History in Canada
The first Conference of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul in Canada was founded by Doctor Joseph Painchaud In 1846, in Quebec city.
During this period in Quebec, the members did not have far to look for needs that must be met. The most serious were the epidemics that broke out in the city from the waves of immigrants. To this were added the frequent economic depressions which called for the establishment of savings banks or banking co-ops to encourage the poor to save money. Two such were founded at that time.
In 1848, a few days after the foundation of the Society in Montreal, the members visited a prison and immediately afterwards prepared a report for the government on reforms that they considered should be introduced into the management of the prison.
Throughout its history, the Society has always been able to adapt to new needs and has developed programs, either permanent or temporary, to assist families; to aid the poor; to help drifters and derelicts, the homeless the elderly and the orphans.