OTTAWA, ON – March 22, 2017 – The Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW) has long advocated for accountable social investments that would deliver a coordinated national plan to reduce poverty in Canada, supporting our most vulnerable to live with dignity and respect.
With the gender-based, long-term, and coordinated investments such as those in child care, family leave, mental health, homecare, and affordable housing, Budget 2017 has built on its 2016 commitments to children and seniors, appearing to deliver social investments and the national leadership required to lead us towards a stronger and more equitable Canada.
“We have been waiting for this Budget for over decade: consistently calling for coordinated federal social investments and national leadership in the social determinants of health,” states CASW President Jan Christianson-Wood, “and with Budget 2017 delivering many pieces of the equity puzzle, what is needed now is a national accountability framework to realize – and operationalize – the intentions behind the investments.”
Currently, Canada has no legislated accountability framework that governs the increased Canada Social Transfer and other national social investments included in Budget 2017. CASW advocates for the adoption of a Social Care Act that would guide social investments as the Canada Health Acts does for federal investments in health.
“From our perspective, a specific criticism of Budget 2017 is that is does not move forward a Basic Income targeted towards Canadian seniors,” notes Christianson-Wood, “with that said, the social investments in this budget appear to provide the stable long term funding that social workers have continually advocated to support the security all families deserve. We look forward to working with this government to ensure this funding is operationalized in an accountable and timely way.”
For further information:
Fred Phelps, MSW, RSW, CAE
CASW Executive Director