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Transforming and Modernizing the Social Services

The social infrastructure of our country needs serious attention. Every element of our social services is stressed, some to the point of breaking. The COVID-19 pandemic has cruelly exposed the wide inequalities in our society.

Our education system is not preparing our youth to take their place in a competitive, connected, global environment. There are problems at the pre-primary, primary, secondary and post-secondary/tertiary levels that have lingered, with no serious, sustained effort to resolve them. Too many of our young men are falling through the cracks of the education system. Employers continue to lament the fact that new employees lack many of the soft skills, creative thinking, problem solving, and networking abilities required in the modern workplace.

Our health system is costly to operate and difficult to access. Health services are not sufficiently focused on providing interventions and support at the community or primary level. The absence of universal health care has left large numbers of citizens unable to seek treatment for ailments. There has been inadequate encouragement or incentives to citizens to pursue healthy lifestyles, which would decrease the burden of non-communicable diseases.

Our social protection services suffer from persistent errors of inclusion and exclusion, which add the injury of a heavy financial burden to the country, to the insult of many disadvantaged citizens being denied the assistance they desperately need.

To compound these serious issues, we have not been able to address the vexing issue of relentlessly increasing levels of violent crime, including domestic violence and homicides. We appear to have become immune to incidents of violent crime, with the authorities becoming more preoccupied with statistics instead of people. We must address the issue of citizen safety, which threatens to undermine progress in every social and economic sector of our society.

For these reasons, modernizing and improving our social services is a critical imperative for our movement.


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