Social Union Framework Agreement

The Social Union Framework Agreement, or SUFA, was an agreement made in Canada in 1999 between Prime Minister Jean Chrétien and the premiers of the provinces and territories of Canada, save Quebec Premier Lucien Bouchard. It concerns equality of opportunity, social programs, mobility rights and other rights.


According to Professor Alain Noel, the idea of a Canadian "social union" was a "fairly recent" one at the time of his writing, in 1998. It emerged in the 1990s to describe economic and social policies in Canada. However, Noel notes some politicians and academics believed the social union in Canada was older, having been established at Canadian Confederation or after World War II.Alain Noel, "The Three Social Unions," tr. Geoffrey Hale, "Policy Options" 19:9, November 1998, pp. 26-29.]

Entrenching a social union into the Constitution of Canada was discussed in 1992 with a package of ultimately rejected amendments called the Charlottetown Accord. This social union was proposed by the New Democratic Party of Ontario. The social charter emphasized having common standards of social programs across Canada. Prime Minister Chrétien, coming to power in 1993, was not interested in constitutional reform, but became interested in a social union to repair Canadian federalism after the 1995 Quebec referendum on sovereignty.

The Agreement

The agreement reached in 1999 recognized a number of principles and rights of Canadians, including common quality for social programs across Canada, and health care in Canada that has "comprehensiveness, universality, portability, public administration and accessibility." The agreement reaffirmed mobility rights for Canadian citizens, and the governments of Canada pledged to establish "no new barriers to mobility" through "new social policy initiatives." The Agreement also stated that "nothing in this agreement abrogates or derogates from any Aboriginal, treaty or other rights of Aboriginal peoples including self-government." [Government of Canada, Social Union, News Release, " [ A Framework to Improve the Social Union for Canadians: An Agreement between the Government of Canada and the Governments of the Provinces and Territories, February 4, 1999] ," URL accessed 20 December 2006.]

Under the Agreement, new cross-Canada social programs with federal financial support may also be established with the agreement of the federal government and any six provincial governments. As scholar Jennifer Smith notes, "There is no additional requirement of a population minimum" of the provinces supporting the programs. While theoretically the federal government could easily achieve new programs by appealing to "poorer provinces," particularly in Atlantic Canada, Smith notes that this view "assumes... that the poorer provinces are indiscriminate program takers." [Jennifer Smith, "Informal Constitutional Development: Change by Other Means," "Canadian Federalism: Performance, Effectiveness, and Legitimacy", eds. Herman Bakvis and Grace Skogstad, Don Mills, Ontario: Oxford University Press, 2002, pp. 50-51.]


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Social Union — may be, *Canada s social union, and its Social Union Framework Agreement *Any Christian Social Union *The German Social Union *The National Social Unionee also*Social unionism, or Social Movement Unionism …   Wikipedia

  • European Union Association Agreement — A European Union Association Agreement (for short, Association Agreement or AA) is a treaty between the European Union (EU) and a non EU country that creates a framework for co operation between them. Areas frequently covered by such agreements… …   Wikipedia

  • Social Protection — ▪ 2006 Introduction With medical costs skyrocketing and government programs scaled back, citizens bore more responsibility for their health care costs; irregular migration, human trafficking, and migrant smuggling posed challenges for… …   Universalium

  • Social contract (Malaysia) — Malaysia This article is part of the series: Politics and government of Malaysia …   Wikipedia

  • Social Democratic Party of Austria — Infobox Austrian Political Party party name = Sozialdemokratische Partei Österreichs party party articletitle = Social Democratic Party of Austria leader = Werner Faymann foundation = December 30, 1888 ideology = Social Democracy and Democratic… …   Wikipedia

  • Social Security (Australia) — This article is about the system of welfare payments in Australia. For the general concept of providing welfare, see Social security. For other uses, see Social Security (disambiguation). Social Security, in Australia, refers to a system of… …   Wikipedia

  • European Union — 1. an association of European nations formed in 1993 for the purpose of achieving political and economic integration. Formerly known as the European Economic Community, the European Union s member states are Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland,… …   Universalium

  • European Union acronyms, jargon and working practices — European Union (EU) acronyms and jargon is a terminology set that has developed as a form of shorthand, to quickly express a (formal) EU process, an (informal) institutional working practice, or an EU body, function or decision, and which is… …   Wikipedia

  • Council of the European Union — Not to be confused with European Council or Council of Europe. Council of the European Union name in other official languages …   Wikipedia

  • Schengen Agreement — The term Schengen Agreement is used for two agreements concluded among European states in 1985 and 1990 which deal with the abolition of systematic border controls among the participating countries. By the Treaty of Amsterdam, the two agreements… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.