Canadian Social Research Newsletter
April 1, 2012

Welcome to the weekly Canadian Social Research Newsletter,
a listing of the new links added to the Canadian Social Research Links website in the past week.

This week's issue of the newsletter is going out to 2,543 subscribers.

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Scroll to the bottom of this newsletter to see some notes, a disclaimer
and other stuff that has nothing whatsoever to do with social policy...
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IN THIS ISSUE OF THE
CANADIAN SOCIAL RESEARCH NEWSLETTER:

Canadian content

1. [April Fool's Day prank] Bell Media acquires rabble.ca in bid to woo progressive audience - April 1
2. R.I.P. (eff. 04-13): National Council of Welfare - First Nations Statistical Council - National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy
(2012 federal budget)
3. Economic Action Plan 2012 : Federal Budget
- March 29
4. Ontario Budget - March 27
5. New Brunswick Budget - March 27
6. Canada: NDP picks ex-Liberal minister as federal party leader (World Socialist Web Site) - March 27
7. A More Inclusive and Generous Canada : The 2012 Acceptable Living Level (Winnipeg Harvest & Social Planning Council of Winnipeg) - March 22
8. [Manitoba] 2011 Child and Family Poverty Report Card : The Portrait of Poverty (Social Planning Council of Winnipeg) - March 22
9. [Manitoba] Recommendations for Implementing the Poverty Reduction Strategy Act (Social Planning Council of Winnipeg)
- January 2012
10.
What's New in The Daily [Statistics Canada]:
--- Payroll employment, earnings and hours, January 2012
- March 30
--- Interjurisdictional cases of spousal and child support, 2010/2011 - March 28
--- Divorce cases in civil court, 2010/2011 - March 28
--- Government Finance Statistics - March 28

11. What's new from the Childcare Resource and Research Unit

International content

12. Poverty Dispatch: U.S. media coverage of social issues and programs never-married mothers
13. [U.S.] The rich are different; they get richer - March 27
14. CRINMAIL (weekly children's rights newsletter)

Have a great week!

Gilles
[ gilseg@rogers.com ]

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Go to the home page of the
Canadian Social Research Links website:

http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/index.htm



1. Bell Media acquires rabble.ca in bid to woo progressive audience - April 1

Late-breaking news --- and NO, sadly, it's *not* an April fool prank...

APRIL 2 CORRECTION : OH YES, IT IS.
[rabble.ca Editor's Update: April 1, 2012, noon PST:
"Wishing rabble readers a Happy April Fool's Day!"
]

Bell Media acquires rabble.ca in bid to woo progressive audience
http://goo.gl/wX5ca
April 1, 2012
BCE Inc. (Bell) Friday announced its acquisition of leading Canadian left-wing news website rabble.ca in order to access the "burgeoning Canadian progressive market." BCE Inc., whose holdings include Bell Canada, CTVglobemedia and Astral media, outbid Rogers Communications to purchase Canada's most-read online source for progressive news and opinion in an undisclosed deal, which includes all of rabble's ancillary media brands, including rabbletv, rabble radio and babble, its online discussion board.
Source:
rabble.ca
http://rabble.ca/

---

Comment (by Gilles):

Ya got me.
Sorry, but the announcement in last week's federal budget of the demise of the National Council of Welfare as of next year (see below the next red bar) has short-circuited my usual eclectic sense of humour. I'll probably look back at this rabble.ca prank and find it quite amusing down the road.
But not right now...

2. R.I.P. (eff. 04-13): National Council of Welfare - First Nations Statistical Council - National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy - March 29
(2012 federal budget)

The 2012 Federal Budget was tabled in the House of Commons on March 29, 2012.
For budget details, see http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/budgets_2012.htm

---

Casualties of the 2012 federal budget
R.I.P. April 2013:
* National Council of Welfare
* First Nations Statistical Council
* National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy
Source:
2012 Budget Plan, Annex 1: Responsible Spending
http://www.budget.gc.ca/2012/plan/anx1-eng.html

See (about halfway down the page) Table A1.12:
Planned Savings—Human Resources and Skills Development Portfolio

---

From the
Toronto Star:

http://www.thestar.com/

Federal budget 2012: Ottawa axes National Council on Welfare
http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/1154445
Laurie Monsebraaten
March 30 2012
Anti-poverty groups are shocked, but not surprised, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty axed the National Council of Welfare in Thursday’s budget. The independent, federally-appointed body was created by an act of Parliament in 1969 to advise the Minister of human resources on poverty in Canada. But since the Harper government was elected in 2006, it has ignored the council’s research and advice on how to address growing income disparity across the country, activists say.
(...)
A spokesperson for Human Resources Minister Diane Finley said the $1.1 million council and its eight Ottawa-based staff are being cut next year to reduce duplication (see my comment below).
“Many non-governmental organizations . . . provide quality independent advice and research on poverty-related issues,” said Alyson Queen. (...)
The council’s annual report on welfare incomes in Canada is the only comprehensive analysis of social assistance across the country and how it interacts with federal benefits, he said. The council has also produced authoritative reports on child care, child benefits and low incomes in Canada.

-------------------------------

Comment by Gilles:

Reducing "duplication"?
How does the demise of the only credible national source of welfare and poverty information reduce duplication?
Won't each of the provinces have to do its own cross-jurisdictional comparisons, thus duplicating the efforts of all other provinces and territories? Notwithstanding the HRDSC spokesperson's talking points, there isn't ONE non-governmental organization in Canada that produces detailed welfare information and welfare statistics for all jurisdictions. Yes, NGOs *do* provide "quality independent advice and research on poverty-related issues", but to my knowledge, none has a national perspective on social assistance programs and statistics that even approaches that of the National Council of Welfare.

Net gain to the federal coffers: one piddly million bucks per year.
Net loss to Canada: one strong, credible voice for accountability, fairness and social justice and the only solid source of cross-jurisdiction information on welfare and poverty.

