New Century, New Risks: Challenges for Social Development in Canada (NCNR)

Venue: Hotel Omni Mont-Royal

Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Event Date/Time: Nov 18, 2004 End Date/Time: Nov 19, 2004
Registration Date: Nov 16, 2004
Early Registration Date: Oct 31, 2004
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At the beginning of the 21st century, countries are examining the effectiveness of their social architecture for responding to new social risks related to changes in family structure, the aging population and the changing labour market. Canada’s social architecture was designed to respond to social risks facing the population as a whole, in keeping with McGill professor Leonard Marsh’s observation that social “needs are always present at some place in the community or among the population” (Report on Social Security for Canada, 1943). Today, new social risks intersect an increasingly diverse Canadian population and a political environment in which the roles and responsibilities of different levels of government are shifting. What challenges will these changes raise for designing a new social architecture for Canada?

This conference will examine the new social risks facing Canadians, highlighting the particular social development challenges that arise in a country defined by diversity. Some of the questions to be addressed include:
• What risks do Canadians face in today’s labour market?
• Are new family structures creating new challenges for Canadian families?
• What are the current risks of social exclusion in Canada?

The conference will also consider the effects of changing political contexts in Canada for governing a new social architecture. Conference speakers will consider:
• How can different orders of government develop a coordinated response to the spatial concentration of social problems in cities?
• What can be done to share innovative solutions to social problems developed by Canada’s communities?
• How can civil society organizations participate more fully in policy discussions relating to social development?
• What can the rest of Canada learn from the new social architecture that has emerged in Quebec?

Two recent and significant contributions to the debate on a new social architecture in Canada will be profiled at the conference, that of the Canadian Policy Research Networks (CPRN) and the Canadian Council on Social Development (CCSD). Other important perspectives will also be represented, such as the Laboratoire de recherche sur les pratiques et les politiques (LAREPPS).

Conference participants will be able to debate social challenges and social policy directions through panel discussions and breakout sessions. Participants will come from a range of sectors to engage in a dynamic and constructive exchange of views and opinions: social science researchers, policymakers, social policy stakeholders, members of the voluntary sector and the social economy, and concerned citizens.

Questions that will shape the content of plenary and breakout sessions include:
1. What are the new social risks facing Canadians?
2. What are some of the emerging directions in social policy for the 21st century?
3. How are governments responding to new risks and how do we measure their progress?
4. Who should be engaged in implementing practical responses to social problems on the ground?


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Additional Information

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