Parental Leave and Intra-Regime Differences in a Liberal Country: the Case of Four Canadian Provinces


  • Sophie Mathieu
  • Andrea Doucet
  • Lindsey McKay



Parental benefits


This paper compares access to parental leave benefits in the four largest Canadian provinces –Québec, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia between 2000 and 2016, using quantitative data from the Employment Insurance Coverage Survey. We show that inequalities in the receipt of benefits mirror and reinforce the structure of income and gender inequalities. We argue that Alberta and Québec represent two regimes of parental benefits. In Alberta the take-up of parental benefits is low, and is closely related to income and gender. Conversely, the vast majority of mothers and fathers have access to parental benefits in Québec. We argue that Alberta is closer to a liberal regime of parental benefits, while Québec is closer to a social-democratic model.

Author Biography

Sophie Mathieu

SSHRC postdoctoral fellow, Brock University