This is a sad day for government accountability in Canada.
Like many others in the social justice community, I'm in shock and denial today, and I'm grieving this senseless and brutal political decision.
[ Some might say that the writing's been on the wall for the Council since Stephen Harper's accession to the throne in 2006, and that a swift end is better than death by a thousand cuts, as has been the case since 2006. I disagree. Not only should the National Council of Welfare be retained --- it should have MORE resources than a piddly million dollars a year to better fulfill in its mandate of advising the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development in all matters relating to social development in Canada.]
I'm sad for the dedicated staff at the National Council of Welfare, and I'm grieving over the demise of the Council.

Evidence?
We don't need no stinkin' evidence.
We've got the Prime Minister's Office, Treasury Board, the Privy Council Office and the Department of Finance to tell us what to think.

---

Will the Council's reports still be available online?
If you're worried about the imminent disappearance of the Council's website in April of 2013, the Internet Archive [ http://archive.org/ ] has preserved a complete copy of the Council's collection of online reports as at July 2011 at the following link:
http://web.archive.org/web/20110706182021/http://www.ncw.gc.ca/h.4m.2@-eng.jsp
NOTE : The link above takes you to the Council's home page as it appeared in July 2011, and all content links are functional.
Until April 1, 2013, you can still visit the Council's live website:
http://www.ncw.gc.ca/h.4m.2@-eng.jsp

---

Comment by Vince Calderhead, senior
staff lawyer with Nova Scotia Legal Aid:

March 30, 2012
"This shocking news [demise of the National Council of Welfare] will impact on many, not the least will be those who relied on NCW reports in ant-poverty and other human rights litigation--both in Canada and before the UN. A quick search shows that the Supreme Court of Canada cited NCW reports at least four times in the past decade--not many government (or non-government) agencies can claim that importance. There are literally dozens of lower court decisions which also cite the NCW. Given the meagre amount saved ($1 Million), the Tories actually gain far more politically by silencing this purveyor of crucial info re both poverty in Canada and the state of Canada's social assistance systems."

---

From the
Globe and Mail:

Budget cuts another victory in Tory war on information: opposition
http://goo.gl/uatZ9
By Gloria Galloway
March 30, 2012
Only a handful of agencies were delivered a death sentence in this week’s federal budget but they include three institutions whose primary job is to provide statistics and research that is meant to inform government decisions.
The First Nations Statistical Council, the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy and the National Welfare Council were all told Thursday the money they receive from the federal government will expire at the end of this fiscal year.
Source:
Globe and Mail

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/

---

Go to the 2012 Canadian Government Budgets Links page:
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/budgets_2012.htm

3. Federal Budget 2012 - March 29

The 2012 Federal Budget was tabled in the House of Commons on March 29, 2012.

For links to government Budget pages and to analysis and critiques,
see the 2012 Canadian Government Budgets Links page:
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/budgets_2012.htm

4. Ontario Budget 2012 - March 27

From the Ontario Ministry of Finance:
http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/

2012 Ontario Budget : Strong Action for Ontario
http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/budget/ontariobudgets/2012/
March 27, 2012
- main budget page, includes links to all budget documents

Version française de la page du Budget de l'Ontario pour 2012-2013
http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/fr/budget/ontariobudgets/2012/index.html

---

Plan to Balance the Budget, Create Jobs, Protect Education and Health Care
http://news.ontario.ca/mof/en/2012/03/strong-action-for-ontario.html
News Release

March 27, 2012
The 2012 Ontario Budget includes a deficit elimination plan that reduces program spending growth and contains costs by $17.7 billion over the next three years, while increasing revenues by $4.4 billion without raising taxes.
This is serious action for a serious time and puts Ontario on track to eliminate the deficit by 2017-18.

---

Budget Speech
http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/budget/ontariobudgets/2012/statement.html

---

2012 Ontario Budget: Contents
* HTML version
http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/budget/ontariobudgets/2012/papers_all.html
* PDF version (5MB, 332 pages)
http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/budget/ontariobudgets/2012/papers_all.pdf


NOTE : The section entitled Children's and Social Services includes the key points
with respect to the social assistance rate freeze and the delay in payments under the
Ontario Child Benefit.
Here's where you can find those references:

HTML : http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/budget/ontariobudgets/2012/ch1.html#c1_strong
PDF : (starting on p. 43) http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/budget/ontariobudgets/2012/papers_all.pdf

2012 Ontario Budget: Highlights
* HTML version:
http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/budget/ontariobudgets/2012/budhi.html
* PDF version (1.2MB, 2 pages)
http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/budget/ontariobudgets/2012/budhi.pdf

Backgrounders:

* Ontario's Economic Outlook and Fiscal Plan
http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/budget/ontariobudgets/2012/bk1.html

* Public Sector Compensation
http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/budget/ontariobudgets/2012/bk2.html

* Balancing the Budget
http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/budget/ontariobudgets/2012/bk1.html

* A Fair and Efficient Drug System
http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/budget/ontariobudgets/2012/bk1.html


Pool, Cap, and CUT:
Reflections on the government of Ontario's recent budget cutting

http://vibrantcanada.ca/blogs/john-stapleton/pool-cap-and-cut
By John Stapleton
March 28, 2012
(...)
Pool:
Aside from the delay of the Ontario Child Benefit and the announcement of no social assistance rate increase, the major changes to the community start-up benefit, home repairs and the medical benefits under Ontario Works (OW) are ‘pooled’ with other benefits. In the case of the community start-up, it is now pooled with the long term affordable housing fund at the municipal level. This pooling means that the start-up and home repairs will lose the right of appeal under the Social Benefits Tribunal. Medical benefits under Ontario Works will be pooled with other non-medical benefits but still paid out under OW.
Cap:
All three benefits will be capped because they are now subject to budgetary or per capita caps. Municipalities will be forced to pay any benefits above the funded amounts out of their own resources should they wish to do so. Start-up and home repairs have a budgetary cap while medical items under OW will have a $10.00 per capita cap.
Cut:
Start-up and home repair benefits will be cut in half. Medical benefits under OW will be cut by an undetermined amount. The overall savings from the OCB deferral and the benefit cuts will be in the order of $300 million dollars over the next three years. These are not my estimates. These numbers are in the Budget.

