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Canadian Social Research Newsletter
March 7, 2010

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 2,233 subscribers.

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...

Haiti Earthquake
Haiti still needs our help.
Canadian Red Cross


Haiti Relief - from the CBC
- links to information resources, more organizations accepting donations



Canadian content

1. Down but Not Out: Reforming Social Assistance Rules that Punish the Poor for Saving (John Stapleton for the C.D. Howe Institute) - March 2
2. International Women's Day - March 8
3. Canada Budget 2010 - Leading the Way on Jobs and Growth (Government of Canada) - March 4
4. Speech from the Throne (Government of Canada) - March 3
5. What is wrong with the Olympics? (The Olympic Resistance Network)
6. British Columbia Budget 2010
- March 2
7. A Closer Look at Low Wages in BC (Steve Kerstetter for the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives) - February 24
8. Northwest Territories Budget 2010 - January 28
9. Alternative Federal Budget 2010 (Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives) - March 1
10. What's New in The Daily [Statistics Canada]:
--- Employment, Earnings and Hours, December 2009 - March 3
--- Canadian economic accounts, fourth quarter 2009 and December 2009 - March 1
11. What's new from the Childcare Resource and Research Unit (Toronto) - March 7

International content

12. Poverty Dispatch: U.S. media coverage of social issues and programs (Institute for Research on Poverty - U. of Wisconsin-Madison)
13. United States Census Bureau to develop a Supplemental Poverty Measure - March 2
14. Australian Policy Online - recent content
15. CRINMAIL (children's rights newsletter)

Have a great week!

Gilles Séguin

Canadian Social Research Links


1. Down but Not Out: Reforming Social Assistance Rules that Punish the Poor for Saving - March 2
(John Stapleton for the C.D. Howe Institute)

Down but Not Out: Reforming Social Assistance Rules
that Punish the Poor for Saving
(PDF - 173K, 6 pages)
By John Stapleton
Toronto, March 2 – Reform is required for social program rules that prevent the poor from saving in Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs) and Tax Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs), according to a study released today by the C.D. Howe Institute. In “Down but Not Out: Reforming Social Assistance Rules that Punish the Poor for Saving,” author John Stapleton says that encouraging asset accumulation, even in small amounts, is crucial in helping to lift people out of poverty. Yet most Canadian welfare, disability and social service programs deny or cancel benefits if applicants or recipients place a modest level of savings in an RRSP or TFSA. Barring a province-led effort at reform, says Stapleton, the federal government should take the lead by calling on provinces and territories to exempt meaningful RRSP and TFSA amounts from their welfare asset rules, leaving individual jurisdictions to decide the appropriate levels

NOTE: this paper includes a table entitled
"Treatment of Registered Instruments in Provincial Social Assistance Programs in Canada, 2010
Recommended reading!!
March 2010
For each Canadian province, you'll find information about how the welfare system treats income from Registered Instruments (including Registered Retirement Savings Plans, Registered Education Savings Plans, Registered Disability Savings Plans and Tax Free Savings Accounts). The table also includes current liquid asset exemption levels for selected family types and sizes in each jurisdiction.
C.D. Howe Institute

Related link:

Open Policy
John Stapleton's personal website
John is a Policy Fellow with the Metcalf Foundation and St. Christopher House in Toronto.

- Go to the Asset-Based Social Policies Links page:

2. International Women's Day - March 8

From Status of Women Canada:

International Women's Day :
Strong Women. Strong Canada. Strong World.

March 8, 2010
- incl. links to:
* Theme * Fact Sheet * Products Available * To Order a Poster * Previous Themes

In 1977, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution calling on member states to proclaim a day for women's rights and international peace. Following the United Nations' lead, Canada chose March 8 as International Women's Day (IWD).

Each year at this time, Canadians celebrate progress toward equality for women and their full participation, reflect on the challenges and barriers that remain, and consider future steps to achieving equality for all women, in all aspects of their lives.

Over time, International Women's Day has grown into a week-long series of commemorative events and activities across the country. International Women's Week 2010 begins on Sunday, March 7 and wraps up on Saturday, March 13.

We encourage all Canadians - women and men, girls and boys - to promote International Women's Day / International Women's Week. Better yet, why not organize your own IWD/IWW event in your community, organization, workplace or school?

