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Canadian Social Research Newsletter
March 6, 2005

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.

The e-mail version of this week's issue of the newsletter is going out to 1360 subscribers.
Scroll to the bottom of this newsletter to see some notes and a disclaimer.



Canadian Content

1. Canada's Employment Insurance Program Enhanced - February 23
2. Sixth National Child Welfare Symposium - May 26-27, Montreal (Centre of Excellence for Child Welfare)

3. The Canada Assistance Regulations were added to the CAP Resources page of this site
4. Ottawa's first homelessness report card (Alliance to End Homelessness) - March 2
5. Ottawa and Québec agree on Parental Leave, taking effect January 2006 - March 1
6. From the Income Security Advocacy Centre (Toronto): Ontario welfare rates (March '05) and minimum wages (Feb. '05), recent Ontario welfare rule changes
7. No new money for housing in the federal budget - February 28

8. 2003 Immigration Overview – Permanent and Temporary Residents (Citizenship and Immigration Canada) - February 25

9. What's New from the Childcare Resource and Research Unit (CRRU) - University of Toronto --- March 3, 2005

International Content

10. Poverty Dispatch Weekly Digest : U.S. media coverage of social issues and programs --- March 3, 2005
11. Beijing +10 - International Women's Day - International Women's Week

12. Child Poverty in Rich Countries 2005 - report (UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre) - March 1

Have a great week!

Gilles Séguin

Canadian Social Research Links


1. Canada's Employment Insurance Program Enhanced - February 23
(Human Resources and Skills Development Canada)

Government of Canada announces enhancements to Employment Insurance
News Release
February 23, 2005
"OTTAWA, ONTARIO—The Honourable Lucienne Robillard, President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, today announced approximately 300 million dollars in new measures aimed at enhancing the Employment Insurance (EI) program that will benefit more than 220,000 Canadian workers annually."
- includes a backgrounder with more detail on the following changes to EI : Reducing the eligibility threshold for new entrants and re-entrants to the labour market - Calculating benefits based on the best 14 weeks of earnings - Increasing the working-while-on-claim threshold - Continuation of the pilot project to test the effects of increased weeks of EI regular benefits for a second year - One year extension of the EI transitional boundary provision
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

More Employment Insurance links - from the Canadian Social Research Links Federal Department Links page (incl. links to the report of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills Development, Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities on the subject of the Employment Insurance Fund.)

- Go to the Federal Government Department Links (Fisheries and Oceans to Veterans Affairs) page:

2. Sixth National Child Welfare Symposium - May 26-27, Montreal
(Centre of Excellence for Child Welfare)

Protecting children, helping adults: Bringing two worlds closer together
6th National Child Welfare Symposium
May 26 - 27, 2005
Mont Royal Centre, Montreal, Québec
[The Call for Abstracts closed December 3, 2004.]
Conference Themes:
*domestic violence * mental health * child protection * drug abuse * intellectual disabilities

"The Centre of Excellence for Child Welfare (CECW) is proud to present the detailed program, including a registration form, for the 6th National Child Welfare Symposium ( , to be held at the Centre Mont-Royal in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, May 26 - 27, 2005. Protecting Children, Helping Adults: Bringing Two Worlds Closer Together, is bringing together researchers and practitioners with managers and decision makers who wish to build bridges between services for adults (specifically in the areas of domestic violence, substance abuse, mental health problems, and intellectual disability) and child welfare services. A forum on social policy is taking place at the end of the second day of the symposium. Its goal is to lay the groundwork for co-ordinating services for adults and services for children, with the aim of responding better to the respective needs of the members of families in difficulty. Taking the risk of intervening, together—should this be the starting point for concerted action?"

Registration will be available online on Monday, May 7, 2005.