The Verdict

None of the programs are truly canceled. They have just been downloaded. Once statutory benefits (based on need) become rationed (based on budget allocation), the result is that the level of government least equipped to pay is pressured to pay the freight.

(...)
Who among us would have thought that disability benefits, once paid at the same level as seniors’ benefits, would now be $250 a month lower?
Who among us would have thought it would require a 57% rate increase to raise single welfare rates to their purchasing power of 1993?
Who among us would have thought that basic social assistance for a single person in 2012 would be frozen at a rate lower in real terms than it was when the conservatives left power almost 9 years ago, following a 21.6% rate decrease and eight years of erosion?
Who among us would have believed that the difference between ODSP and OW shelter rates would be exactly 21.6%, 17 years after the cuts were implemented?
The gauntlet is laid down and the challenge apparent.
It is up to all of us to regain the high ground. I wish us all well.

Source:
Vibrant Communities Canada

http://vibrantcanada.ca/

Related link:

Open Policy - John Stapleton's website
http://openpolicyontario.com/

2012 Ontario Budget analysis and critique
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/budgets_2012.htm#on

---

From Jennefer Laidley
of the Income Security Advocacy Centre (ISAC):
(Thanks, Jennefer!)

ISAC’s initial analysis of what
Ontario’s 2012 Budget means for people on social assistance
http://us4.campaign-archive1.com/?u=095b12c98935ecaadd327bf90&id=2c97d3695a
27 March 2012
The 2012 Ontario Budget is deeply disappointing for the nearly 900,000 men, women, and children in Ontario who currently rely on Ontario Works and the Ontario Disability Support Program for income and other necessary benefits.

Selected reactions to the Budget:

A report saying that the Premier is “open to budget suggestions” from the opposition parties:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/story/2012/03/28/ontario-budget-political-reaction.html

The NDP wants reactions to the Budget
http://www.ondpcaucus.com/yoursay/
Andrea Horwath’s Facebook page says: “McGuinty listened to Drummond, now we're listening to you. Have your say. We need to know if this is a budget you can live with, and what kinds of changes you would like to see. What do you like about the budget? What do you dislike about it? If we defeat this budget, we may have an election this spring. Are you ready for an election? Please forward the link below to others. You can also call 1-855-ONT-BDGT (668-2348) to let us know your thoughts. Decisions made on this budget will have real, tangible impacts on the lives of everyday Ontarians so we must be careful to consider this seriously. Ultimately, it’s up to Dalton McGuinty to decide whether he wants to make a minority government work or force an election. Our plan is to put you first.”

Here are some group / organization / labour reactions:

ISAC:
http://us4.campaign-archive1.com/?u=095b12c98935ecaadd327bf90&id=2c97d3695a&e=f67f28a7b9

Ontario Campaign 2000:
http://www.campaign2000.ca/Ontario/index.html

CCPA:
http://www.behindthenumbers.ca/2012/03/27/completing-the-job-started-by-mike-harris/

Wellesley Institute:
http://www.wellesleyinstitute.com/news/ontario-budget-2012-duncan-chooses-path-that-hurts-the-poorest-ontarians/

People for Education:
http://www.peopleforeducation.ca/pfe-news/ontario-budget-includes-cuts-to-education-funding/

Canadian Federation of Students – Ontario:
http://www.newswire.ca/en/story/945081/-education-premier-fails-students-in-budget-2012

Great story in the Star with reaction from Dr. Gary Bloch from Health Providers Against Poverty:
http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/1152827--toronto-doctor-worries-budget-cuts-will-affect-poor-patients-the-most

Health Providers Against Poverty
http://goo.gl/od6dA

Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario:
http://www.newswire.ca/en/story/945185/nurses-condemn-attack-on-vulnerable-persons-to-rein-in-spending

Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE):
http://www.marketwire.com/press-release/-1636937.htm

Society of Energy Professionals:
http://www.newswire.ca/en/story/945649/energy-professionals-response-to-duncan-budget

Ontario Council of Hospital Unions:
http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/639327

Canadian Auto Workers (CAW):
http://www.newswire.ca/en/story/945183/ontario-budget-fails-to-live-up-to-election-promises-says-caw-president

Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU):
http://www.newswire.ca/en/story/945215/-one-per-cent-budget-fails-ontario-opseu

Ontario Federation of Labour:
http://ofl.ca/index.php/news/index_in/oflontario_budget_delivers_billions_to_bankers_but_job_loss_and_deep_cuts_f/

Elementary Teachers’ Federation:
http://www.newswire.ca/en/story/945203/austerity-budget-punishing-ontarians-for-a-deficit-they-didn-t-create-etfo

Erin Weir / Steelworkers:
http://www.progressive-economics.ca/2012/03/27/ontario-budget-emulates-drummond/

Conference Board of Canada:
http://www.conferenceboard.ca/topics/economics/budgets/ontario_2012.aspx

-----------------

March 26-27 (pre-budget) media scan - also from Jennefer at ISAC:

Some responses to the Premier’s announcement that social assistance rates
will be frozen for one year, and the Ontario Child Benefit implementation delayed:

Income Security Advocacy Centre (ISAC):
http://us4.campaign-archive1.com/?u=095b12c98935ecaadd327bf90&id=130ab2367a

Ontario Campaign 2000:
http://www.campaign2000.ca/Ontario/

Ontario Council of Hospital Unions:
http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/639327

And in the news:

Lead editorial in The Star – “Ontario Targets the Poor”:
http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorials/article/1152203--ontario-targets-the-poor-by-freezing-welfare-and-delaying-child-benefit-increase

Great op-ed from Tom Cooper in The Spec:
http://www.thespec.com/opinion/columns/article/694076--budget-austerity-is-hungry-children-in-hamilton

Cornwall woman worried about cuts:
http://www.standard-freeholder.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=3515093

Concern from St. Catherines:
http://www.610cktb.com/news/local/Story.aspx?ID=1676387

Freeze gets icy reception in St. Catherines:
http://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/2012/03/27/social-assistance-freeze-gets-icy-reception

Kitchener woman “beyond angry”:
http://www.therecord.com/news/local/article/694245--kitchener-woman-beyond-angry-at-liberals-for-freezing-social-assistance-rates

