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2006 OECD Economic Surveys: Canada 2006

image of OECD Economic Surveys: Canada 2006

This 2006 edition of OECD's periodic survey of Canada's economy finds strong economic performance but cautions that to maintain this performance, productivity must be increased and social policies must be put on a sustainable path.  After reviewing recent economic developments, the Survey examines the business environment including taxation, product market competition, and capital markets.  It then takes a look at the state of innovation, Canada's innovation strategy, and how to leverage innovation to improve economic performance.  A chapter on fiscal policy and federal-provincial arrangements finds equalisation transfers need to be revamped and that the federal government should step back from trying to steer in areas of provincial responsibility.  The final chapter takes a detailed look at social welfare programmes.

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Social Policies

From Social Welfare to Social Development

This chapter reviews recent changes that have been introduced to improve the welfare mix of social policies in Canada and suggests further adjustments to raise their efficiency. Family policies need to be redesigned to lower the disincentives to work they currently embody, particularly for low-income earners. Social programmes need to shift their focus from short-term intervention to high quality skill-upgrading. Social and economic inclusion of the Aboriginal population and recent immigrants could be accelerated by tailored measures, while programmes for disadvantaged children and at-risk families could be further developed. Access to early education and childcare services could be facilitated for young children and especially, low-income families. As the population ages, making it easier for older workers to remain in the labour force will also be beneficial.

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