Centre of Excellence for Child Welfare

- Go to the Children, Families and Youth Links (NGO) page:
- Go to the Conferences and Events Links page:

3. The historical CAP collection grows...
(Canada Assistance Regulations added)

From 1966 to 1996, the Canada Assistance Plan (CAP) was the federal statute that enabled the Government of Canada to share in the approved costs of provincial and territorial social assistance programs across the country. A few years ago, I scanned a paper copy of the CAP statute and uploaded it to the CAP/CHST Resources Page of this site, but I couldn't find a copy of the CAP regulations. Today (March 5), I stumbled across a copy of the regs in a rarely-visited cranny (or was it a nook --- I can't remember...) on my own computer's hard drive, so I coded it and uploaded it to the CAP/CHST page. Here are the links to both the CAP statute and the Regulations:

Canada Assistance Plan Regulations -- R.C., c. 382 - Added to this site March 4
(Last amended 1986/07/09)
- for history buffs

Canada Assistance Plan -- (Consolidation up to S.C. 1996, c. 11)
CHAPTER C-1 (Repealed March 31, 2000)
NOTE: "Canada Assistance Plan" was the complete name of the statute (just like the Canada Pension Plan); the word "Act" doesn't appear in the title of the legislation.

The CAP statute was replaced in April 1996 by the Canada Health and Social Transfer (CHST). The CHST was in turn replaced by the Canada Health Transfer and the Canada Social Transfer, in April 2004.
For more info on these initiatives, see the Canada Assistance Plan / Canada Health and Social Transfer / Canada Social Transfer Resources page:

4. Ottawa's first homelessness report card - March 2
(Alliance to End Homelessness)

Experiencing Homelessness:
The First Report Card on Homelessness in Ottawa, 2005
(PDF file - 537K, 16 pages)
March 2, 2005
"This is the first Report Card on Homelessness in Ottawa. Report Cards measure progress over time or rate progress against defined criteria. Since this is Ottawa’s first Report Card, it will present a profile of homelessness in the City and introduce many organizations that work to reduce the impact of homelessness here. Future progress or lack of progress in Ottawa will be measured using the indicators in the table above."

Version française:
Être itinérant : Premier bulletin sur l'itinérance à Ottawa en 2005
(fichier PDF - 519Ko., 16 pages)

Alliance to End Homelessness (Ottawa)

- Go to the Homelessness and Housing Links page:
- Go to the Ontario Municipal and Non-Governmental Sites (A-C) page:

5. Ottawa and Québec agree on Parental Leave, taking effect January 2006 - March 1

The child assistance payment:
Universal government assistance for families
- financial assistance paid to all Québec families with one or more dependent children under the age of 18; the amount of the child assistance payment depends on net family income, the number of children under the age of 18 and the type of family (single-parent or two-parent).
Régie des rentes du Québec (English Home Page)

Quebec, Ottawa sign parental leave deal
March 1, 2005
"MONTREAL – The Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec have reached an agreement regarding Quebec's parental insurance plan. The deal signed Tuesday by four cabinet ministers from Quebec and Ottawa is more generous than the Employment Insurance-based program used elsewhere in Canada. The two-week waiting period for getting benefits will be eliminated. New mothers now have a choice: they can take a larger income for a shorter leave, or they can take a smaller percentage of their usual income for a period just short of a year. There's something for new fathers in the plan which is being called "progressive": five weeks of paid parental leave."
CBC Montreal

Quebec signs parental-leave deal with feds
March 1, 2005
"(...)The federal government will give Quebec $750 million annually to run the program, which Lucien Bouchard's government formally requested in 1997. (...) The deal affects approximately 80,000 people per year in Quebec. The new program takes effect Jan. 1, 2006."
CBC Ottawa

Québec parental leave provisions:

Becoming a Parent (PDF file - 3.2MB, 52 pages)
Dated November 2004
- incl. information on maternity and parental leave in Québec and maternity and parental benefits under the federal Employment Insurance program.
Régie des rentes du Québec (English Home Page)

Maternity and parental leave
- from the Commission des normes du travail du Québec (labour standards commission website English home page )

Maternity, paternity or adoption leave
- from Revenu Québec

Federal Employment Insurance provisions:

Employment Insurance (EI) and
maternity, parental and sickness benefits

- scroll down to read the whole page or click "Parental Benefits" (18th link from the top on that page) to jump directly to EI's parental leave rules.
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC)

Also from HRSDC:

Work and Family Provisions in Canadian Collective Agreements
- scroll halfway down the page to "Chapter II - Maternity, Parental, and Adoption Leaves and Pregnancy-Related Provisions"


Available in French only:

Entente Canada-Québec sur le Régime québécois d'assurance parentale
Un gain pour les familles, un gain pour le Québec

Le1er mars 2005
Les gouvernements du Québec et du Canada ont signé aujourd'hui une entente permettant la mise sur pied du Régime québécois d'assurance parentale (RQAP).
Secrétariat aux affaires intergouvernementales canadiennes