Status of Women Canada (SWC)


NOTE to SWC about that IWD theme:

Your 2010 IWD theme is "Strong Women. Strong Canada. Strong World"
Your 2009 IWD theme was "Strong Leadership. Strong Women. Strong World: Equality."
Your 2008 IWD theme was "Strong Women, Strong World"

Looks like SWC can only afford a light edit to its annual inspiring theme.
What's your theme gonna be next year - "Strong. Strong. Strong."??
Whatever your choice, SWC, it should be a catchier theme, because the 2008, 2009 and 2010 versions still can't make women's groups forget the deep and cruel cuts in funding for federal women's programs and groups under Stephen Harper since the fall of 2006.


International Women’s Day in Canada: Progress for all?
AS I SEE IT by Carol Metz Murray
March 5, 2010
“Equal rights, equal opportunities: Progress for all.”
For the government of Canada, this year’s theme will have an unpleasant sting. Our federal government has received a humiliating reprimand by several UN human rights bodies for its handling of the issues of women’s poverty and endemic violence against Aboriginal women and girls. In his official 2006 report, National Council of Welfare chairperson John Murphy called Canada’s welfare rates for women “shameful and morally unsustainable in a rich country.” Between 2004 and 2009, Canada managed the formidable task of slipping from seventh to 25th place on the World Economic Forum Gender Gap Index, and was ranked a shameful 73rd in the 2009 UN Gender Disparity Index.
[Author Carol Metz Murray is Executive director of the
Tri-City Women's Resource Society in Port Coquitlam, BC.]
Tri-City News


International Women's Day (8 March 2010) is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. The International Women's Day website provides a free service to women around the world wanting to share and promote their IWD activity, videos, opinions and ideas. Please feel free to submit gender-related items for the site that you consider relevant and useful.
- incl. links to :
* Home * About * 2010 Theme * Events * Pictures / Videos * Jobs * Business & Finance * Science & Technology * Justice * Health * Other
This service is provided by Aurora, a company that connects business and professional women
and actively supports the promotion of employer brands and career opportunities in progressive organisations.


International Women's Day
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


- Go to the Canadian Government Sites about Women's Social Issues page:

3. Canada Budget 2010 - Leading the Way on Jobs and Growth - March 4
(Government of Canada)

From the federal Department of Finance:

Budget 2010 - Leading the Way on Jobs and Growth
Government of Canada

March 4, 2010
- main budget page, includes links to all budget documents appearing below and more...

Selected Budget documents:

* The Budget Plan
* Speech
* Budget in Brief
* Budget Process

Budget 2010: Leading the Way on Jobs and Growth
News Release
March 4, 2010
Ottawa - The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, today tabled a budget plan that builds on Canada’s economic recovery with action to create jobs and growth, sustains our nation’s economic advantages and includes a disciplined plan to return to balanced budgets. “We present today a jobs and growth budget,” said Minister Flaherty. “In this budget, we are completing our Economic Action Plan to create jobs now. We are taking additional measures to protect existing jobs and create new jobs. We are also looking ahead to secure our long-term economic growth.”
Department of Finance Canada


Related links:

CBC Federal Budget 2010 Coverage
March 4, 2010
- links to dozens of stories and features, including:
* Highlights * The deficit * Personal finance * Science and technology * Telecom * The Cylon Budget * Sports funding * The public service * Flaherty's frequent words * What they said * Economic snapshots * Spending cuts coming * much more...


CTV Federal Budget 2010 Coverage
March 4, 2010
- incl. links to the following articles and features:
* Budget fights deficit with freeze on future spending
Tory deficit-slashing plan needs a lot of luck
Opposition rejects budget, but no election talk
Feds to reduce growth in defence spending
Cheaper loonie production to save millions
Environment, arts get short shrift in new budget
Budget sets new bank rules for cheques, disputes
Live Blog: Federal Budget 2010
* much more...


What Quebecers are saying
By Philip Authier
The Gazette
March 5, 2010
The prime minister warned Canadians belt-tightening times lay ahead and yesterday's budget delivered. Those who were looking for budget goodies were disappointed, but those arguing in favour of a prudent transition-style budget designed to get the country out of deficit were happier because Finance Minister Jim Flaherty's budget spells out $17.6 billion in spending cuts over the next five years.
Montreal Gazette


Budget 2010: Overview and summary
March 4, 2010
The Harper government’s 2010 Budget demonstrates a government that is devoid of new ideas. It is difficult to believe that they prorogued Parliament and then introduced a new budget with so little new and positive to show. This budget includes two major measures: another tax cut for business and ongoing cuts to federal public services. Tariffs will be eliminated on all manufacturing inputs at a cost estimated at $1.3 billion over five years. This is on top of further corporate tax cuts, previously announced, that will cost more than $20 billion over the next five years.
Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)
The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) is Canada’s largest union. With around 600 000 members across Canada, CUPE represents workers in health care, education, municipalities, libraries, universities, social services, public utilities, transportation, emergency services and airlines.