Sudbury Social Planning’s Janet Gasparini “deeply disappointed”:
http://www.northernlife.ca/news/localNews/2012/03/26-social-assistance-freeze-sudbury.aspx

Freeze will impact London food bank:
http://www.lfpress.com/news/london/2012/03/26/19552296.html

Surprise in North Bay:
http://blog.rogersbroadcasting.com/ckatnews/2012/03/26/reaction-to-impending-freeze-in-social-assistance-rates/

-----------------------------

From the
Toronto Star

http://www.thestar.com/

Ontario budget: Child benefit increase being delayed and social assistance rates frozen
http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/1151781
March 26, 2012
By Robert Benzie
Social assistance rates are being frozen and a planned increase in the Ontario Child Benefit delayed as the province tries to reduce its $16 billion deficit, Premier Dalton McGuinty says. McGuinty warned that Finance Minister Dwight Duncan’s budget on Tuesday will be the “toughest” since the Liberals were elected in 2003.
(...)
About one in seven children in the province — or 393,000 — still live in poverty, according to a recent report by Ontario Campaign 2000.

-----------------------------

From the
Globe and Mail

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Ontario’s budget will include welfare freeze: McGuinty
http://goo.gl/TH0xB
March 25, 2012
Ontario's cash-strapped Liberals are freezing welfare and delaying planned increases to the Ontario Child Benefit in Tuesday's budget to help slay a $16-billion deficit. Social assistance, which includes Ontario Works and the Ontario Disability Support Program, will be frozen for a year, Premier Dalton McGuinty announced Sunday.

349 comments on this article
http://goo.gl/puU6F

-----------------------------

From the
Wellesley Institute:

Freezing welfare: The wrong decision at the wrong time
http://www.wellesleyinstitute.com/health-care/freezing-welfare-the-wrong-decision-at-the-wrong-time/
March 26, 2012
By Steve Barnes
Yesterday Premier McGuinty announced that social assistance rates will be frozen for a year and that the scheduled $200 increase in the Ontario Child Benefit will be reduced to $100, with the remaining $100 being delayed until July 2014. These choices, which the Premier claims are not aimed to reducing the provincial deficit “on the backs of families who may find themselves in difficult circumstances for the time being or on the backs of our children,” will have negative and inequitable health outcomes for the most vulnerable in our society, and particularly for women and children.
(...)
What is also concerning about yesterday’s announcement was that it preempted the work of the Commission for the Review of Social Assistance in Ontario, which is due to report to the government in June. The Commission’s most recent discussion paper, to which the Wellesley Institute responded, set out adequacy, fairness, and work incentives as three competing priorities that must be balanced against one another. The Premier has sent a message to the Commission that adequacy is no longer on the table, and his decision will increase unfairness and inequality.

Source:
Wellesley Institute
http://www.wellesleyinstitute.com

The Wellesley Institute is a non-profit and non-partisan research and policy institute that focuses on finding solutions to problems of urban health disparities.

---

- Go to the 2012 Canadian Government Budgets Links page:
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/budgets_2012.htm

- Go to the Ontario Social Assistance Review Links page:
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/on_sa_review.htm

5. New Brunswick Budget - March 27

From the
Government of New Brunswick:
http://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en.html

New Brunswick 2012-2013 Budget
http://www.gnb.ca/0160/budget/buddoc2012/index-e.asp
March 27, 2012
Finance Minister Blaine Higgs tabled the 2012-2013 Budget in the Legislative Assembly March 27, 2012. The budget addresses the fiscal challenges facing this province by reducing the deficit by more than half without raising the HST or personal income tax.
- main budget page, includes links to budget documents
---
Version française de la page du budget:
http://www.gnb.ca/0160/budget/buddoc2012/index-f.asp
---

Budget Speech (PDF - 924K, 30 pages)
http://www.gnb.ca/0160/budget/buddoc2012/Budget_2012-13_Final-E.pdf

News Release
http://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/news/news_release.2012.03.0257.html

Economic Outlook (PDF - 268K, 12 pages)
http://www.gnb.ca/0160/budget/buddoc2012/2012-13EconOut_E_FINAL.pdf

Main Estimates (PDF - 2MB, 284 pages)
http://www.gnb.ca/0160/budget/buddoc2012/ME2012-13.pdf


TD Bank Economics
Analysis of the 2012 NB Budget:

Deficit addressed but debt challenge still looms (PDF - 644K, 3 pages)
http://www.td.com/document/PDF/economics/budgets/nb12.pdf
March 28, 2012

Source:
2012 Federal and Provincial Budgets
http://www.td.com/economics/analysis/canada/public-policy-government-finances/gov-finances.jsp
[ TD Economics ]

---

From CBC New Brunswick:
http://www.cbc.ca/nb/

Provincial cuts will slow economic growth, Higgs says
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/story/2012/03/28/nb-budget-reaction-622.html

New Brunswick Budget Reaction
http://www.cbc.ca/nb/interactives/budget-reaction/
Finance Minister Blaine Higgs released his second budget on Tuesday. The finance minister estimates the province's deficit will be cut to $183 million, but the debt will increase to $10.8 billion. The Alward government is making a series of cuts, selling government assets and increasing specific taxes. Many politicians and interest groups have been quick to weigh in on the budget's contents.

---

- Go to the 2012 Canadian Government Budgets Links page:
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/budgets_2012.htm

6. Canada: NDP picks ex-Liberal minister as federal party leader - March 27
(
World Socialist Web Site)

Canada: NDP picks ex-Liberal minister as federal party leader
http://www.wsws.org/articles/2012/mar2012/ndpc-m27.shtml
By Keith Jones
27 March 2012
Canada's social-democratic party, the New Democrats or NDP, has chosen Thomas Mulcair to succeed the late Jack Layton as federal party leader and head of the Official Opposition. A former Quebec Liberal cabinet minister, Mulcair joined the NDP just five years ago and only after giving serious consideration to an offer from Prime Minister Stephen Harper to become a senior Conservative government advisor.
(...)
Even as NDP and union officials were gathering in Toronto for the leadership convention that accompanied the cross-Canada electronic vote, the Ontario NDP was involved in secret discussions with the Ontario Liberal government on a deal to secure passage of a provincial budget that will slash billions in social spending and impose real wage cuts on public sector workers.
That said, there is no question that the election of Mulcair represents a further shift to the right. It is a public avowal that the NDP is a big business party, akin to the Democrats in the US or Britain’s new Labour Party.

