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Canadian Social Research Newsletter
December 10, 2006

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 1746 subscribers.
Scroll to the bottom of this newsletter to see some notes and a disclaimer.

IN THIS ISSUE:

Canadian Content

1. Factors Aggravating Poverty (Testimony to the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities) - November 23
2. Anti-Poverty and Income Security Questionnaire (National Council of Welfare) - consultation ends December 15
3.
Retirement Planning for the "Rest of Us" (Richard Shillington) - November 2006
4 What's New from the Canadian Council on Social Development:
--- The Health of Canadians (part of "Stats & Facts") - December 5
--- Report of the May 2006 Meeting of Canadian Social Planning Councils
5. The Economic Case for Social Policy (Canadian Policy Research Networks + Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives) - December 7
6. Provincial Pre-Budget Submission on Housing and Homelessness - Ontario (The Wellesley Institute) - December 8
7. What's New from Statistics Canada:
--- Wage differences between male and female university professors, 1970 to 2001 - December 8
--- Satellite account of non-profit institutions and volunteering, 1997 to 2003
- December 8
--- Survey of Financial Security, 2005 - December 7
--- Canadian Economic Observer, December 2006 issue - December 7
--- National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth: Early reading ability and later literacy skills, 1994/1995 to 2004/2005 - December 5
--- Salaries and salary scales of full-time teaching staff at Canadian universities: Final report, 2004/2005 - December 5
8. What's New from the Childcare Resource and Research Unit (University of Toronto) - December 8

International Content

9. Poverty Dispatch: U.S. media coverage of social issues and programs
10. Social Policy, Research and Evaluation (SPRE) Conference 2007 (New Zealand Ministry of Social Development) - April 3-5, 2007
11. The World Distribution of Household Wealth (World Institute for Development Economics Research - United Nations University) - December 5
12. Closing the Gap: Strategies for Action to Tackle Health Inequalities (European Health Inequalities Portal - European Commission)
13. International Human Rights Day 2006 (United Nations) - December 10

Have a great week!

Gilles Séguin
Canadian Social Research Links

http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net

E-mail:
gilseg@rogers.com

1. Factors Aggravating Poverty - November 23
(Testimony to the Standing Committee on Human Resources,
Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities)

39th Parliament, 1st Session
Standing Committee on Human Resources,
Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities
EVIDENCE
Thursday, November 23, 2006
On November 23, 2006, The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Human Resources, Social Development and status of persons with disabilities began its deliberations on factors aggravating poverty by hearing the testimony of the following five witnesses:

On behalf of the
National Anti-Poverty Organization:

Vincent Calderhead, Senior Staff Lawyer, Nova Scotia Legal Aid

On behalf of the
National Council of Welfare:

Greg deGroot-Maggetti, Member

On behalf of the
Task Force on Modernizing Income Security for Working-Age Adults
:
John Stapleton, Research Director and St. Christopher House Research Fellow

As individuals:

Ross Finnie, Professor, School of Policy Studies, Queen's University;
Chris Sarlo, Professor, Department of Economics, Nipissing University.

This is one of two Parliamentary committees currently studying poverty.
The other is Senator Hugh Segal’s study of Rural Poverty.

These committee studies are important. They are an avenue to our MP’s and they can be a powerful force for change. They are your committees too, so get involved!

[Thanks to John Stapleton for this short blurb.]

- Go to the Ontario Municipal and Non-Governmental Sites (D-W) page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/onbkmrk3.htm

2. Anti-Poverty and Income Security Questionnaire - consultation ends December 15
(National Council of Welfare)

Anti-Poverty and Income Security Questionnaire
Source:
National Council of Welfare

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

Press Release - October 16
Questionnaire
1. Read the press release above.
2. Click on the questionnaire link, select the version of the questionnaire that's appropriate for you (as an individual or an organization), read the welcome message on the next page, and then scroll down that page to click on "Continue" at the bottom to navigate through the questionnaire; the questionnaire is running from a secure server - that's why you see the "https://..." in the Address bar of your browser - the "s" means "secure". A secure server ensures your privacy as you answer the questions.

This consultation ends December 15 --- this is your last chance to provide input!