Also from CUPE - budget factsheets:
(1-2 pages each, all dated March 5):

Budget 2010: Health Care
* Budget 2010: Women
* Budget 2010: Climate change and the Environment
* Budget 2010: Early Learning and Child Care
* Budget 2010: Non-Profit Community Social Services
* Budget 2010: Aboriginal Peoples
* Budget 2010: Water
* Budget 2010: Pensions
* Budget 2010: Privatization
* Budget 2010: Post Secondary Education
* Budget 2010: Employment Insurance
* Budget 2010: Municipal Infrastructure


From the Mowat Centre for Policy Innovation
(School of Public Policy and Governance,
University of Toronto):

Federal Budget 2010 (PDF - 173K, 2 pages)
This is a status quo budget. While there are no unpleasant surprises for Ontario or provincial governments generally, long-standing structural shortcomings in programs such as Employment Insurance (EI) continue to fester.

- Go to the 2010 Canadian Government Budgets Links page:

4. Speech from the Throne- March 3
(Government of Canada)

Speech from the Throne
3 March 2010
Ottawa, Ontario
HTML version - includes links to two previous Speeches from the Throne and FAQs
PDF version (1.7MB, 26 pages)
Government of Canada

- Go to the General Federal Government Links page:

5. What is wrong with the Olympics?
(The Olympic Resistance Network)

What is wrong with the Olympics?
The Olympics are not about the human spirit and have little to do with athletic excellence. They are a multi-billion dollar industry backed by real estate, construction, hotel, tourism and media corporations, and powerful elites working hand in hand with government officials and the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
So what's wrong?
(Click the above link to read the details for each item below)
* Occupation of Stolen Native Land
* “Security” and Eroding Civil Liberties
* Environmental Destruction and Waste
* Corporatization
* Damage to Communities
* Honouring Exploitation
* Lack of Affordable Housing
* Public Costs and Debt
The Olympic Resistance Network


Olympic Tent Village:
Behind the Scenes of the
2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics
(three-minute video)

Olympic red tents wrap-up (14-minute Flash podcast)
By Laurel Hogg
March 3, 2010
Olympic Canadian Pavilion wrapped up in red tent protest. We talked to John Richardson about how the campaign went and what is next for Pivot and the National Housing Strategy protest.


February 28, 2010
Chronicles of the Olympic Tent Village
Vancouver Media Co-op

- Go to the Vancouver 2010 Olympics and Poverty Olympics 2010 Links page:

6. British Columbia Budget 2010 - March 2

British Columbia Budget 2010
March 2, 2010
- main budget page, includes all budget papers below and more

Budget 2010 – Building a Prosperous British Columbia (PDF - 215K, 2 pages)
News Release
VICTORIA — Setting the foundation for decades of renewed economic growth, protecting vital services, adding to British Columbia’s competitiveness and building on the tremendous momentum of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games are core elements of the 2010 provincial budget tabled in the B.C. Legislature today by Finance Minister Colin Hansen.

Budget Backgrounders:
additional budget details to accompany the news release

New Support for Communities, Families, and Youth (PDF - 112K, 2 pages)
--- Full-day kindergarten for every five-year-old in the province by September 2011
--- Extra $26 million in funding over three years to support child care programs for low- and moderate-income families
--- New Property Tax Deferral Program for Families with Children

A Renewed Emphasis on Sports and the Arts (PDF - 120K, 3 pages)

Fiscal Plan 2010/11 – 2012/13 (PDF - 122K, 4 pages)

Ministry Service Plans
- provides an overview of every ministry and associated entity, including how they intend to achieve their service goals and how they support the direction laid out in the Government Strategic Plan.
[ Ministry of Housing and Social Development Service Plan (PDF - 697K, 24 pages)] <=== responsible for welfare/employment/housing
[ Ministry of Children and Family Development (PDF - 370K, 21 pages)]
[ Ministry of Citizens' Services (PDF - 737K, 23 pages)] - sounds Orwellian, like the Ministry of Truth...

Budgets for previous years

Budget 2010 Consultations
- links to two reports from the Nov/Dec 2009 provincial government's budget consultations


Related links:

Budget Analysis

* In Tight Times, Campbell Gov't Chooses to Help Big Banks
Inept budgeters axed $100 million yearly tax revenue from fat financial institutions. And it gets worse.
By Will McMartin
March 3, 2010

* 'Hangover Budget' Pleases Few : Housing spending up,
but Libs draw fire from health, education, environment sectors.
By Andrew MacLeod
March 3, 2010
Finance Minister Colin Hansen today presented a budget that shrinks the civil service and makes cuts across several ministries while keeping spending for health and education steady.