Source:
World Socialist Web Site (WSWS)
http://www.wsws.org/
The World Socialist Web Site is published by the International Committee of the Fourth International, the leadership of the world socialist movement, the Fourth International founded by Leon Trotsky in 1938. The WSWS aims to meet the need, felt widely today, for an intelligent appraisal of the problems of contemporary society. It addresses itself to the masses of people who are dissatisfied with the present state of social life, as well as its cynical and reactionary treatment by the establishment media.

---

- Go to the Social Research Links in Other Countries (Non-Government) page:
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/internatngo.htm

7. A More Inclusive and Generous Canada : The 2012 Acceptable Living Level - March 23
(
Winnipeg Harvest and The Social Planning Council of Winnipeg)

From
Winnipeg Harvest
[ http://winnipegharvest.org/ ]
and
The Social Planning Council of Winnipeg
http://www.spcw.mb.ca/

---

A More Inclusive and Generous Canada:
The 2012 Acceptable Living Level (PDF - 1.9MB, 95 pages)
http://goo.gl/MkH09
March 23, 2012
Excerpt from
the Executive Summary:
Low-income parents in Winnipeg -- whether they are working or on welfare -- do not have enough money to adequately feed, shelter and clothe themselves and their children. More than a dozen Winnipeg Harvest clients, acting as consultants, have established the 2012 Acceptable Living Level (ALL) for four family types. The 2012 Acceptable Living Level Report sets out how much disposable income is needed in the marketplace to buy a basket of goods and services that can sustain a fair, modest and acceptable living level.

The report demonstrates that current welfare rates, even when federal child benefits are taken into account, fall far short of meeting the 2012 Acceptable Living Level. A single parent working full-time at a minimum wage job actually earns less than he or she would on welfare. Even two parents working full-time at minimum wage jobs have incomes far below the 2012 Acceptable Living Level.

---

- Go to the Manitoba Links page:
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/mbkmrk.htm

- Go to the Poverty Measures - Canadian Resources page:
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/poverty.htm

8. [Manitoba] 2011 Child and Family Poverty Report Card : The Portrait of Poverty - March 22
(Social Planning Council of Winnipeg)

Also from The Social Planning Council of Winnipeg (SPCW):

2011 Child and Family Poverty Report Card:
The Portrait of Poverty

(PDF - 2MB, 54 pages)
http://goo.gl/HACXz
Using 2009 data, the latest available, we see that a portrait of poverty in Manitoba includes:
* 92,650 children in Manitoba living in families under the poverty threshold
* 29,000 children in Manitoba living in families with annual incomes insufficient for meeting basic needs
* 29,563 Manitoban children using food banks each month because their families cannot afford to purchase the necessary food they require
* 59,734 Manitobans accessed Employment and Income Assistance
* The richest 20% of Manitoban families have more total income than the poorest 60% of the population
(Source : Excerpt, p. 4)

Table of contents:
1. Executive Summary
2. Poverty Portrait (current conditions)
--- a. Child poverty in Manitoba
--- b. Child Poverty by Family Type
--- c. Conditions of Inequality
--- d. Inadequate Disposable Income
--- e. Material Deprivation
--- f. Aboriginal Conditions
--- g. Explanations
3. How the Poor Manage
--- a. Family Budgets
--- b. Employment Income Assistance (Provincial Welfare)
--- c. Public and Emergency Shelters
--- d. Food banks
--- e. Health and Healthcare
--- f. Employment Insurance
--- g. Charities and Community
4. Trends and Projections
5. Campaign 2000
--- National Campaign
--- Recommendations
--- Social Planning Council
6. References

Source:
Social Planning Council of Winnipeg
http://www.spcw.mb.ca/
The Social Planning Council of Winnipeg (SPC) is a membership-based organization in the voluntary sector committed to providing leadership in social planning and effecting social policy changes.

---

- Go to the Children, Families and Youth Links (NGO) page:
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/chnngo.htm

9. [Manitoba] Recommendations for Implementing the Poverty Reduction Strategy Act - January 2012
(Social Planning Council of Winnipeg)

Manitoba

Recommendations for Implementing
the Poverty Reduction Strategy Act
(PDF - 388K, 35 pages)
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net//PRS_Act_Recommendations.pdf
January 2012
NOTE : I received the above PDF file from someone at the Winnipeg Social Planning Council on March 26.
The Council is experiencing some website hiccups and glitches, but the person sent me the PDF file that will soon/eventually be posted on their website, when they work out the kinks. [ Gilles]
---
This report will look at the Manitoba legislation and different poverty reduction strategies (PRS), to consider how these government plans have benefited and can benefit people living in poverty. We will compare and contrast strategies to learn what seems to be working and what has been less effective.
(Source : Executive Summary, page 2)
Contents:
* Current conditions of Poverty
--- Defining and Measuring Poverty
--- Social Inclusion and Exclusion
--- Equality and Inequality
--- Implications for Society
* Poverty Reduction Strategies
--- Canadian Trends and Efforts
--- Manitoba Legislation
* Programs, Policy and Practice
--- Provincial Government
--- Municipal Government
--- Community Groups
* Implementing the Poverty Reduction Strategy
--- Structural Weaknesses
--- Operational Weaknesses
--- Recommendations
* Attachments
--- All Aboard (summary)
--- Poverty Reduction Strategy Act (abbreviated)
--- Comparison chart – Canadian PRSs
--- Measures to Combat Social Exclusion and Poverty
* References

Source:
Social Planning Council of Winnipeg

http://www.spcw.mb.ca/

---

- Go to the Provincial and Territorial Anti-poverty Strategies and Campaigns page:
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/antipoverty.htm

10. What's New in The Daily [Statistics Canada]:
--- Payroll employment, earnings and hours, January 2012
- March 30
--- Interjurisdictional cases of spousal and child support, 2010/2011 - March 28
--- Divorce cases in civil court, 2010/2011 - March 28
--- Government Finance Statistics - March 28

What's new from The Daily:
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/dai-quo/index-eng.htm
[Statistics Canada
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/start-debut-eng.html ]

---

March 30, 2012
Payroll employment, earnings and hours, January 2012
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/120330/dq120330b-eng.htm
In January, average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees were $888.89, up 0.6% from the previous month. On a year-over-year basis, earnings rose 2.0%.

