Government of Canada Commitments Related to Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

The Government of Canada has made commitments through the mandate letters to Ministers that support the protection and enjoyment of the economic, social and cultural rights of Canadians.

All the mandate letters underscore collaboration with provinces and territories and a renewed relationship with Indigenous Peoples.

Mandate letter commitments that relate to economic, social and cultural rights include:


  • Develop a National Disabilities Act
  • Develop a Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy
  • Develop and implement a federal gender violence strategy and action plan
  • Develop monitoring and reporting processes to ensure that the government’s senior appointments are merit-based and demonstrate gender parity
  • Growing and maintaining Canada’s network of shelters and transition houses (domestic violence)
  • Re-establish the federal government’s role in supporting affordable housing
  • Design and implement the new Canada Child Benefit
  • Improve income security of lower income seniors
  • Develop a National Early Learning and Childcare Framework (work with provinces and territories)


  • Support the work of reconciliation to implement recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, starting with the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
  • Undertake an inquiry into murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls in Canada
  • Make significant new investments in First Nations education to ensure that First Nations children on reserve receive a quality education while respecting the principle of First Nations control of First Nations education
  • Establish a new fiscal relationship that lifts the 2% cap on annual funding increases and moves towards sufficient, predictable and sustained funding for First Nations communities
  • Promote, preserve and enhance Indigenous languages and cultures
  • Address gaps in services to Indigenous people and those with mental illness throughout the criminal justice system
  • Renew and improve the Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy
  • Promote economic development and create jobs for Indigenous peoples
  • Expand the Nutrition North Program


  • Double the number of entry applications for parents and grandparents of immigrants to 10,000 a year
  • Increase the maximum age for dependents to 22, from 19, to allow more Canadians to bring their children to Canada
  • Bring forward a proposal regarding permanent residency for new spouses entering Canada
  • Fully restore the Interim Federal Health Program that provides limited and temporary health benefits to refugees and refugee claimants
  • Establish an expert human rights panel to help you determine designated countries of origin, and provide a right to appeal refugee decisions for citizens from these countries
  • Repeal provisions in the Citizenship Act that give the government the right to strip citizenship from dual nationals


  • Develop a suicide prevention strategy for Canadian Armed Forces personnel and veterans
  • Develop a new multi-year Health Accord (work with Provinces and territories)
  • Promote public health
  • Develop a coordinated national action plan on post-traumatic stress disorder (work with Provinces and territories)
  • Develop a food policy that promotes health living and safe food
  • Physician-assisted death (response to Supreme Court Decision)

Open and Democratic Society

  • Develop a modernized regulatory and legal framework governing the Charitable and Not-for-Profit sectors
  • Allow charities to “do their work”; modernise the rules governing the charitable and not-for-profit sectors/political activity


  • Develop a Social Finance and Social Enterprise strategy
  • Improve the Employment Insurance system (incl. eliminating discrimination against immigrants, younger workers and parent re-entering the workforce; reduce wait times for new recipients)
  • Implement the middle-class tax cut
  • Enhance the Canada Pension Plan (work with Provinces and territories)
  • Encourage an increase in the number of women in senior decision-making positions and on boards in Canada

Education and Training

  • Improve access to job training
  • Develop a framework for funding training facilities delivered in partnership with labour unions
  • Make post-secondary education more affordable (work with Provinces and territories)
  • Increase annual support to the Post-Secondary Student Support Program


  • Restore a fair and balanced approach to organized labour by repealing Bills C-377 and C-525 and implement a modern Fair Wages Policy
  • Amend the Canada Labour Code to allow formal requests for flexible work arrangements (consult with provinces and territories)
  • More generous and flexible leave for caregivers and more flexible parental leave
  • Ensure federal institutions are workplaces free from harassment and sexual violence
  • Enhance compensation benefits for public safety officers


  • Restore and increase funding for CBC/Radio-Canada
  • Double investments in the Canada Council for the Arts
  • Increase funding for Telefilm Canada and the National Film Board
  • Increase funding for the Young Canada Works program (heritage sector)
  • Make new investments in cultural infrastructure
  • Develop a new multi-year Official Languages plan
  • Free, online service for learning and retaining English and French as second languages
  • Ensure delivery of federal services in full compliance with the Official Languages Act Program
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