* Hansen skips budget shoes, donates dollars to wheelchair sports

* BC budget includes record $2.8 billion deficit, cuts, optimism

* BC Deficit Budget Cuts Spending, Offers Little Stimulus
Health and education safe but other ministries trimmed, including environment, housing, aboriginal affairs.



BC Budget 2010 strong on sentiment, weak on vision
March 2, 2010
Iglika Ivanova and Marc Lee spent the day in Victoria at the budget lock-up, and have just posted their initial analysis of today's budget on Policy Note. They write: "For a document titled Building a Prosperous British Columbia, the 2010 BC Budget is underwhelming in its ambition. Budget 2010 shows a government talking a lot about the legacy of the Olympics but lacking any coherent vision of how to translate upbeat sentiments into real improvements in British Columbians’ standard of living."
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives is an independent, non-partisan research institute concerned with issues of social, economic environmental justice. Founded in 1980, the CCPA is one of Canada’s leading progressive voices in public policy debates.


March 2, 2010
Budget 2010
Premier Campbell and his government took a major dive in public opinion polls when British Columbians learned in July about the HST, not mentioned during the election, and about the true size of the deficit, misrepresented during the election. Is there any reason to think the Campbell government is more credible now than it was during last year's election? Evidence from the March 2nd budget suggests they've learned nothing.
Strategic Thoughts - website of David Schreck


B.C. Liberals keep tight lid on spending,
slash several ministries in $40.6-billion budget

The forecast deficit this year is $1.7 billion deficit this year with the government aiming to return to balanced books by 2013/14.
Victoria Times Colonist
[NOTE: click the home page link for over a dozen more budget-related links!]


B.C. Finance Minister promises turnaround
March 2, 2010
B.C. Finance Minister Colin Hansen says his government wants to capitalize on the momentum of the 2010 Winter Olympics to pull B.C. out of the global economic downturn. Hansen laid out his economic blueprint for the province in the legislature in Victoria on Tuesday afternoon, highlighting his plans to increase B.C.’s business competitiveness, maintain social services, bring down the deficit and balance the budget by the 2013-14 fiscal year
CBC British Columbia

Also from CBC-BC:

Critics blast B.C. health, education funding
March 2, 2010

- Go to the BC Government Links page:
- Go to the 2010 Canadian Government Budgets Links page:

7. A Closer Look at Low Wages in BC - February 24
(Steve Kerstetter for the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives)

A Closer Look at Low Wages in BC (PDF - 269K, 9 pages)
February 2010
By Steve Kerstetter for the
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
Workers in British Columbia earned an average of $21.46 an hour in 2008, according to the latest annual wage data published by Statistics Canada. This was good news for workers at the average wage or better, and well above the minimum wage of $8. The average wage has gone up 25 per cent over the past decade (pre-inflation adjustment). However, a closer look at the situation of workers in BC reveals some troubling facts about wages and hours of work, and the workers who are most likely to have low wages and/or insufficient hours. Hundreds of thousands of workers are still at wage levels that either trap them in poverty or put them at high risk of falling into poverty.
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives [CCPA] - British Columbia Office
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives - National Office ]

- Go to the Non-Governmental Sites in British Columbia (A-C) page:

8. Northwest Territories Budget 2010 - January 28

Budget 2010 - Northwest Territories
January 28, 2010
- incl. links to budget papers and to earlier budgets

- Go to the Northwest Territories Links page:
- Go to the 2010 Canadian Government Budgets Links page:

9. Alternative Federal Budget 2010 - March 1
(Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives)

From the
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

Alternative Federal Budget 2010 - main page

Federal budget task: Fix Canada's job crisis
News Release
OTTAWA, March 1, 2010
Canada faces its worst job crisis in a generation and the federal government needs to step forward with a solution in this week's budget, says the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA).Along with the release of its annual Alternative Federal Budget, the CCPA proposes a six-point job plan to get Canada working again.

