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Social Poverty and Anti-poverty Policies

Author: GeYin
Tutor: YangLingXia
School: Nankai University
Course: World History
Keywords: Canada anti-poverty policies Canada Assistance Plan poverty socialwelfare
CLC: D632.1
Type: PhD thesis
Year: 2012
Downloads: 57
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Abstract


The Dominion of Canada is one of the most developed industrial countries in theworld. It has great economic strength, and its citizens usually live prosperously.However, as all the other countries, there have always been some Canadians living in asituation of poverty. Since the founding of Dominion, Canadian governments havebeen dealing poverty problem with all kinds of social policies, especially anti-povertypolicies, to provide social assistance for its poor citizens. These policies have beeneffective, but still have certain defects.This dissertation focuses on the social poverty problem and the making process ofgovernmental anti-poverty policies in Canada in1950s and1960s. During this period,Canadian social policy had been extended; the welfare state had also been establishedand developed with notable progresses. There had been a number of improvements inCanadian anti-poverty policy sphere, the most important one of which was theintroduction of Canada Assistance Plan in1966. It is one of the most importantfederal measures aiming at solving social poverty, and has caused great impact on thedevelopment of modern Canadian welfare state and its public policy system. Themaking process of this Plan will be the main concern of this dissertation.Before discussion on the policy making process, this dissertation will describe theearly evolution of Canadian anti-poverty measures since the colonial era, to explorethe policy background of the establishment of Canada Assistance Plan. It will alsoinspect the extent and charactors of the social poverty problem in Canada in1950s and1960s, to explore the social context of the the establishment of Canada Assistance Plan.By examing relative statistics and data, this dissertation will prove that, in1950s and1960s, there were certain number of poor people living in Canada, and the everexisting social inequity had been arosing the attention of Canadian society andgovernments.After certain analysis about policy making procedures, this dissertation willdiscuss the making process of Canada Assistance Plan, which includes a series of policy changes during the period between1958and1966. The most crucialelements for us to explain the complicated policy making process would be thefrequent communication and active interaction among Canadian federal and provincialgovernments and among different federal departments.We will notice that there were several important political and institutionalcharacters showed in this policy making process. First of all, it showed a kind ofmode that can be described as "incrementalism", as most of the reform achievementshad been formed by series of smaller changes of policies. Second, during the policymaking process, Canadian federal and provincial governments cooperated andcompeted wth each other,"bargaining" with each other through certain strategies andtactics. On one side, policy demands from the provinces promoted the makingprocess of Canada Assistance Plan; on the other side, the federal Department of Healthand Welfare actively collected provincial opinions, integrated them, and fixed thedetails of future anti-poverty policy. Third, welfare officials who was them workingin governments played a very important role in the policy making process by workingout the specific policy details, which means that welfare professonals actually hadmore and more effect on public policy decisions during that era. Totally speaking, theanti-poverty policy reform in1950s and1960s had been reflecting the crucialcharactors of Canadian "liberal welfare state".The purpose of research in this dissertation is not only to inspect the policymaking process. The evolution of Canadian anti-poverty policies in1950s and1960s was complicated, formed under the operation of many actors or organizations,reflecting social, economic, political, institutional and ideological characters ofCanada. The purpose of our discussion about policy making process is to discoverthe fundamental factors that had been promoting or blocking the innovation ofCanadian anti-poverty policies during this period, and to explain the policy changesfrom political and institutional aspects.

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