Raison d’être, mandate and role: who we are and what we do
The mission of Employment and Social Development Canada, including the Labour Program and Service Canada, is to build a stronger and more inclusive Canada, to support Canadians in helping them live productive and rewarding lives and to improve Canadians' quality of life.
Mandate and role
The department delivers a range of programs and services that affect Canadians throughout their lives. The department provides seniors with basic income security, supports unemployed workers, helps students finance their post-secondary education and assists parents who are raising young children. The Labour Program contributes to social and economic well-being by fostering safe, healthy, fair and inclusive work environments and cooperative workplace relations in the federal jurisdiction. Service Canada engages with millions of Canadians each year to provide a range of government services and information online, by phone and in person.
To fulfill its mission, the department is responsible for:
- developing policies that ensure all Canadians can use their talents, skills and resources to participate in learning, work and their community
- delivering programs that help Canadians move through life's transitions, from school to work, from one job to another, from unemployment to employment and from the workforce to retirement
- providing income support to seniors, families with children and Employment Insurance beneficiaries
- fostering inclusive growth by providing opportunity and assistance to Canadians with distinct needs, such as Indigenous peoples, people with disabilities, homeless people and recent immigrants
- overseeing labour relations, occupational health and safety, labour standards, employment equity and workers' compensation in the federal jurisdiction
- delivering programs and services for other departments and agencies, such as Passport services delivered on behalf of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and services to veterans delivered for Veterans Affairs Canada
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 and Grants and Canada Apprentice Loans Program
- the Canada Education Savings Program
- the Wage Earner Protection Program
- Passport Services
For more information on the department's organizational mandate letter commitments, see the Ministers' mandate letters.
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