The report:

Alternative Federal Budget 2010:
Getting the Job Done Right
(PDF 2.9MB, 162 pages)
March 1, 2010

Related materials:

* Alternative Federal Budget 2010: Budget in Brief (PDF - 210K)
* Getting Canada Working Again: A Six Point Jobs Plan (PDF - 126K)

Alternative Federal Budget 2010
[ Alternative Federal Budget Updates ] <=== dozens of links to related reports, studies, fact sheets, etc.
[ Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives is an independent, non-partisan research institute concerned with issues of social, economic environmental justice. Founded in 1980, the CCPA is one of Canada’s leading progressive voices in public policy debates. ]

Also from CCPA:

Alternative Federal Budget Roundtable:
Recession, Recovery and Transformation

On November 18th, 2009, in Ottawa, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) and the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) held an event entitled "Recession, Recovery and Transformation: Meeting the policy challenges of our time." The event was filmed by CPAC (Canadian Parliamentary Affairs Channel), and it is split into three videos (in English and in French). Session titles and speakers/presenters/moderators appear below.

Session 1: From the Front lines of the Recession
Andrew Jackson, Director of Economic and Social Policy with the Canadian Labour Congress
- Bruce Campbell, Executive Director of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
- CCPA Inequality Project Director Trish Hennesy (moderator)
- Presenters:
* Teresa Healy, Senior Researcher, Canadian Labour Congress.
* Blair Redlin, Researcher, CUPE National
* Susanne Doerge, Coordinator, City for All Women Initiative
* John Andras, Chair, Recession Relief Coalition

Session2: What kind of recovery?
* Jim Stanford, Economist, Canadian Auto Workers
* Larry Mishel, President, Economic Policy Institute
* Katherine Scott, Canadian Council on Social Development

Session 3: Policies for a sustainable and transformative recovery
* Sheila Block, Research Director, Ontario Federation of Labour
* Armine Yalnizyan, Senior Economist, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
* Marc Lee, Senior Economist, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatvices BC

Related links:

Keep stimulus money flowing: research group:
'The human recession continues'

March 1, 2010
The federal government should not turn off the taps on stimulus spending when it releases its budget later this week, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives said Monday. In its annual alternative budget, the independent research group said the country needs continued economic support.
NOTE: the comments section is often more enlightening reading than the article itself.
This article has over 200 comments, e.g.:
"$$$$$$$The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives....what the hell is that?! Who runs it, who controls it and last but not least, why do we need it? There seems to be a myriad of such vaguely named organizations..."

- Go to the 2010 Canadian Government Budgets Links page:

10. What's New in The Daily [Statistics Canada]:
Employment, Earnings and Hours, December 2009 - March 3
--- Canadian economic accounts, fourth quarter 2009 and December 2009 - March 1

Selected content from
The Daily [Statistics Canada]:

March 3, 2010
Employment, Earnings and Hours, December 2009
1. Highlights 2. Note to users 3. Tables 4. Data quality, concepts and methodology
5. User information 6. Related products 7. PDF version (2.4MB, 385 pages)
Non-farm payroll employment increased by 22,000 in December compared with the previous month. This represented the fourth consecutive month of modest gains. Payroll employment has been on an upward trend since August 2009, in contrast to the previous 10 months when it had declined sharply. Despite recent gains, payroll employment remained down 380,000 from the peak in October 2008.
[ earlier editions of this report ]

Related subjects:
* Labour
* Employment and unemployment
* Hours of work and work arrangements
* Industries
* Wages, salaries and other earnings


March 1, 2010
Canadian economic accounts, fourth quarter 2009 and December 2009
Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased 1.2% in the fourth quarter, the largest quarterly increase since the third quarter of 2000. Final domestic demand advanced 1.1% as consumer spending continued to grow. Real GDP increased 0.6% in December, a fourth consecutive monthly advance. Additional data tables are available in the Canadian Economic Accounts Quarterly Review.

Related subjects

* Economic accounts
* Financial and wealth accounts
* Gross domestic product
* Income and expenditure accounts


The Daily Archives
- select a month and click on a date for that day's Daily

The Daily
[Statistics Canada]

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

11. What's new from the Childcare Resource and Research Unit (Toronto) -March 7

What's new from the
Childcare Resource and Research Unit (CRRU)

March 7, 2010

What's new online

This section archives documents that have been featured on the CRRU
homepage. Items are in chronological order by posting date from the most
recent to the least recent. Follow the title link for details.

Women and children still last: No thank you, Mr. Flaherty!
5 Mar 10
- Press release from Campaign 2000 responds to the federal budget; says "tinkering with the UCCB... is far from a substitute for a system of accessible high quality ECEC."

Federal budget 2010
5 Mar 10
- Government of Canada announces change in taxation rules of UCCB for single parent families.