The groundbreaking questionnaire on poverty and income security by the National Council of Welfare has seen a surge in responses over the past week - thousands of Canadians from all walks of life have responded with their opinions on poverty issues - but time is running out. Responses received by the questionnaire, which closes Friday December 15, will be used to guide the Council's advice to the government, particularly on whether it is time to develop an anti-poverty strategy for this country. Every opinion counts, and Council is seeking input from all Canadians, regardless of their views on poverty and other social issues.

NOTE to everyone out there:
Please take ten minutes or so to complete this questionnaire and forward it to your contacts - it's a great way to get your opinions heard by government, and the more people who fill it out, the more the government will have to take it seriously! So even if you've already done the questionnaire, you can have a much greater impact if you forward this message to your networks so that many more can have their voices heard in this next week.

- Go to the Social Research Organizations (I) in Canada page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/research.htm

3. Retirement Planning for the "Rest of Us" - November 2006
(Richard Shillington)

Retirement Planning for the "Rest of Us"
Introduction
"This web-site is designed to give Retirement Planning advice for those Canadians, half the population, who do not have an employer pension plan and will not save hundreds of thousands of dollars in their RRSP. Only about 40% of the labour force have an employer pension plan. Jobs with pension plan coverage usually come with benefits like health benefits, maternity benefits etc. By retirement about half of families have no employer pension plan to speak of and must rely on public plans (OAS, GIS & CPP) and a modest retirement savings, mostly RRSP (on average about $40,000). This web-site is designed for those without an employer pension plan or large RRSP. This web-site is about retirement planning for the "Rest of Us."

Retirement Planning Resources
for the "Rest of Us"
- includes links to the following useful resources:
* Why listen to me? * What is wrong with most Financial Advice * Recommended Reading for the "Rest of Us" * Are you GIS Destined? * What you need to know about GIS and Spouses and Widows Allowance * RRSPs don't work well for you * Why you should probably take early CPP * Early CPP: Individual Calculator * Credit Cards * Home Ownership * Your income at retirement

NOTE: Richard is the person who helped the federal government to find a few hundred thousand seniors who were entitled to, but not receiving, the Guaranteed Income Supplement under the Old Age Security Program.

Source:
Tristat Resources
Richard Shillington

- Go to the Non-Governmental Organizations Links page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/ngobkmrk.htm
- Go to the Seniors (Social Research) Links page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/seniors.htm

4. What's New from the Canadian Council on Social Development:
--- The Health of Canadians (part of "Stats & Facts") - December 5
--- Report of the May 2006 Meeting of Canadian Social Planning Councils

What's New from the Canadian Council on Social Development:

The Health of Canadians
December 5, 2006
The Health of Canadians is the newest addition to Stats & Facts, a series of popular CCSD fact sheets that also includes:
* Demographics * Family * Education * Health * Economic Security * Labour Market
- the health fact sheet includes graphics and tables on the following topics:
Health Care System
* Spending on Health Care * Spending on Prescription Drugs * Access to Doctors * Patient Satisfaction
Health Behaviours
* Physical Activity * Obesity * Smoking *
Health Status
* Self-rated Health
Chronic Health Conditions
* Asthma * Diabetes * Depression
Leading Causes of Death
* Circulatory Disease * Cancer
Source:
Stats & Facts

Final report of the meeting of
Social Planning Councils held in Toronto in May, 2006
(PDF file - 164K, 40 pages)
November 9, 2006
"A meeting of Canadian social planning organizations was convened by the Canadian Council on Social Development (CCSD) in Toronto, Ontario in early May 2006 with the support of Human Resources and Social Development Canada. The planning group for the meeting group included representatives from CCSD and social planning organizations from across Canada. The [report] is a summary of discussion and next steps from this meeting."
- includes links to websites of 30+ social planning organizations and regional networks across Canada that participated in sessions to provide input on the development of a pan-Canadian network
- also includes some interesting contextual and historical information about the series of 12 (so far) biennial Social Welfare Policy conferences going back to 1989 (although people of *my* vintage recall that this series of conferences actually started in Calgary in 1982, and the role of social planning councils became more prominent starting in 1989). I attended every one of the conferences in this series except the 1997 event in Regina, even the latest (2005) conference in Fredericton that took place after I "retired". I always found - along with many of my Ivory Tower colleagues at the time - that this venue was invaluable in forging and nurturing good working relations with social researchers in academia, the non-governmental sector and other federal and provincial government officials. During my 30 years with the feds, I found that there were few other self-development opportunities that offered me such a rich diversity of views on government policy, and I was pleased and privileged to be a part of that. I think all governments should make attendance at these cross-sectoral events mandatory for their staff, as appropriate.

