Where Do We Go From Here?
It has taken a long time for Canadians to recognize that when they took on a commitment to collectivism in the 1940s it was a complicated and difficult move. They had a simplistic view of what sharing meant in those days and they had underestimated how difficult it would be to organize a collectivist society.
In earlier chapters an attempt has been made to trace the way in which ideas about sharing resources changed from focussing only on financial redistribution, to considering how to enhance the citizenship rights of disadvantaged Canadians. Before that, however, in considering financial redistribution policies, the changes in the political salience of the different social divisions of welfare was also explored — how much weight to put on social minimum, universal or revenue foregone policies. And there was some discussion of Canada's attempts to adjust to changes in the global economic situation by shifting resources away from basic income support to job creation and job retraining programs. 1
The increasing complexity of ideas about the purposes of a welfare state (or welfare society) has, it would appear, reduced commitment to sharing in some provincial jurisdictions though there have always been differences across provinces in that commitment. Alberta and Ontario are anxious to privatize a number of services in the previously accepted public areas of universal medical and hospital care and post-secondary education, and these two provinces have reduced income support programs as far as they possibly____________________