Speech from the Throne
3 Mar 10
- Federal government says they will make changes to the Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) for single-parent families.

Alternative federal budget 2010: Getting the job done right
3 Mar 10
- Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives calls for Canada to implement a national child care strategy that includes public funding, public planning and public reporting.

Canada and the Beijing +15 review
3 Mar 10
- The UN Commission on the Status of Women is reviewing implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. CRRU has collected Canada's reports, civil society response and media articles.

Pre-budget updates on child care in Ontario
3 Mar 10
- Leading up to the Ontario provincial budget, CRRU is collecting news stories and reports on current issues in child care in Ontario.


child care in the news

· Feds must 'step up' to fund child care in Ontario
[CA-ON] 3 Mar 10

· Don't cut daycare subsidy, city told
[CA-ON] 3 Mar 10

· Full text of BC Finance Minister Colin Hansen's budget speech
[CA-BC] 2 Mar 10

· Grandparents risk hardship by taking on childcare
[UK] 2 Mar 10

· Politicians drop the daycare ball
[CA-ON] 1 Mar 10

· Feds told to raise taxes, cancel cuts
[CA] 1 Mar 10

· Proposed daycare hike 'infuriating' for parents
[CA-ON] 27 Feb 10



Subscribe to the CRRU email announcements list
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
sitesin Canada and elsewhere

CRRU Publications - briefing notes, factsheets, occasional papers and other publications
ISSUE files - theme pages, each filled with contextual information and links to further info

Childcare Resource and Research Unit (CRRU)
The Childcare Resource and Research Unit (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:

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.)
- the content of this link changes several times a week
- 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.

Latest issues of Poverty Dispatch:

March 5:
General Assistance Medical Care - Minnesota
US Unemployment Rate, February 2010
Unemployment and Jobless Benefits - Michigan

March 4:
State Budget Cuts and Medicaid - Idaho, California
Colorado Benefits Management System and Medicaid

March 3:
Poverty Measurement - New York City
State Cuts to Programs for the Poor - Minnesota
High School Dropout Rate - Massachusetts
Low-income Home Energy Assistance Program

March 2:
Poverty Measurement in the US
Extension of Jobless Benefits
Urban-Rural Income Gap - China
LA Times Series on Grand Junction, CO Healthcare System

March 1:
General Assistance Medical Program - Utah
State Minimum Wage - Maine
Microfinance Institutions
Payday Lending


Past Poverty Dispatches
- links to dispatches back to June 2006

Search Poverty Dispatches


To subscribe to this email list, send an email to:


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

- 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:

- Go to the Poverty Measures - International Resources page:

13. United States Census Bureau to develop a Supplemental Poverty Measure - March 2

A new poverty measurement tool for the United States:
The Supplemental Poverty Measure

Census Bureau to Develop Supplemental Poverty Measure
New measurement will complement but not replace existing statistic
Press Release
March 2, 2010
WASHINGTON—The Commerce Department’s U.S. Census Bureau is preparing to develop a Supplemental Poverty Measure that will use the best new data and methodologies to obtain an improved understanding of the economic well-being of American families and of how federal policies affect those living in poverty. The initiative to create the new statistic is included in the President’s FY2011 budget proposal.
U.S. Department of Commerce
[The U.S. Census Bureau is a component of the U.S. Department of Commerce]


U.S. Plans New Measure for Poverty
By Sam Roberts
March 2, 2010
The federal government announced on Tuesday that it would begin producing an experimental measurement of poverty next year, a step toward the first overhaul of the formula since it was developed nearly a half-century ago by an obscure civil servant in the Social Security Administration. While the original definition — the cash income collected by a family or individual — will remain the official statistical measure for eligibility and distribution of federal assistance for the time being, “the new supplemental poverty measure will provide an alternative lens to understand poverty and measure the effects of antipoverty policies,” said Rebecca Blank, the under secretary of commerce for economic affairs
New York Times


New formula to give fresh look at U.S. poverty
By Amy Goldstein
March 3, 2010
The Obama administration Tuesday embraced an alternative way of defining what it means to be poor, stepping gingerly into a long-running debate over whether to revise the method that has been used to measure poverty for decades. Under a "Supplemental Poverty Measure" announced by the Commerce Department, the government is augmenting, but not replacing, the formula that determines how many people are considered to be in poverty, taking into account a wider range of expenses and income to try to create a truer portrait of which Americans are financially fragile
Washington Post


What Gets Measured Gets Done:
How a Supplemental Federal Poverty Measure Will Drive Smarter Policy

