April 10, 2012

Honourable Diane Finley
Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0A6

Dear Minister Finley,

The Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW) recently released the Canada Social Transfer Project -Accountability Matters report that concludes that the current model of financing social programs through the Canada Social Transfer has many issues associated with it, the most prominent being a crisis of accountability. 

The purpose of this letter is to inform you of our report as well as the associated ‘Accountability Matters’ campaign CASW has initiated to bring attention to the lack of accountability inherent in the current system of transfers.

Our campaign is directed at the Council of the Federation as well as the Government of Canada given that there is a shared responsibility developing accountability mechanisms for health and social transfers to the provinces and territories. We are asking the Government of Canada to work with the Council of the Federation and also make this a priority area of responsibility.

CASW is respectfully asking that the Council of the Federation establish a Social Transfer Accountability Working Group that would provide the vital leadership required to establish common principles of accountability for the receipt and delivery of social services from the Canadian Social Transfer.
CASW welcomes any support the Government of Canada would lend to this initiative as research in recent years has made clear that even modest investments in the broad social determinants of health exert a direct impact on reducing the major cost drivers behind the delivery of expensive acute healthcare to Canadians.

Yours sincerely,

Morel Caissie, MSW, RSW

cc.  The Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada
Hon. Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health
Ms. Libby Davies, NDP Health Critic
Hon. Hedy Fry, Liberal Health Critic
M. André Bellavance, Bloc Critic Santé
Ms. Jean Crowder, NDP Critic (HRDC)
Mr. Rodger Cuzner, Liberal Critic (HRDC)
M. Jean-Francois Fortin, Bloc Critic (RHDC)
Hon. James Michael (Jim) Flaherty, Minister of Finance
Peter Julian, NDP Finance Critic
Hon. Scott Brison, Liberal Finance Critic
M. Daniel Paillé, Bloc critic des finances
Hon. Christy Clark, Premier of British Columbia, Chair – Council of the Federation
Hon. Darrel Dexter, Premier of Nova Scotia, Vice Chair – Council of the Federation