March 28, 2012
Interjurisdictional cases of spousal and child support, 2010/2011
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/85-002-x/2012001/article/11628-eng.htm
Using data from the Survey of Maintenance Enforcement Programs for nine provinces and territories, the article provides an overview of key statistics on child and spousal support, as well as a detailed analysis of interjurisdictional support cases.
* General overview of maintenance enforcement
* Analysis of interjurisdictional support order cases
* International cases
* more...

March 28, 2012
Divorce cases in civil court, 2010/2011
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/85-002-x/2012001/article/11634-eng.htm
* Divorce cases represent one-third of all family law cases
* Downward trend in new divorce cases continues
* Most divorce cases ongoing for two years or less
* Majority of divorce cases are uncontested
* Divorce case activity involves predominantly document filings
* Divorce cases rarely reach the trial stage
* Most divorces granted within six months of case initiation
* One in five divorces require more than a year to finalize
* Lengthy divorce cases often have periods of inactivity
* more...

March 28, 2012
Government Finance Statistics
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/120326/dq120326e-eng.htm
Quarterly data for Government Finance Statistics (GFS), a system which presents fiscal statistics using the international standard GFS developed by the International Monetary Fund, are now available. This standard allows consistent aggregation and analysis across countries.

Quarterly GFS data are available FREE on CANSIM for overall government in Canada and for four sectors from 1991 to the fourth quarter of 2011. These sectors are federal government, provincial/territorial governments, local governments, and Canada and Quebec Pension Plans.

The Daily Archives
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/cgi-bin/DAILY/daily.cgi?s=last
- select a month and year from the drop-down menus and click on a date for that day's Daily

Source:
The Daily:
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/dai-quo/index-eng.htm
[Statistics Canada
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/start-debut-eng.html ]

---

- Go to the Federal Government Department Links (Fisheries and Oceans to Veterans Affairs) page:
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/fedbkmrk2.htm

---

- Go to the Poverty Measures - Canadian Resources page:
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/poverty.htm

11. What's new from the Childcare Resource and Research Unit

What's new from the
Childcare Resource and Research Unit (CRRU):
http://www.childcarecanada.org

April 1, 2012

What's new online this week:

1. Research, policy & practice
- materials include: scholarly research, policy studies and briefs, government and NGO reports

The impact of publicly provided services on the distribution of resources
http://goo.gl/nim9x
28 Mar 2012 | International
OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Paper "looks at how the income distribution in countries changes when the value of publicly-provided services to households is included". States that "limited and unequal access to childcare services perpetuates social inequalities, whereas investment in early education can protect children from further social disadvantages and contribute to more equality".

Learning for well-being: A policy priority for children and youth in Europe
http://goo.gl/FAULC
28 Mar 2012 | Europe
Report developed by Eurochild and a consortium of foundations associated with the European Union argues that "we need to radically shift our mindsets and transform how we think about children, learning, health, education and society".

Now we are born: Second report of the Growing Up in New Zealand longitudinal study
http://goo.gl/giBDk
28 Mar 2012 | Australia and New Zealand
The second report from the Growing Up in New Zealand longitudinal study finds that "over a third of mothers reported using non-parental child care, for an average of 20 hours per week" for their babies at 9 months, and "the most commonly used forms of non-parental childcare were early child care centres and grandparents".

Improving quality in the early years: A comparison of perspectives and measures
http://goo.gl/dpOcL
27 Mar 2012 | Europe
Report from Daycare Trust, University of Oxford and A+ Education (UK)concludes that the government quality rating system (Ofsted) is "too broad to provide a detailed measure of quality in early years settings", and is "best used alongside other quality measures".

The current state of Canadian family finances: 2011-2012 report
http://goo.gl/qMXJS
27 Mar 2012 | Canada
The 13th report in the series from the Vanier Institute of the Family "finds many Canadian families struggling to balance persistently high debt loads against modest savings and often precarious income flow".

MORE research, policy & practice
http://childcarecanada.org/documents/research-policy-practice

2. Child care in the news:
- archive of news articles about early childhood education and child care (ECEC) in Canada and abroad.

Completing the job started by Mike Harris
http://goo.gl/Ki3J8
28 Mar 2012 | Ontario

Child Care already in an “Age of Austerity”
http://goo.gl/w6mcV
28 Mar 2012 | Ontario

Ontario Budget: Parents decry lack of new child care funding
http://goo.gl/KLPGM
28 Mar 2012 | Ontario

Poor families with stay-home moms trapped by lack of child care
http://goo.gl/O3WIV
28 Mar 2012 | Asia

NB's abolished council: One year later, Women's Advisory Council still sorely missed
http://goo.gl/dSIgq
27 Mar 2012 | New Brunswick

MORE child care in the news
http://childcarecanada.org/documents/child-care-news

------

NOTE: For links to earlier (weekly) issues of this weekly alert going back to June 2009,
check out the CRRU Links Archive on this site:
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/crru_links_archive.htm

------

Subscribe to the CRRU email notices and updates
http://www.childcarecanada.org/res/enews/index.html
Sign up to receive email notices of updates and new postings on the CRRU website which will inform you of policy developments in early childhood care and education, new research and resources for policy, newly released CRRU publications, and upcoming events of interest to the child care and broader community.

