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Federal legislation, passed in 1966 and considered by many as a keystone of the Canadian welfare state. The legislation required the federal government to shoulder half the cost of social programs undertaken by the provinces, chiefly social assistance (welfare programs). This policy enabled the federal government to set national standards for social programs and, backed by its right to withhold payments to provinces whose policies did not conform to federal standards, it was able to impose some consistency across the country. In 1991 the federal government imposed a limit on the funds it would pay out for social programs to more affluent provinces and this led to the situation where the federal government was paying only approximately one-third of the actual costs. In 1996 CAP was replaced by the Canada Health and Social Transfer program which combines federal funding for health, postsecondary education and welfare and transfers a designated amount of money to each province rather than transferring a percentage of actual costs. The replacement of the CAP was seen as the end of an era by many Canadians since it reduces the ability of the federal government to impose national standards and will lead to many provinces having to reduce their social programs to fit within the funds transferred under the Canada Health and Social Transfer program.

Last updated 2002--0-9-

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Athabaca University ICAAP

© Robert Drislane, Ph.D. and Gary Parkinson, Ph.D.
The online version of this dictionary is a product of
Athabasca University and

*This social science dictionary has 1000
entries covering the disciplines of sociology, criminology, political
science and women's study with a commitment to Canadian examples and
events and names