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The Politics of Minimum Income Protection in the Canadian Provinces

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 March 2020

Alain Noël*
Affiliation:
Département de science politique, Université de Montréal, C.P. 6128, succursale Centre-ville, Montréal, H3C 3J7, alain.noel@umontreal.ca

Abstract

This article compares social assistance incomes, or minimum income protection, for four household types in the 10 Canadian provinces between 1990 and 2017 and relates these incomes to a number of factors, including partisan dominance over time, trade union density, the presence or absence of poverty reduction strategies, provincial social expenditures, overall redistribution efforts, debt service costs and social assistance recipiency rates. In line with findings for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) welfare states, partisan politics does not play a strong role but, as power resources theory predicts, union density and a province's overall redistribution efforts do. Social assistance recipiency rates, which capture the salience of social assistance incomes in a province, also have a significant, positive impact on welfare incomes, confirming the “welfare paradox” identified by Ivar Lødemel. Poverty reduction strategies, however, do not, and they even have a negative influence on welfare incomes.

Résumé

Résumé

Cet article compare les revenus d'assistance sociale, ou le soutien financier minimal, pour quatre ménages types dans dix provinces canadiennes de 1990 à 2017, et il associe ces revenus à différents facteurs, incluant la prévalence d'un parti politique dans le temps, la densité syndicale, la présence ou l'absence de stratégie de réduction de la pauvreté, les dépenses sociales provinciales, les efforts provinciaux de redistribution, les coûts du service de la dette, et les taux de recours à l'aide sociale. Conformément aux résultats obtenus pour les pays de l'OCDE, la politique partisane ne joue pas un rôle significatif, mais comme le prédit la théorie des ressources du pouvoir, la densité syndicale et l'effort provincial de redistribution importent. Le taux de recours à l'aide sociale, qui indique l'importance des revenus d'aide sociale pour une province, a également un impact positif significatif, confirmant le « paradoxe de l'aide sociale » identifié par Lødemel. Les stratégies de réduction de la pauvreté, en revanche, n'ont pas un effet positif sur les revenus d'aide sociale.

Type
Research Article/Étude originale
Copyright
Copyright © Canadian Political Science Association (l'Association canadienne de science politique) and/et la Société québécoise de science politique 2020

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