Raison d’être, mandate and role: who we are and what we do

From: Employment and Social Development Canada

Raison d’être

The mission of Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), including the Labour Program and Service Canada, is to build a stronger and more inclusive Canada, to help Canadians live productive and rewarding lives and to improve Canadians’ quality of life.

Mandate and role

ESDC delivers programs and services to each and every Canadian throughout their lives in a significant capacity. ESDC fulfills its mission by:

  1. developing policies that ensure Canadians can use their talents, skills and resources to participate in learning, work and their community
  2. delivering programs that help Canadians move through life’s transitions, from school to work, from one job to another, from unemployment to employment, from the workforce to retirement
  3. providing income support to seniors, families with children and those unemployed due to job loss, illness or caregiving responsibilities
  4. helping Canadians with distinct needs such as Indigenous people, persons with disabilities, homeless people, travelers and recent immigrants
  5. ensuring labour relations stability through the provision of dispute prevention and resolution services
  6. promoting fair, safe and healthy workplace conditions, promoting decent work and employment equity, and fostering respect for international labour standards
  7. delivering programs and services on behalf of other departments and agencies

Included in these core roles are responsibilities for the design and delivery of some well-known Government of Canada programs and services:

  • Old Age Security
  • the Canada Pension Plan
  • Employment Insurance
  • the Canada Student Loans Program and Canada Apprentice Loans
  • the Canada Education Savings Program
  • the Wage Earner Protection Program
  • Passport Services

For more information on the department’s organizational mandate letters commitments, see the Ministers’ mandate letters.

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