By Melissa Boteach, Jitinder Kohli
March 2, 2010
“If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it,” said New York City Mayor and business magnate Michael Bloomberg in 2007 describing the need for an updated poverty measure. How was the traditional federal poverty measure calculated?Now it seems he is getting his wish. The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that it will be developing an alternative way to measure poverty. This new method will better reflect the realities facing struggling families and ways in which current government programs can help them to get back on their feet. Unlike the traditional poverty measure, which is based in a 1960s reality, this supplemental measure will provide a more accurate accounting of household budgets and better determination of whether a family has enough resources to meet its most basic needs.
Center for American Progress

Video: Fixing the Federal Poverty Measure
Everything (OK, almost everything) you wanted to know about poverty measurement in the U.S., in one three-minute video.

Observations from the Interagency Technical Working
Group on Developing a Supplemental Poverty Measure
(PDF - 138K, 8 pages)

Related links:

Measuring Poverty: A New Approach (U.S.)
1995 - 536 pages

Panel on Poverty and Family Assistance: Concepts, Information Needs, and Measurement Methods

Committee on National Statistics, National Research Council

Read it Online
National Academy Press (NAP)


Changing the Federal Poverty Measure...or Not
By Diana M. Pearce
March 4, 2010
Change in the outdated federal poverty measure is long overdue. Nevertheless, the Department of Commerce's announcement of a new Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM) should be greeted with caution. It will not change things nearly as much as its proponents hope, and may have some unexpected effects.

What the SPM will do, is rise as living standards rise, rather than fall further and further behind -- as is the case with the current poverty measure. Indeed, the latter is "frozen" at the level of a basket of goods and services adequate for families in the 1950s, updated only for inflation. It does not allow for rapidly increasing costs, such as health care and taxes or "new" costs such as child care.

What the SPM won't do is raise the thresholds very much. Because it only includes some costs -- housing, utilities, food and clothing -- it starts at not much above the current, much too low level. In fact, since it will also introduce geographic adjustments reflecting differences in housing costs, the SPM is likely to result in lowering thresholds in less expensive areas such as rural counties or the South below the current federal poverty measure. In short, the SPM is a measure of deprivation, not a full measure of what people and families need to meet their basic needs...
Huffington Post

Author Diana Pierce is Senior Lecturer and Director of the Center for Women’s Welfare (School of Social Work) at the University of Washington in Seattle. She is also the developer of the Self-Sufficiency Standard], which "defines the amount of income necessary to meet basic needs (including taxes) without public subsidies (e.g., public housing, food stamps, Medicaid or child care) and without private/informal assistance (e.g., free babysitting by a relative or friend, food provided by churches or local food banks, or shared housing)."


So how does that compare with
the way we measure
poverty in Canada?

On the Canadian Poverty Measures page of this site, you'll find over 400 links to information on a range of poverty measures used in Canada, from Statistics Canada's Low Income Cutoffs, Low Income Measures and Market Basket Measure to the subsistence poverty measure (also known in the social advocacy community as the "calorie-from-starvation diet") prepared by Christopher Sarlo for the Fraser Institute, along with a few poverty measures used in the Canadian non-governmental sector.

The Canadian Context:

In 1997, the head of Statistics Canada at the time (Ivan Fellegi) went on record to say - in an article entitled On poverty and low income - that his agency's low income cut-offs should not be used as the "official" poverty line for Canada. Thus, in the absence of any official poverty measurement tool, social researchers in government and in NGOs have been free to simply pick and choose which measure supports their view that (a) poverty is becoming a worse problem, or (b) poverty is becoming less of a problem.
There is one critical difference between the way Canadian and American governments measure poverty --- in the U.S., a person's or household's eligibility for certain programs (excluding state welfare to families with children provided under theTemporary Assistance for Needy Families program) is directly tied to the official federal government poverty measure. The list of programs whose eligibility rules are dictated by the Health and Human Services Poverty Guidelines is not insignificant --- it
includes Food Stamps, the National School Lunch Program, certain parts of Medicaid, and the subsidized portion of Medicare, among others.

- Go to the Poverty Measures - International Resources page:

14. Australian Policy Online - recent content

Australian Policy Online (APO)
APO is a news service and library specialising in Australian public policy reports and articles from academic research centres, think tanks, government and non-government organisations. The site features opinion and commentary pieces, video, audio and web resources focussed on the policy issues facing Australia. [ About APO ]
NOTE : includes links to the latest APO research; the five most popular downloads of the week
appear in a dark box in the top right-hand corner of each page, and the downloads vary depending on the topic you select.