Links to child care
sites in Canada and elsewhere
http://www.childcarecanada.org/links/index.html

CRRU Publications
http://www.childcarecanada.org/pubs/
- briefing notes, factsheets, occasional papers and other publications

ISSUE files
http://www.childcarecanada.org/resources/issue-files
- theme pages, each filled with contextual information and links to further info

Source:
Childcare Resource and Research Unit (CRRU)
http://www.childcarecanada.org
CRRU is a policy and research oriented facility that focuses on early childhood education and child care (ECEC) and family policy in Canada and internationally.

---

- Go to the Non-Governmental Early Learning and Child Care Links page:
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/ecd2.htm

12. Poverty Dispatch: U.S. media coverage of social issues and programs
(Institute for Research on Poverty - University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Poverty Dispatch (U.S.)
http://www.irp.wisc.edu/dispatch
The Poverty Dispatch is a daily scan of U.S. web-based news items dealing with topics such as poverty, welfare reform, child welfare, education, health, hunger, Medicare and Medicaid, etc.. The Dispatch is distributed by the Institute for Research on Poverty, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. News articles from online newspapers are posted here in a number of general categories, and are tagged with more specific keywords relevant to each article.

Tags
http://www.irp.wisc.edu/dispatch/tags/
Clicking on a word or expression in the list of tags will call up all relevant news items from past Dispatches under that tag. The list contains a tag for each U.S. state so you can view jurisdiction-specific news, and tags for a huge list of topics, including :
* Basic needs * Canada * Caseloads * Cash assistance * Cellular phones * Census * Charities * Child care * Child hunger * Child poverty * Child support * Child welfare * Child well-being * Chronic homelessness * Cohabitation * Cost of living * Crime * Crimes against the homeless * Debt * Deep poverty * Disability * Early childhood education * Earned income tax credit * Electronic benefit transfers * Eligibility * Food insecurity * Food programs * Foster care* Fuel poverty * Health care costs * Health insurance coverage * Homeless children * Homeless families * Homeless veterans * Housing First * Housing subsidies * Immigrant workers * Income * Income inequality * Jobless benefits * Juvenile justice * Legal aid * Low-income housing * Low-wage work * Medicaid * Microfinance * Minimum wage * Newly poor * No Child Left Behind * Ontario * Paid family leave * Payday lending * Persistent poverty * Poverty measurement * Poverty rate * Prisons * Privatization * Public Housing * Rural poverty * Safety net * SCHIP * Section 8 (Housing) * Seniors * Single parents * SNAP/Food Stamps * Supplemental Security Income * Taxes * Teen pregnancy * Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) * Unemployment rate * Uninsured * Urban poverty * Utilities * Welfare reform * Welfare-to-work * Women Infants and Children (WIC) * Work requirements * Youth employment * many more tags...

Latest issues of Poverty Dispatch:

March 30:
http://www.irp.wisc.edu/dispatch/2012/03/30/
Native American Child Welfare - Washington
Medicaid Costs - Florida
Welfare Reform - Michigan
US Unemployment

March 29:
http://www.irp.wisc.edu/dispatch/2012/03/29/
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

March 28:
http://www.irp.wisc.edu/dispatch/2012/03/28/
Healthcare Law and Medicaid Expansion
State Budget and Spending on the Poor - New York

March 27:
http://www.irp.wisc.edu/dispatch/2012/03/27/
Kids Count Report - Colorado
Medicaid Programs - Virginia, Illinois

March 26:
http://www.irp.wisc.edu/dispatch/2012/03/26/
Affordable Care Act
Affordable Housing in US Cities

---------------------------------

Earlier Poverty Dispatches (back to July 2006):
1. Go to the Poverty Dispatch home page:
http://www.irp.wisc.edu/dispatch/
2. Click on a date in the calendar (top right-hand corner of the page) to see the links for that date.
Change the month by clicking the link at the bottom of the calendar.
OR
3. Click on a category or a tag (right-hand margin) to access all relevant links.
[ e.g., 588 links under the category "Poverty" - http://www.irp.wisc.edu/dispatch/categories/poverty/ ]
OR
4. Scroll down the home page to the Archives section, where you can view the full content of the dispatches by month back to July 2006 (although *some* media links tend to go 404 after awhile)...
NOTE: I highly recommend this excellent U.S. media resource!
The only shortcoming I encountered was the lack of a table of contents for each daily dispatch, which forces visitors to click each date in the calendar to see the contents of the daily dispatch for that day. So I've created my own archive (the link below), starting in mid-December of 2011, that is a table of contents of each dispatch as per the latest dispatches above, that lets you scan contents without opening each damn dispatch:
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/povdispatch_archive.htm

---

NOTE : You can subscribe to this email list or RSS feed
by clicking "Subscribe" in the right-hand margin on any page of the Poverty Dispatch website

---

Source:
Institute for Research on Poverty (IRP)

http://www.irp.wisc.edu

University of Wisconsin-Madison
http://www.wisc.edu/

---

- Go to the Links to American Government Social Research page:
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/us.htm

- Go to the Links to American Non-Governmental Social Research (A-J) page:
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/us2.htm

- Go to the Links to American Non-Governmental Social Research (M-Z) page:
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/us3.htm

- Go to the Poverty Measures - International Resources page:
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/poverty2.htm

13. [U.S.] The rich are different; they get richer - March 27

The rich are different; they get richer
http://goo.gl/1kUID
By Harold Meyerson
March 27, 2012
Occupy Wall Street is not known for the precision of its economic analysis, but new research on income distribution in the United States shows that the group’s sloganeering provides a stunningly accurate picture of the economy. In 2010, according to a study [see the link to the study below] published this month by University of California economist Emmanuel Saez, 93 percent of income growth went to the wealthiest 1 percent of American households, while everyone else divvied up the 7 percent that was left over. Put another way: The most fundamental characteristic of the U.S. economy today is the divide between the 1 percent and the 99 percent.
(...)
Research [see the link to the research report below] by Julia Isaacs of the Brookings Institution, as part of the Economic Mobility Project, has shown that intergenerational mobility in the United States has fallen far below the levels in Germany, Finland, Denmark and other more social democratic nations of Northern Europe.

