Canada’s social safety nets are failing. 12 social impact leaders share bold ideas to reimagine them.

The federal budget is being tabled today. Is this a moment for transforming our social supports?

Why It Matters

Oppressed communities have been hardest hit — health-wise, economically, and socially — by the pandemic. Many in the world of impact say this fact represents a failure of our social safety nets and an opportunity for a radical reimagination to help Canadians flourish.

All eyes in the social impact world are on the federal government today as it tables its 2021 budget. 

Since the last federal budget back in March 2020, much has been illuminated about the ways oppressed and vulnerable communities are failed by Canadian systems of social services and supports. 

Could 2021 be the year for a major transformation in our social safety nets? If history is an indication, it could be. The federal government introduced Old Age Security following Word War I. And Employment Insurance materialized in the midst of World War II, after the Great Depression.  

We asked 11 leaders in the world of social impact what they hope to see this time around: given what’s been illuminated the past year, how should our social safety net transform? Here’s what they told us: 


Abdullah Snobar | Executive director, Ryerson

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