Canada now: Our country re-imagined
International experts gather in Montreal to re-examine nation's social policy blueprint.
Men, women and children of Canada take note — our country's social fabric has drastically evolved since the last century.
More and more Canadians are newcomers or first-generation. The birth rate is dropping. People are living longer and often alone. One minimum wage salary can no longer support most families. Indeed, most Canadian households are double-income. Job security is rare. Breadwinners are likely to change careers several times in their lifetime. More of us live in cities — especially the poor. These new realities were not part of the landscape when Canada issued its Report on Social Security in 1943.
Sixty years later, academics, policy makers and politicians, including the Honourable Ken Dryden, Minister of Social Development, are gathering in Montreal for a pivotal conference this week, organized by the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada (MISC) and Social Development Canada. The conference will enable experts to review our country's basic foundations and ask: Do Canada's social programs need to be revised to reflect the nation's new realities? Find out by attending "New Century, New Risks: Challenges for Social Development in Canada":
- When: All day, from 8 am, November 18 and 19, 2004
- Where: Omni Mont-Royal Hotel (1050 Sherbrooke St. W, Montreal)
- Conference program: www.misc-iecm.mcgill.ca/social
All media wishing to attend must contact Sylvain-Jacques Desjardins, McGill communications officer and media advisor, at 514-398-6752.
Antonia Maioni, director of the McGill Insitute for the Study of Canada, stresses that this conference is timely because Canada's safety net needs patching. "All levels of government are rethinking their responsibilities in terms of social policy, which is an important part of what governments do for their citizens," she says.
Just how Canada needs to manage its social development programs in a globalizing world will be initially examined by Tom Kent, a senior policy advisor to then Canadian Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson when many of our country's current social welfare programs were put into place. Kent precedes the conferences with his James R. Mallory Lecture entitled "Socio-Economic Policy in Federal Canada: A Contemporary Focus":
- When: 5 pm, Wednesday, November 17
- Where: McGill Faculty Club (3450 McTavish St.)