The Ideal, and the Realities, of the Canadian Welfare State


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Essay #: 072041
Total text length is 5,923 characters (approximately 4.1 pages).

Excerpts from the Paper

The beginning:
The Ideal, and the Realities, of the Canadian Welfare State
Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau’s comment, in an interview in 1972, that “the aim of man in society is not to work, it is to realize his own potential to the maximum” (Murphy 107) may arguably be best understood as reflecting the high point in the development of Canada’s welfare state. In fact, it may be argued that the Canadian welfare state began to “decline” only three years after this interview. In 1975 Trudeau’s own Liberal government introduced legislation cutting back Unemployment Insurance Benefits, with Trudeau’s Finance Minister reopening the old debate – 35 years after the founding of the unemployment insurance program – over whether the program promoted...
The end:
.....ed as a result of two linked factors - a traumatized public experience of the failure of capitalism in the Depression, together with an insecure and threatened Canadian business elite – also serves to explain why this welfare state declined in recent decades in the absence of these factors. This being said, the conclusion of this analysis is that, unfortunately, social progress and justice can only be achieved by struggle; a struggle in which social ideals, while admirable, are of secondary importance to a “relentless drive” for progressive activism and clearly defined social security benefits.
Murphy, Barbara. The Ugly Canadian: The Rise and Fall of a Caring
Society. Winnipeg, Manitoba: J. Gordon Shillingford
Publishing, 2010.