- Go to the Health Links (Canada/International) page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/health.htm
- Go to the Social Research Organizations (I) in Canada page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/research.htm

5. The Economic Case for Social Policy - December 7
(Canadian Policy Research Networks + Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives)

What's New from The Wellesley Institute Blog:

The Economic Case for Social Policy
Posted: 08 Dec 2006
The research evidence that public policy and investment directed towards reducing poverty and income inequality, improving early childhood development, ensuring affordable housing and addressing other social determinants of health will have a significant and long-term impact on improving health outcomes is clear and incontrovertible.A common argument made against such policy action is economic: the necessary investments would cost too much or would require too high levels of taxation, and as a result would dampen economic growth.

Two recent reports [see the links to those reports below] from Canadian social policy think tanks indicate that such economic arguments are not convincing.The first, from the Canadian Policy Research Networks, examines the economic case for investment in the social determinants. (...) A report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives analyzes whether countries with more comprehensive and progressive social policy, and higher taxes to pay for it, do worse economically. It compared OECD countries on a wide range of social and economic indicators.It found that the "high taxed" Nordic countries do significantly better on social goals related to poverty, income inequality, education, health, social cohesion, etc. and that these social benefits do not come at the expense of economic goals.

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

From Canadian Policy Research Networks (CPRN):

Economic Arguments for Action on the Social Determinants of Health
Research Report
by David Hay
December 7, 2006
"Policy-makers the world over have argued that good social policy is the route to achieving economic growth and prosperity. CPRN has been studying that relationship for years – concluding that a strong health care system, a skilled workforce and resilient families bring with them comparative advantage." (Excerpt from the summary)
Summary - HTML
Complete report - PDF file (76K, 13 pages)
October 2006

Related Link:

Social Policy that Improves Health of Canadians –
Finding the Economic Arguments
(PDF file - 79K, 3 pages)
E-Network

Source:
Family Network
- Family Network Publications ===> links to 400+ family-related research reports, presentations and and studies going right back to Margaret Biggs' 1996 work on the Social Union.
[Tangent: Margaret was my Director-General during part of my stint with the feds, just before Health and Welfare merged with Employment and Immigration Canada in 1993-94. She was a true inspiration for me and many others with her enthusiasm for, and unflinching support of, innovative ideas and initiatives that would benefit families and children. I recently heard from a reliable source that she's moved - some time ago, actually - to one of those government inner sanctums (either Privy Council or Treasury Board, I can't recall which) where the air is rarefied and the mood generally conservative. And it's no surprise to hear that she's STILL championing the cause of progressive federal government policies for Canadian families and children. Good on you, Margaret - give 'em heck!]

Networks
- in addition to the Family Network, you'll also find links to the following on the CPRN website:
* Health Network * Public Involvement Network * Work Network
NOTE: I'm *really* not a big fan of the way the CPRN website is "put together" --- it appears to be designed to befuddle the most seasoned surfer. Big government is often accused of working in "silos", i.e., independently and without much internal consultation. CPRN's website proves that not only government gets it wrong from time to time --- you pretty much have to click on each of the network links to get a sense of the fabulous wealth of information that you'll find here. Some gratuitous advice to CPRN and other NGOs whose websites are testimonials to cutting-edge technology without consideration for the poor researcher who's looking for information as opposed to glitz: KISS...
[Update: CPRN Web site - Changes Coming! - November 2006 - looking forward to the new look and navigation!]

Source:
Canadian Policy Research Networks (CPRN)
- CPRN Publications ===> links to over 1500 online documents --- everything that CPRN has released since its creation in 1994

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

From the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives:

Taxes are good for a nation’s health and well-being—study
Press Release
December 6, 2006
OTTAWA—Canada is falling behind a number of OECD nations in a wide range of social and economic areas, and a study released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives points to tax cuts as the culprit. The study, by Neil Brooks and Thaddeus Hwong, compares high-tax Nordic countries and low-tax Anglo-American countries on 50 social and economic measures and finds the high-tax Nordic countries score better in 42 categories.