Régime québécois d’assurance parentale
Le 2 mars 2005
C’est le 1er mars que l’Entente Canada-Québec sur le Régime québécois d’assurance parentale a été signée. Afin de vous informer sur ce nouveau régime qui entrera en vigueur le 1er janvier 2006, un site Internet a été mis en ligne. Ce site Web présente un historique, des pourparlers, des détails sur la cotisation ainsi que les grandes lignes du Régime.
Gouvernement du Québec


- Go to the Québec Links (English) page:
- Rendez-vous à la page de Liens de recherche sociale au Québec:

6. From the Income Security Advocacy Centre (Toronto):
- [Ontario] Social assistance rates (March '05) and minimum wages (Feb. '05)
- recent Ontario welfare rule changes

Social Assistance Fact Sheet (Word document - 35K, 2 pages)
- updated Feb.23 , 2005 to reflect the 3% increase to social assistance rates that comes into effect in March

Minimum Wage Fact Sheet (Word document - 32K, 2 pages)
- updated Feb. 23, 2005 to reflect the recent 30 cent increase to the minimum wage

Income Security Advocacy Centre (ISAC)

Also from ISAC:

McGuinty Government Falls Short in Overhauling Social Assistance (Word document - 88K, 1 page)
ISAC News Release
Dec. 15 2004
On December 15, 2004 the government introduced changes to the Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support Program regulations. The changes took effect immediately, and will have an important effect on people applying for assistance after December 15, 2004 and on those already on assistance.

Fact Sheet - Changes to OW/ODSP Rules (Word document, 39K, 2 pages)
December 2004
"The new changes include getting rid of a rule that forced people to cash in their children’s RESPs before they could get on social assistance and a rule that punished sponsored immigrants who were forced on to social assistance when their sponsorship broke down. ISAC had taken the government to court over both rules."

- Go to the Ontario Municipal and Non-Governmental Sites (D-W) page:

7. No new money for housing in the federal budget - February 28

Not one new penny for housing
By Carol Goar
Feb. 28, 2005
"Housing Minister Joe Fontana swung into damage control within hours of last week's federal budget.He had a lot to explain. Not one penny of the $1.5 billion in housing funds promised by the Liberals in the last election materialized in the budget. Not one paragraph was devoted to affordable housing. Not one new housing initiative was launched."
The Toronto Star

Related Links:

Towards a New Canadian Housing Framework Consultations 2005
- Submit your opinion or questions (including opinions regarding "not one new penny for housing"...)
NOTE: there's no "final date" for submissions, but the description of the consultations refers to the process taking place "in January and February 2005."
National Homelessness Initiative

- Go to the Canadian Government Budgets Links page:
- Go to the Homelessness and Housing Links page:

8. 2003 Immigration Overview – Permanent and Temporary Residents - February 25
(Citizenship and Immigration Canada)

Facts and Figures 2003: Immigration Overview – Permanent and Temporary Residents
February 25, 2005
HTML version
PDF version
- 813K, 115 pages
"...presents the annual intake of permanent and temporary residents to Canada from 1980 to 2003, as well as the annual December 1 stock of temporary residents in Canada during this period. The main body of the publication consists of a series of statistical tables and charts covering the ten-year period from 1994 to 2003. The publication is divided into two separate sections, each depicting selected characteristics for the permanent resident population or the temporary resident population during this ten-year period."
Citizenship and Immigration Canada

- Go to the Federal Government Department Links (Agriculture to Finance) page:

9. What's New from the Childcare Resource and Research Unit (CRRU) - University of Toronto
March 4, 2005

What's New - from the Childcare Resource and Research Unit (CRRU) - University of Toronto

Each week, the Childcare Resource and Research Unit disseminates its "e-mail news notifier", an e-mail message with a dozen or so links to new reports, studies and child care in the news (media articles) by the CRRU or another organization in the field of early childhood education and care (ECEC). What you see below is content from the most recent issue of the notifier.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *



>> Materials from Child Care in a Changing World European conference
by Various authors
Keynote presentations, workshop documents and position paper from major child care policy conference held in Groningen, Netherlands, October 2004.

>> Rural child care – We’re worth it
by Rural Voices
Consultation document from Rural Voices; community members are invited to send responses by fax, email, or by completing the online community feedback form.

