canada is missing is an ‘institutional’ national agency,
which can bring together the many and varied elements of civil society,
government and others towards continuously assessing, improving and
adapting our nation’s social infrastructure to ever-changing circumstances.
But neither the National Council of Welfare nor the Canadian Council
on Social Development as they were established would be suitable for
today’s needs. …