Human Resources Development Canada

The Department of Human Resources Development, also referred to as Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC), is a former department of the Government of Canada. It held responsibility for a wide portfolio of social services.

HRDC was created in 1993 by Prime Minister Kim Campbell's government in an attempt to decrease the size of the federal cabinet by grouping several departments with similar responsibilities. In the case of HRDC, the former Department of Employment and Immigration formed its nucleus.

HRDC's creation was probably the most enduring decision taken by Campbell's short-lived administration. The new department, however was poorly focused and had a wide range of institutional cultures from the merged bureaucracies; it also had one of the larger departmental budgets and a variety of responsibilities ranging from the Unemployment Insurance program to the issuance of Social Insurance Numbers and job training and counselling.

In the late 1990s, HRDC gained public headlines across Canada following numerous poorly-thought procurements, notably dozens of server computers using the Unix operating system, this despite the fact that the purchase far exceeded the department's computing requirements. Other problems relating to several incompatible email systems made HRDC a scapegoat for attacks on the government by opposition parties.

In 2000, HRDC's poor accounting practices were made infamous by the Canadian Alliance when it was claimed that approximately $1 billion (CAD) in employment grants could not be accounted for. Peter Donolo later claimed that this scandal was "phony" and the true amount unaccounted for was $85,000 [1]

HRDC was based at a government office facility at Place du Portage IV in Gatineau (formerly downtown Hull, Quebec).

HRDC was dissolved in a December 2003 government reorganization which saw two departments, the Department of Social Development and the Department of Human Resources and Skills Development created in its place. The two departments were re-amalgamated on February 6, 2006, though now named Human Resources and Social Development Canada.

See also


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