>> Child poverty in rich countries 2005
by UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre
UNICEF report card finds that Canada is lagging behind many other industrialized countries in efforts to end child poverty; ranks Canada 19 out of 26 OECD countries.


>> Canada is failing needy children [CA]
Toronto Star, 3 Mar 05
Poverty hurts. It can be especially hard on children. And there is no reason for child poverty in a country as rich as Canada, the United Nations Children's Fund reminds us in a new report that underlines the extent to which government policies that tolerate it are a form of child neglect.

>> Dryden confident child care plan will be embraced [CA]
Canadian Press, 3 Mar 05
Ken Dryden is confident the $5 billion committed to child care in the last federal budget will alter the public's view of day care in the country.

>> Dryden heaps praise on day-care system [CA-QC]
Montreal Gazette, 2 Mar 05
After playing with the children and chatting with teachers at the Centre de la petite enfance Familigarde de LaSalle, Social Development Minister Ken Dryden heaped praise on Quebec's subsidized day-care system, saying it serves
as an excellent example for other provinces.

>> Ottawa allows Quebec to run parental leave program [CA-QC]
CBC News, 1 Mar 05
Ottawa reached a deal with Quebec Tuesday allowing the province to run its own parental leave program, an agreement more generous than any similar employment insurance-based plan in the country.

>> Money's there for child care - how will Quebec spend it? [CA-QC]
Montreal Gazette, 24 Feb 05
Quebec stands to get $165 million in fresh child care cash from Ottawa over the next year, but day-care advocates fear the province won't actually spend it on kids.

>> Child care pushed aside for Olympic dreams [CA-BC]
Monday Magazine, 23 Feb 05
The child care centre at Camosun College remains in danger of being closed, at a time when the college is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on setting up a new sports centre on the Interurban campus.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
This message was forwarded through the Childcare Resource and Research Unit e-mail news notifier.
For information on the CRRU e-mail notifier, including subscription instructions , see
The Childcare Resource and Research Unit (University of Toronto, Canada)
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Also from CRRU:

Current developments in Early Childhood Education and Care: Provinces and territories
Regularly updated
"This resource is a collection of useful online readings about current early childhood education and care policy and program delivery issues in each province and territory. Within each jurisdiction, information is organized into three sections: news articles, online documents and useful websites."

What's New? - Links to 100+ Canadian, U.S. and international resources from Jan 2000 to the present.
Child Care in the News - 200+ media articles from January 2000 to the present
ISSUE files - links to 20+ theme pages, each filled with contextual information and links to further info
Links to child care sites in Canada and elsewhere
CRRU Publications
- links to ~60 briefing notes, factsheets, occasional papers and other publications

- Go to the Early Learning and Child Care Links page:

10. Poverty Dispatch Digest :
U.S. media coverage of social issues and programs --- March 3
, 2005

POVERTY DISPATCH Digest (Institute for Research on Poverty - U. of Wisconsin)
This digest offers dozens of new links each week to full-text articles in the U.S. media (mostly daily newspapers) on poverty, poverty, welfare reform, child welfare, education, health, hunger, Medicare and Medicaid, and much more...
The Institute for Research on Poverty (IRP) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison offers a free e-mail service that consists of an e-mail message sent to subscribers each Monday and Thursday, containing a dozen or so links to articles dealing with the areas mentioned above. The weekly Canadian Social Research Links Poverty Dispatch Digest is a compilation, available online, of the two dispatch e-mails for that week --- with the kind permission of IRP.

Here's a one-day sample of the subjects covered in the Poverty Dispatch Digest:

March 3, 2005
Today's subjects include:
Medicaid // Medicaid - Opinion // Faith-Based Social Services // High School Inadequacies - Opinion //  Medicaid - Wisconsin, Florida, Nevada // Health Care Costs - Minnesota // Health Care Plan - Tennessee // Welfare Agency Closure - Milwaukee // Homeless Census- Milwaukee // Homelessness - New York City // Minimum Wage - Minnesota //

NOTE: "Poverty Dispatch is now being compiled and distributed to e-mail subscribers twice a week -- Mondays and Thursdays. We plan to maintain a broad coverage of poverty-related issues as reported all week in U.S. newspapers and other news sources." (Institute for Research on Poverty)

Most of the weekly digests below offer 100 links or more to media articles that are time-sensitive.
The older the link, the more likely it is to either be dead or have moved to an archive - and some archives [but not all] are pay-as-you-go.
[For the current week's digest, click on the POVERTY DISPATCH link above]

The Poverty Dispatch weekly digest is a good tool for monitoring what's happening in the U.S.; it's a guide to best practices and lessons learned in America.

