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

Raison d'être

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:

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

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

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