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The Welfare State and Social Systems

            The welfare state is defined as a social system in which a government is responsible for the economic and social welfare of its citizens and has policies to provide free health care, money for people without jobs; it is also a country that has such a system.1 From the 1930s to the early 2000s, the welfare state went through various stages of development. This development will be analyzed throughout this paper, with a specific focus on pensions, family allowances, and health care. .
             The Canadian welfare state began in 1927 with the launching of old age pensions. Old age pensions were the first federal-provincial program that shared costs between the two governments, and as a result of this, there were a few problems with the program. Like unemployment assistance during the Depression, the old age pensions "began as a three-way partnership among the federal, provincial, and local governments."2 "Pensions became an area where any real local autonomy was effectively terminated within four years of the scheme's inauguration."3 After 1931, Ottawa paid 75% of the costs of old age pensions, but still had little say in the administration of the program. The federal Department of Finance was extremely frustrated by the lack of administration they had over the program when they were paying for more than half of it.4 Pensions were also the " first major acceptance of responsibility for the aged but both the legislation and its administration embodied contradictory ideals."5 .
             Pensions were seen as a "right" or "reward" of citizenship for citizens over the age of 70 who were in need, and "also incorporated and increasingly refined the concept of parental maintenance, enshrined in Ontario's earlier Parents' Maintenance Act of 1921, which held children financially and legally responsible for the support of their aged mothers and fathers.

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