Subscribe to the Poverty Dispatch!
Send an e-mail message to John Wolf < > to receive a plain text message twice a week with one to two dozen links to media articles with a focus on poverty, welfare reform, child welfare, health, Medicaid from across the U.S.
And it's free...

Institute for Research on Poverty (IRP)
[ University of Wisconsin-Madison ]

POVERTY DISPATCH description/archive - weekly issues back to July 2004 , avg. 100+ links per issue before December 2004!
NOTE: this archive is part of the Canadian Social Research Links American Non-Governmental Social Research page.

For the current week's digest, click on the POVERTY DISPATCH link at the top of this section.
Recently-archived POVERTY DISPATCH weekly digests:

- February 24, 2005
- February 17, 2005
- February 10, 2005
- February 3 , 2005
- January 20, 2005

- Go to the Links to American Government Social Research page:
- Go to the Links to American Non-Governmental Social Research (A-J) page:
- Go to the Links to American Non-Governmental Social Research (M-Z) page:

11. Beijing +10 - International Women's Day - International Women's Week

From WomenWatch*:
[*WomenWatch offers United Nations Information and Resources on Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women]

Forty-Ninth Session of the Commission on the Status of Women
Beijing +10 (United Nations, New York, 28 February to 11 March 2005)
- meeting of high level representatives from 100+ UN Member States and thousands of NGO representatives to review progress made since the Fourth World Congress on Women held in Beijing in 1995. The Ten-Year Review and Appraisal are part of the 49th session of the Commission on the Status of Women.

Official Documents for the Commission on the Status of Women 49th Session

Review and Appraisal of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action
and the Outcome Document of the Twenty-third Special Session of the General Assembly


From Status of Women Canada:

Liza Frulla (Minister of Canadian Heritage and Minister Responsible for Status of Women)
Will Lead the Canadian Delegation to the Beijing +10 Meeting in New York

News Release
February 28, 2005

The Honourable Liza Frulla, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Minister responsible for Status of Women
United Nations Commission on the Status of Women 10-year Review of the Implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action
Statement of Canada
March 2, 2005
"(...)2005, in addition to marking the 30th anniversary of the first world conference on women, also marks the 20th anniversary of the equality provisions of our Constitution."

International Women's Day - March 8, 2005
You Are Here: Women, Canada and the World

"Did you know that March 8 is International Women's Day (IWD) ? Established in 1977 by the United Nations, this special day provides an opportunity to reflect on the progress made to advance women's equality, to assess the challenges facing women in contemporary society, to consider future steps to enhance the status of women and, of course, to celebrate the gains made in these areas."
- incl. links to : Theme * News releases and statements * Products available * Ordering products * Calendar of Activities * For more information
Calendar of Activities 2005
(for all of Canada)
Beijing +10 at a Glance
Beijing +10 Resources
Beijing +10: Fact Sheets


A Decade of Going Backwards: Canada in the Post-Beijing Era
Beijing+10 UN shadow report
February 25, 2005
"This shadow report provides a comprehensive analysis of Canada’s progress on the commitments it made to women’s equality ten years ago in Beijing.
Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action (FAFIA)
- incl. "information on Canada’s commitment under the Beijing Platform for Action or the upcoming Beijing meetings in New York (and) links to both the official reports and activities of Canada and the UN, as well as relevant information from women’s organizations around the world."
- incl. links to resources in the following areas: Beijing +10 - Canada Social Transfer - Women, Trade and Economic Justice - Violence, Poverty and Housing - Human Rights in Canada - CEDAW - Gender Budgeting - Pay Equity

Also from FAFIA:

Beijing+10 Research and Resources


International Women's Day (IWD)
"International Women's Day (IWD) is a major day of global celebration for the economic, political and social achievements of women. Find out what local IWD events are occurring near you for IWD 2005."

Organisations Supporting Women
The following organisations have proudly listed their 2005 International Women's Day (IWD) event on this site. Learn more about what these organisations do and how you can become more involved with them."
- links to 150+ women's groups


Beijing and Beyond "The Women of the World are Watching"
"The Global Week of Action: Beijing and Beyond is an opportunity for everyone to get involved, apply pressure on their governments, demand women's human rights, and celebrate achievements."