New Research : Social Policy | Poverty
- topics include:
* Community * Cultural diversity * Families & households * Gender & sexuality * Immigration & refugees * Population * Poverty * Religion & faith * Social problems * Welfare * Youth

- Go to the Social Research Links in Other Countries (Non-Government) page:

(Child Rights Information Network - CRIN)

From the Child Rights Information Network (CRIN)

Latest issue of CRINMAIL (children's rights newsletter):

4 March 2010 - CRINMAIL 1154
* PAKISTAN: First child rights portal launched [news]
* IRAQ: Fallujah doctors report rise in birth defects [news]
* UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: 10-year-olds forced to risk lives racing camels [news]
* INDIA: Panel moots minimum age for children on reality TV shows [news]
* TURKEY: Children detained for exercising right to freedom of expression [publication]
* ROMANIA: Starting Early on Human Rights With School Textbook [news]

2 March 2010 - CRINMAIL 1153
* EARTHQUAKES: Haiti – Chile – Kyrgyzstan [update]
* EGYPT: Rights group slams Education Minister's comments on corporal punishment [news]
* NETHERLANDS: Eviction of undocumented children unlawful [news]
* INDIA: Children not included in "inclusive" budget [publication]
* UGANDA: Last chance to shelve Anti-Homosexuality Bill should not be missed, warn UN human rights experts [news]
* EDUCATION: Africa Education Watch - Good governance lessons for primary education [publication]
* SOUTHERN AFRICA: Children that slip across borders [news]


Links to Issues of CRINMAIL
- links to 200+ 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, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the launch of the EURONET Website.

CRINMAIL(incl. subscription info)
[ Child Rights Information Network (CRIN) ]

- Go to the Children's Rights Links page:

Disclaimer/Privacy Statement

Both Canadian Social Research Links (the site) and this Canadian Social Research Newsletter belong solely 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).
Thanks, CUPE!

If you wish to subscribe to the e-mail version of newsletter, go to the Canadian Social Research Newsletter Online Subscription page:
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You can unsubscribe by going to the same page or by sending me an e-mail message [ ]


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The Canadian Social Research Newsletter mailing list is not used for any purpose except to distribute each weekly issue.
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:

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




16 Questions That Keep Me Awake. Sometimes.


1. Can you cry under water?

2. How important does a person have to be before they are considered assassinated instead of just murdered?

3. Once you're in heaven or the other place, do you get stuck wearing the clothes you were buried in for eternity?

4. Why is it that people say they 'slept like a baby' when babies wake up like every two hours?

5. Why are you IN a movie, but you're ON TV?

6. If the professor on Gilligan's Island can make a radio out of a coconut, why can't he fix a hole in a boat?

7. If corn oil is made from corn, and vegetable oil is made from vegetables, what is baby oil made from?

8. If electricity comes from electrons, does morality come from morons?

9. Do the Alphabet song and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star have the same tune?

10. Why did you just try singing the two songs above?

11. Why do we press harder on a remote control when we know the batteries are getting dead?

How come you never hear father-in-law jokes?

13. Why is it that no matter what color bubble bath you use the bubbles are always white?

14. Is there ever a day that mattresses are not on sale?

15. Why do people keep running over a string a dozen times with their vacuum cleaner, then reach down, pick it up, examine it, then put it down to give the vacuum one more chance?

16. How do those dead bugs get into those enclosed light fixtures?



And, in closing...


Health Care Costs Around the World (Info-graphic)
(Reuters) - "The United States spends more on health care than any other country in the world but has higher rates of infant mortality, diabetes and other ills than many other developed countries."
(...not to mention the 46 million + Americans who had NO health insurance
coverage whatsoever in 2008, according to the latest available figures. Gilles)


HotDocs Doc Library
To find compelling documentaries from Canadians of all backgrounds and perspectives, one need go no further than the HotDocs Doc Library website. The library is entirely free, and visitors can get started by clicking on one of the four "communities" areas on the homepage. They include "YouthZone", "Educators", "Most Popular", and "Playlists". In the "YouthZone", visitors can view films by and for young filmmakers, such as the social critique found in "Everywhere, Advertisements" and a film on the high price of organic goods titled "Organic Matters". Teachers will appreciate the "Educators" area, which, along with various documentaries, also contains some study exercises titled "Why are Documentaries Worth Watching?" and "What Should We Look for in a Documentary?" Additionally, visitors can just go ahead and use the "Browse" area to look through over 200 films.
Reviewed by:
From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2010.


TED - Ideas worth spreading