Canada and OECD reaffirm that everyone should contribute and benefit from growth
May 15, 2018 Montreal, Quebec Employment and Social Development Canada
Globalization, advances in technology and shifting demographics are creating opportunities and challenges for our countries.
That’s why over the last 2 days, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos chaired alongside Secretary General Angel Gurría, the OECD Social Policy Forum and Ministerial meeting that gathered ministers and officials from 35 countries to work together to ensure social policies are forward-looking and benefit everyone.
Minister Duclos shared with ministers, Canadian and international representatives from the business sector, trade unions, academia and civil society some of the important initiatives Canada is putting in place to help the middle class, and those working hard to join it. Minister Duclos noted how the Canada Child Benefit, the National Housing Strategy, and the Canada Workers Benefit are important tools to support Canadians and build confidence so that growth can benefit all Canadians. Countries stressed how important it is to listen to citizens’ concerns and develop policies that will respond to their needs.
Canada’s recent experience in engaging with citizens, particularly those who are underrepresented and marginalized groups such as immigrants, Indigenous people, people with disabilities, youth, women, seniors and the LGBTQ2 community, demonstrates how governments can achieve better decision-making and create policies and programs that better support citizens to fully participate in society. The discussions of the OECD Social Policy Forum and Ministerial Meeting demonstrated a strong consensus in favour of inclusion, where all people can benefit from growth, but also have the opportunity to contribute to growth.
There was broad recognition that the challenges arising from the accelerated pace of change can no longer be addressed by unilateral or “one size fits all” approaches. Success will also depend on partnerships across governments and sectors to develop innovative solutions that achieve positive outcomes for everyone.
The Ministerial meeting concluded with ministers endorsing a statement that sets a vision and a way forward for OECD countries to put people at the centre of social policies. This vision aligns with the 2030 UN Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals, which aim to eradicate poverty, reduce inequality and leave no one behind.
“Canada is proud to support, with the collaboration of many other countries, OECD’s agenda that favours growth that benefits everyone. Our government believes and has taken concrete actions for a society and policies that give all Canadians a real and fair chance to succeed and to contribute to the development of our communities.”
– The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
“The social policies of yesterday will not work for the economic realities of tomorrow. We can, and must, work together to design, develop and deliver better policies for better lives in the changing world of work. The 2018 OECD Social Policy Forum and Ministerial Meeting in Montreal have been an important step in building the social policies of the future. The leadership shown by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Canadian government on social policies that benefit everyone is an inspiration to other OECD members.”
– Angel Gurría, Secretary General of the OECD
- For the first time ever, the OECD Social Policy Forum and Ministerial Meeting took place outside of Paris. This meeting is held every 5 to 7 years.
- On May 14, the Social Policy Forum brought together more than 350 participants, including ministers responsible for social policy, and Canadian and international representatives from the business sector, trade unions, academia and civil society.
- On May 15, ministers from the 35 OECD countries met to discuss how they can work together to ensure everyone, including people from vulnerable groups, like youth, people with disabilities, seniors, Indigenous people, people from the LGBTQ2 community and women have a real and fair chance to succeed.
- In the spirit of promoting social innovation in our communities, the Government of Canada and the OECD collaborated with a number of Canadian social enterprise organizations. Governments can make a difference by supporting these organizations that make a difference in their communities every day.
- During the 2018 OECD Social Policy Forum and Ministerial Meeting, the OECD released the results of their Risks That Matter Survey. The OECD conducted a cross-national survey of people’s perceptions of social and economic risks, opportunities and public policy preferences. The survey provides insight as to how well governments are responding to citizens’ needs and expectations in social policy design and implementation. People were asked to rank different social and economic risks in the short term (the next year or two) and in the long term (beyond the next 10 years).
Office of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
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Employment and Social Development Canada