Resources List


Beijing Betrayed
Women worldwide report that governments have failed to turn the Platform into action. (March 2005)
Women's Environment &Development Organization


International Women's Week
I didn't find many links to meaningful web content on this theme, but the Google News search turned up some interesting articles:

Google News search Results : "International Women's Week"
Google Web Search Results : "International Women's Week"


- Go to the United Nations Links page:
- Go to the Canadian Government Sites about Women's Social Issues page:
- Go to the the Canadian Non-Governmental Sites about Women's Social Issues page:
- Go to the Links to International Sites about Women's Social Issues page:

12. Child Poverty in Rich Countries 2005 (report) - March 1
(UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre)

New from the UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre:

Child Poverty Rising in Richest Countries : Study Urges OECD Governments to Establish
Credible Monitoring Systems and Timeframes for the Progressive Reduction of Child Poverty
(PDF file - 65K, 2 pages)
Media Release
March 1, 2005
"FLORENCE– The proportion of children living in poverty since the early 1990s has risen in 17 out of 24 rich countries, a new report from UNICEF’s research centre said today. Although it is widely assumed that child poverty in rich countries is on a steady downward track, the report finds that in only four countries – Australia, Norway, the United Kingdom, and the United States – has there been a significant decrease since the early 1990s."

Child Poverty in Rich Countries 2005 (Complete report- PDF file - 218K, 40 pages)
Summary of the report (PDF file - 114K, 4 pages)
Background papers
A Portrait of Child Poverty in Germany
- Child Poverty and Changes in Child Poverty in Rich Countries Since 1990
- Principles and practicalities for measuring child poverty in the rich countries
- The Impact of Tax and Transfer Systems on Children in the European Union
Other Press material
- Brief guide to best practices in defining and monitoring child poverty
- Key findings

Innocenti Report Card no. 6
(this page includes links to Spanish, French and Italian versions of the all of the above files.)

Related Link:

Canada ranks poorly for child poverty
Unicef places nation 19th among 26 developed countries
March 1, 2005
The Globe and Mail

Google News search Results : "unicef child poverty report"
Google Web Search Results : "unicef child poverty report"

- Go to the International Children, Families and Youth Links page:

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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...

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Four People.

Once upon a time, there were four people;

Their names were Everybody, Somebody, Nobody and Anybody.

Whenever there was an important job to be done, Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it.

Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it.

When Nobody did it, Everybody got angry because it was Somebody's job.

Everybody thought that Somebody would do it, but Nobody realized that Nobody would do it.

So consequently Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done in the first place.


Two priests die around the same time, and they meet Saint Peter at the Pearly Gates.
St. Peter says, "I'd like to get you guys in right now, but our computer's down.
You'll have to go back to Earth for about a week, but you can't go back as humans. What'll it be?"
The first priest says, "I've always wanted to be an eagle, soaring above the Rocky mountains. I can really do that?"
"You bet," says St. Peter, and off flies the first priest.

The second priest mulls this over for a moment and asks, "Will any of this week 'count', St. Peter?"
 "No, I told you the computer's down. There's no way we can keep track of what you're doing. The week's a freebie."
"In that case," says the second priest, "I've always wanted to be a stud."
"So be it," says St. Peter, and the second priest disappears.

A week goes by, the computer is fixed, and God tells St. Peter to recall the two priests.
"Will you have any trouble locating them?" He asks.
"The first one should be easy," says St. Peter.
"He's somewhere over the Rockies, flying with the eagles.
But the second one could prove to be more difficult."

"Why?" asked God.

St. Peter answers, "He's on a snow tire somewhere in Saskatchewan".


A man appears before St. Peter at the pearly gates.

"Have you ever done anything of particular merit?", St. Peter asks.
"Welll, I can think of one thing," the man offers. "On a trip to the Black  Hills, out in South Dakota, I came upon a gang of bikers who were threatening a young woman. I directed  them to leave her alone, but they wouldn't listen.
 So I approached the largest and most heavily tattooed biker. I smacked him on the head, kicked his bike over, ripped out his nose ring, threw it on the ground, and told  him, 'Leave her alone now or you'll answer to me.'"
St. Peter was impressed. "When did this happen?"

"Oh, about five minutes ago."