Source:
Washington Post

http://www.washingtonpost.com/

The study by Saez:

Striking it Richer:
The Evolution of Top Incomes in the United States
(PDF - 136K, 10 pages)
http://elsa.berkeley.edu/~saez/saez-UStopincomes-2010.pdf
Updated with 2009 and 2010 estimates
By Emmanuel Saez
March 2, 2012
Source:
Berkeley
http://elsa.berkeley.edu/

The research report by Isaacs:

International Comparisons of Economic Mobility
http://goo.gl/khV2O
By Julia B. Isaacs
Source:
The Brookings Institution
http://www.brookings.edu

---

- Go to the Income and Wealth Inequality Links page:
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/inequality.htm

14. CRINMAIL (Newsletter of the Child Rights Information Network - CRIN)

Child Rights Information Network (CRIN):
http://www.crin.org/
CRIN envisions a world in which every child enjoys all of the human rights promised by the United Nations, regional organisations, and national governments alike. (...) Our inspiration is the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which we use to bring children's rights to the top of the international agenda. We launch advocacy campaigns, lead international children's rights coalitions, and strive to make existing human rights enforcement mechanisms accessible for all. More than 2,100 organisations in 150 countries rely on CRIN's publications, research and information.

The latest information on children's rights around the world:
CRINMAIL
http://www.crin.org/email/
CRIN publishes several email lists on children's rights issues in English, French, Spanish and Arabic. We also issue thematic editions on armed conflict, violence against children and strategic litigation. You can subscribe to any of these email lists and unsubscribe at any time.

CRINMAIL - Children's Rights Newsletter (weekly)
Latest issue:

28 March 2012 - CRINMAIL Issue 1269
http://www.crin.org/email/crinmail_detail_popup.asp?crinmailID=4165
In this issue:
Latest news and reports
- Sentencing juveniles in military prisons
- Children as intentional targets
- Justice: slow but sure
- Girls will be boys
- 'Chipping' schoolchildren
- Shoot first (ask questions later)
- Lagging behind
- Reducing prerogatives
- Harmful traditional practices
Children's Rights Wiki
- St Kitts and Nevis
- The Bahamas
Upcoming events

Also includes:
* World news * Reports * Events * Issues * Law
* Advocacy * Challenging breaches * Take action * Campaigns * Toolkits

-----------------------------------------------

CRINMAIL Archive (earlier issues):

Option 1:
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/CRINMAIL_archive.htm
- includes a table of contents for each issue, as above, back to 2009-2010:

Option 2:
http://goo.gl/C0JNx
- On the CRINMAIL website --- does *not* include the table of contents for each issue (so you must click on each link to see its contents), but it goes back much further (pre-2006). Follow this link to see hundreds of earlier weekly issues, many of which are special editions focusing on special themes, such as the 45th Session of the Committee on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

--------------------------------------------------

NOTE:
The CRINMAIL Children's Rights Newsletter is only ONE of several weekly newsletters produced and distributed by CRIN.
See the complete list of newsletters:
http://www.crin.org/email/

Source:
Child Rights Information Network (CRIN):

http://www.crin.org/
CRIN envisions a world in which every child enjoys all of the human rights promised by the United Nations, regional organisations, and national governments alike. (...) Our inspiration is the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which we use to bring children's rights to the top of the international agenda. We launch advocacy campaigns, lead international children's rights coalitions, and strive to make existing human rights enforcement mechanisms accessible for all. More than 2,100 organisations in 150 countries rely on CRIN's publications, research and information.

---

- Go to the Children's Rights Links page:
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/chnrights.htm


Disclaimer/Privacy Statement

Both Canadian Social Research Links (the site) and this Canadian Social Research Newsletter belong to me, Gilles Séguin.

I am solely accountable for the choice of links presented therein and for the occasional editorial comment - it's my time, my home computer, my experience, my biases, my Rogers Internet account and my web hosting service.

I administer the mailing list and distribute the weekly newsletter using software on the web server of the
Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).
http://www.cupe.ca/
Thanks, CUPE!

------------------------

If you wish to receive this weekly newsletter by email, go to the Canadian Social Research Newsletter Online Subscription page:
http://lists.cupe.ca/mailman/listinfo/csrl-news
...or send me an email message.

You can unsubscribe by going to the same page or by sending me an e-mail message [ gilseg@rogers.com ]

------------------------

Privacy Policy:

The Canadian Social Research Newsletter mailing list is not used for any purpose except to distribute each weekly newsletter.
I promise not share any information on this list, nor to send you any junk mail.

Links presented in the Canadian Social Research Newsletter point to different views about social policy and social programs.
There are some that I don't agree with, so don't get on my case, eh...

To access earlier online HTML issues of the Canadian Social Research Newsletter, go to the Newsletter page:
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/news.htm

Feel free to distribute this newsletter as widely as you wish, but please remember to mention Canadian Social Research Links when you do.

Cheers!
Gilles

E-MAIL:
gilseg@rogers.com

 

This week, no jokes or quotes or puns.
Just sadness.
(And still some denial.)

The announcement of the demise of the National Council of Welfare (#2 above) was not surprising, but it knocked the stuffing out of me. If you're a fan of social justice like me, and if you're old enough to have been around for the 1995 federal budget announcing the demise of the Canada Assistance Plan (CAP), THAT's how I've been feeling since learning about the Council's fate on Friday. It's like learning that a loved one has cancer, and there's absolutely nothing you can do about it.

Over my 30 years in the federal government, I worked with Council staff on many welfare-related projects, and I was even seconded to the Council for a year in 1996-97. It was always a positive experience and intrinsically rewarding, just knowing that Council's reports were prepared to advise the Minister on matters relating to social development (currently Diane Finley).

Since the demise of CAP in April 1996, there is no statutory requirement for an annual public report to be tabled in the House of Commons about the efficiency or the effectiveness of the provincial and territorial welfare programs that were cost-shared with the provinces. Now, with the demise of the National Council of Welfare scheduled for April of 2013, there won't be any advisory group to keep the government honest. Only the Prime Minister's Office, Treasury Board, the Privy Council Office and the Department of Finance.

Pity.

I'm sad for the staff of the National Council of Welfare.
And I'm grieving for the end of an iconic institution.
R.I.P. National Council of Welfare...