Ron Kneebone (Professor of Economics at the University of Calgary) and Katherine White (Yukon’s Deputy Finance Minister) have referred to social assistance as “the final layer of the public social safety net — designed to catch those people in need of support but unable to find it from family, friends or non-government agencies…”

(I’d argue that, in larger urban centres, social assistance is in fact the second-last layer before the homeless-serving sector…)