Employment and Social Development Canada

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Employment and Social Development Canada
Emploi et Développement social Canada
HRSDC Logo.png
Department overview
TypeDepartment responsible for
  • Employment
  • Skills Training
  • Social Development
  • Labour Relations
  • Occupational Health & Safety (federally regulated workplaces only)
  • Canada Pension Plan
Ministers responsible
Deputy Minister responsible
  • Graham Flack

Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC; French: Emploi et Développement social Canada) is a department of the Government of Canada responsible for social programs and the labour market at the federal level.[1]



The Department of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) was created in December 2003, when Human Resources Development Canada was split into two separate departments: HRSDC and Social Development Canada. Though they continued to share many common services and operations, HRSDC was to focus on workforce-related aspects of the former HRDC portfolio, while SDC was to focus on social support programs for children, families and seniors. The split was given formal legal effect when the Department of Humans Resources and Skills Development Act and the Department of Social Development Act were enacted in July 2005.


Upon taking office in February 2006, the Conservative Party government of Stephen Harper announced it would recombine the two departments, and through a series of Orders in Council Social Development Canada was folded into HRSDC. Though a Department of Social Development remains in effect in legal terms, it no longer exists in any real sense.[citation needed]

From 2006 to 2008, Social Development's preceding role was reflected by styling the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development as the "Minister of Human Resources and Social Development", and by changing the department's applied title to "Human Resources and Social Development Canada". This practice ended in late 2008 when the title was changed to "Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development." The post was later referred to as "Minister of Employment and Social Development" when the department was renamed.

On November 4, 2015 the department underwent Machinery of Government Changes which saw the employment responsibilities transfer to the Labour Minister resulting in the newly re-titled Minister of Employment, Workforce and Labour.[2] The Social Development aspects were then shaped into the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development. The Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities is now tasked with handling the file on persons with disabilities.

Sub-agencies, programs and activities[edit]

Sub-agencies of ESDC include:

ESDC delivers $87 billion in programs and services and has approximately 24,000 employees. Approximately 19,000 of those employees work under the Service Canada banner.

Officials and structure[edit]

Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour
Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility 
Minister of Seniors 


2012/2013 privacy breach[edit]

On January 11, 2013, Minister Diane Finley announced that a hard drive containing information of 583,000 student loan borrowers had been lost from a Canada Student Loans Program (CSLP)/HRSDC office in Gatineau, Quebec.[3] Borrowers who registered a loan between 2000–2006 were potentially affected. The information on the hard drive contained full names, Social Insurance Numbers, contact information, and loan balances. The hard drive also contained information on 250 HRSDC employees. Concerns of privacy breaches and identity theft led to the filing of three class-action suits against the federal government on behalf of the affected students.[4]

On January 18, 2013, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada stated that a formal investigation had been launched. The stated outcome of this investigation was to provide information to organizations and individuals to improve privacy protection.[5]

The RCMP was notified but is waiting for the outcome of the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada's investigation to do their own investigation.

This incident has become known as "1 in 60", representing the ratio of affected individuals to the Canadian population as a whole.

Canadian Summer Jobs program[edit]

In 2018, the government of Justin Trudeau introduced a new mandatory criteria for eligible employers and projects of the Canada Summer Jobs program, for which "the core mandate of the organization must respect individual human rights in Canada, including the values underlying the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Charter) as well as other rights" like the "reproductive rights and the right to be free from discrimination".[6] After nine ongoing Federal Court challenges, the complaints of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops[7] in union with the Canadian Council of Christian Charities[8], the requirement was rewritten and become a mandatory point for eligible projects and job activities, which must no "actively work to undermine or restrict a woman’s access to sexual and reproductive health services."[9][10].

See also[edit]


  1. ^ OECD (2015-07-07). Back to Work Back to Work: Canada Improving the Re-employment Prospects of Displaced Workers: Improving the Re-employment Prospects of Displaced Workers. OECD Publishing. ISBN 9789264233454.
  2. ^ Office, Privy Council (2017-12-04). "Privy Council Office". aem. Retrieved 2019-08-13.
  3. ^ Canada, Service (2016-08-31). "News". aem. Retrieved 2019-07-03.
  4. ^ "Ottawa faces third class-action lawsuit over student-loan privacy breach". The Globe and Mail.
  5. ^ "Information for individuals regarding the loss of the HRSDC hard drive - January 2013".
  6. ^ "Funding: Canada Summer Jobs – Eligibility". Archived from the original on Dec 23, 2017.
  7. ^ "Canada Summer Jobs: CCCB concerns and statement". Jan 11, 2018. Archived (PDF) from the original on May 15, 2019. Retrieved May 15, 2019.
  8. ^ "Update Regarding Canada Summer Jobs Program". ccba.ca. Mar 28, 2018. Archived from the original on May 15, 2019. Retrieved May 15, 2019.
  9. ^ "Funding: Canada Summer Jobs – Screening for eligibility in 2019". Archived from the original on January 20, 2019. Retrieved May 15, 2019.
  10. ^ Brian Platt (Dec 7, 2018). "'The values test is gone': Faith groups welcome changes to summer jobs attestation". Ottawa: Nationalpost.com. Archived from the original on December 23, 2017. Retrieved May 15, 2019.

External links[edit]