Social Fabric or Patchwork Quilt

The Development of Social Policy in Canada

Edited by Raymond B. Blake & Jeffrey Keshen
Categories: Political Science
Publisher: University of Toronto Press
Paperback : 9781551115443, 538 pages, April 2006

Table of contents


I: Beginnings

Chapter 1
Saving for a Rainy Day: Social Security in Late Nineteenth-Century and Early Twentieth-Century Canada
Dennis T. Guest

Chapter 2
Blood on the Factory Floor: The Workers' Compensation Movement in Canada and the United States
Robert H. Babcock

Chapter 3
"In the Interests of the Children": Mothers' Allowances and the Origins of Income Security in Ontario, 1917-1930
James Struthers

Chapter 4 
Scandal and Social Policy: The Ideal Maternity Home and the Evolution of Social Policy in Nova Scotia, 1940-1951
Karen Balcom

Chapter 5 
"Forward to a Farm": Land Settlement as Unemployment Relief in the 1930s
Dawn S.  Bowen

Chapter 6 
History According to the Boucher Report: Some Reflections on the State and Social Welfare in Quebec before the Quiet Revolution
B. L. Vigod

Chapter 7 
A New Taxpayer for a New State: Charitable Fundraising and the Origins of the Welfare State
Shirley Tillotson

II: Triumph to Reform

Chapter 8 
A New Beginning: "The Veteran's Charter"
Jeffrey A. Keshen  

Chapter 9 
In the Children's Interest? Change and Continuity in a Century of Canadian Social Welfare Initiatives for Children
Raymond B. Blake

Chapter 10
Income Maintenance, Insurance Principles, and the "Liberal 1960s": Canada's Unemployment Insurance Program, 1961-1971
L. Richard Lund

Chapter 11
Integrating the Inuit: Social Work Practice in the Eastern Arctic, 1955-1963
Frank James Tester

Chapter 12
First Nations Child and Family Services, 1982-1992: Facing the Realities
Peter Hudson and Sharon Taylor-Henley

Chapter 13
Eroding Canadian Social Welfare: The Mulroney Legacy, 1984-1993
Patricia Evans

Chapter 14
The Rise of Chain Nursing Homes in Ontario, 1971-1996  
Joel A. C. Baum

Chapter 15
Access to Physician Services in Quebec: Relative Influence of Household Income and Area of Residence 
Francois Rivest, Pascal Bosse, Silviu Nedelca, and Alain Simard

III: New Realities in Social Security

Chapter 16
The Social Policy Divide: The Welfare State in Canada and the United States
Keith Banting  

Chapter 17
Current Issues Surrounding Poverty and Welfare Programming in Canada: Two Reviews
Garson Hunter and Dionne Miazdyck

Chapter 18
Tilting Toward Marketization: Reform of the Canadian Pension Plan
Glenn Drover

Chapter 19
Canadian Disability Policy: Still a Hit-and-Miss Affair
Michael J. Prince

Chapter 20
Employment Benefits for Same-Sex Couples: The Expanding Entitlement
Donald D. Carter

Chapter 21
Three Choices for the Future of Medicare
Gregory P. Marchildon  

Chapter 22
How Will the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and Evolving Jurisprudence Affect Health-Care Costs?
Donna Greschner

Chapter 23
The Contribution of the Social Economy to Social Policy: Lessons from Quebec
Yves Vaillancourt, Francois Aubry, Louise Tremblay, Muriel Kearney, and Luc Theriault



Both historical and contemporary features of Canadian social welfare are explored in this wide-ranging and in-depth collection. Social Fabric or Patchwork Quilt explores the evolution of the Canadian social welfare state from a system based upon voluntarism and philanthropy to one in which the State’s involvement has increased considerably. It also shows how the roles of governments at all levels have changed in recent times.

Chapters describe the developing Canadian welfare state from Confederation to the present.  Beginning with an integrative framework in the general introduction, the selected essays represent many perspectives: chronological, regional, multidisciplinary and ideological. An important feature of this collection is the consideration of providers and recipients. Such wide-ranging outlooks are possible given the diverse backgrounds of contributors, which include historians, sociologists, social workers, public policy experts and political scientists. As well as historical and sociological studies, topics include key programs (discussed in detail), the quality of services received by principal target groups, new directions in research; some contributions even revisit foundational older works and key government documents.