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The agreement that governs federal funding for social programs in Canada isn’t working. That’s the conclusion of a review undertaken by CUPE, three years after the Social Union Framework Agreement was signed.
In a submission to the federal government, CUPE says that under the agreement between the federal, provincial and territorial governments, existing social programs have been devastated and it’s harder than ever to establish new programs.
Rather than promoting social equity and fairness among Canadians, the erosion of social spending on health care, income security and education has hurt women, children, the poor and marginalized communities.
In its brief, CUPE calls for enforceable national standards for social programs. As well, it urges the federal government to play a leadership role, restoring and expanding funding for social programs, including child care, and putting a halt to the privatization of services.
It also calls for new mechanisms to ensure greater transparency, equity and accountability for social spending, with firm commitments the provinces will cost-share key programs.
In the coming weeks, CUPE’s brief will be sent to provincial governments, calling on them to support reforms that will ensure full funding for social programs.
To review CUPE’s brief and recommendations, visit cupe.ca.