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Description found in Archives
Place of creation
No place, unknown, or undetermined
Added language of material: French
Scope and content
Fonds consists of records created and/or maintained by the Ministry of State for Social Development and its predecessors. Researchers are cautioned that unprocessed textual records and records in other media are not reflected in this description.
Copyright belongs to the Crown.
Finding aids are available. See lower level descriptions and accession records in ArchiviaNet (the NA website). (Other)
Biography / Administrative history
The Ministry of State for Social Development (MSSD) was created under the authority of the Ministries and Ministers of State Act by virtue of Order-in-Council P.C. 1980-1692 of 19 June 1980. Under the direction of the first Minister of State for Social Development, the Hon. Jean Chrétien, the Ministry was to formulate and develop "new and comprehensive policies in relation to the activities of the Government of Canada that affect the welfare of the individual and social development." MSSD was designed to ensure the integration of all programmes and activities within the Government of Canada which support individual welfare and the "fostering of cooperative relationships with the provinces, and with the public and private organizations to secure conditions that allow and assist the fulfilment of human rights, aspirations, and the requirements of social justice."
Within this broad mandate, the Ministry had several specific tasks. It was to assist the Cabinet Committee on Social Development (CCSD) in the latter's preparation of strategic plans and priorities for the social sector; to coordinate the development of policy proposals across the departments and agencies which made up the Social Affairs and Justice and Legal "envelopes"; to coordinate the review/evaluation of existing social programmes with regards to the Committee's designated priorities; and to ensure the effective management of the envelopes' financial resources.
The Ministry was composed of 3 main branches. The Finance and Coordination Branch concentrated its work on policy planning to assist the CCSD to identify, develop, plan and implement strategic priorities, and to coordinate the advice and analysis which was offered to the Committee. The Branch also handled expenditure management, including the policy reserve, and managed "inter-envelope issues," such as social issues related to economic development. This latter activity involved cooperation with the Department of Finance, the Treasury Board Secretariat, and the Minister of State for Economic and Regional Development.
The Program Delivery Branch assessed policy proposals sent to the CCSD and prepared "Assessment Reports" in the areas of Culture and Immigration, Justice and Legal, Indian and Northern Affairs, and Health, Housing and Environment, which were circulated to all Committee members. The Branch also managed the development of strategies for priority issues such as aboriginal rights.
The Income Support and Transfer Payments Branch had a similar responsibility to that of the Program Delivery Branch. However, its activities were concentrated in the areas of: occupational training, job creation, and unemployment insurance; direct transfers and income support programmes which included public and private pensions, Family Allowance and other benefits for the family (daycare subsidies, deductions for child care expenses, and social policy tax expenditures); and intergovernmental transfers such as the Established Programs Financing (for post-secondary education, and health insurance), and the Canada Assistance Plan for social assistance and services.
On 10 September 1982, Senator Jacob (Jack) Austin was appointed Minister of State for Social Development. The Ministry continued under his direction until it was abolished by Order-in-Council PC 3037 of 31 August 1984.
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