National Council
of Welfare
Cdaflag Conseil national
du bien-?tre social



The Government Organization Act of 1969 established the National Council of Welfare as an advisory group to the Minister of National Health and Welfare. Since the reorganization of federal government departments in 1993, the Council advises the Minister of Human Resources Development. The mandate of the Council is to advise the Minister in respect of any matters relating to social welfare that the Minister may refer to the Council for its consideration or that the Council considers appropriate.


The Council advises the Minister on the needs and problems of low-income Canadians and on social and related programs and policies which affect their welfare by


The Council fulfils its mandate and achieves its objectives by:


For program purposes, the Council operates outside the Department of Human Resources Development Canada. The Council publishes its reports under its own authority, not that of the Department. The Secretariat functions independently of the Department in discharging its program responsibilities to the Council. The Secretariat executes its administrative and financial responsibilities in the same manner, under the same constraints, and according to the same standards as any other unit of the Department.


The Council consists of members drawn from across Canada and appointed by the Governor-in-Council. All are private citizens and serve in their personal capacities rather than as representatives of organizations or agencies.

Members of the National Council of Welfare

John MurphyArmand Brun
Chairperson Canning, Nova Scotia
Vice-Chairperson Shediac, New Brunswick
Shaunna Reid Mount Pearl, Newfoundland
Olive Crane Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
Marilyn Peers Halifax, Nova Scotia
Doris Bernard Radisson, Quebec
Miriam Green Montreal, Quebec
Dana Howe Windsor, Ontario
Abdi Ulusso Toronto, Ontario
David Northcott Winnipeg, Manitoba
Allyce Herle Regina, Saskatchewan
Alice Hanson Edmonton, Alberta
Anne Gill Hay River, Northwest Territories


The Secretariat provides research, administrative and other support services to the Council.

Director?-?Joanne Roulston
Senior Researcher and Policy Advisor?-?Cathy Oikawa
Information Officer?-?Nancy Scott
Administrative Assistant?-?Louise Gunville


The Council publishes reports and communicates with the Minister on a wide range of issues involving poverty and social policy. Over the years, subjects have included:

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