Complete report:

The Social Benefits and Economic Costs of Taxation:
A Comparison of High- and Low-Tax Countries
(PDF File - 512K, 55 pages)

More research & Publications by Topic: Taxes & tax cuts

Source:
National Office - Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA)

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

- Go to the Social Research Organizations (I) in Canada page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/research.htm

6. Provincial Pre-Budget Submission on Housing and Homelessness (Ontario) - December 8
(The Wellesley Institute)

Also found on The Wellesley Institute Blog:

Provincial Pre-Budget Submission on Housing and Homelessness (PDF file - 60K, 4 pages)
08 Dec 2006
The costs of Ontario's affordable housing crisis and homelessness disaster to individuals, communities and government are enormous, yet Ontario's housing spending has been dropping sharply since 2000 and is currently at 14 cents per person per day. The Wellesley Institute, in our provincial pre-budget submission on housing and homelessness, is calling on the Ontario government to:
o honour the housing commitments that it made in 2003;
o stop blocking the $392.5 million in stalled federal housing dollars;
o and, upload the cost of housing back to the provincial level and increase overall housing spending to 25 cents per capita per day as a first step to ramping up housing spending to meet housing need.

Source:
The Wellesley Institute

- Go to the Canadian Government Budgets Links page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/budgets.htm
- Go to the Homelessness and Housing Links page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/homeless.htm
- Go to the Ontario Municipal and Non-Governmental Sites (D-W) page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/onbkmrk3.htm

7. What's New from Statistics Canada:
--- Wage differences between male and female university professors, 1970 to 2001 - December 8
--- Satellite account of non-profit institutions and volunteering, 1997 to 2003
- December 8
--- Survey of Financial Security, 2005 - December 7
--- Canadian Economic Observer, December 2006 issue - December 7
--- National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth: Early reading ability and later literacy skills, 1994/1995 to 2004/2005 - December 5
--- Salaries and salary scales of full-time teaching staff at Canadian universities: Final report, 2004/2005 - December 5

What's New from The Daily [Statistics Canada]:

December 8, 2006
Study: Wage differences between male and female university professors, 1970 to 2001
More women are teaching full-time in Canadian universities, and although they still earn less on average than their male counterparts, the difference in salaries has narrowed, according to a new study.

Complete study:

The Evolution of Male-Female Wages Differentials in
Canadian Universities: 1970-2001
(PDF file - 618K, 53 pages)

December 8, 2006
Satellite account of non-profit institutions and volunteering, 1997 to 2003
Economic activity in the non-profit sector, as measured by gross domestic product, outpaced that of the economy as a whole between 1997 and 2003. During this period, gross domestic product for the non-profit sector grew at an annual average rate of 6.4%, faster than the average of 5.6% for the total economy.

Related report:

Satellite Account of Nonprofit Institutions and Volunteering, 1997 to 2003
HTML version
PDF version
(652K, 64 pages)
The Satellite Account of Nonprofit Institutions and Volunteering contains new statistics on the economic contribution of the nonprofit sector in Canada. The satellite account is part of the Canadian System of National Accounts and consists of a set of economic accounts including the value of productive activity (Gross Domestic Product), sources of income, and expenditures of the Canadian nonprofit sector for the period 1997 to 2003. Also included is a nonmarket extension assigning an economic value to volunteer work for the years 1997 and 2000.

December 7
Survey of Financial Security, 2005
The wealth of Canadian families increased substantially from 1999 to 2005, despite carrying more debt as a result of growing demand for mortgages and consumer credit, according to new results from the Survey of Financial Security. (...)The survey found that the median net worth of the nation's estimated 13.3 million "family units" amounted to about $148,400 in 2005, up 23.2% from 1999, after adjusting for inflation. In other words, half of all family units had net worth higher than this level, and half lower.
NOTE: A complete analysis of wealth inequality is scheduled to be published in Perspectives on Labour and Income on December 13.

Related Link

The Wealth of Canadians: An Overview of
the Results of the Survey of Financial Security, 2005
(PDF file - 321K, 40 pages)
December 2006
Research Paper
Source:
Pension and Wealth Research Paper Series
- incl. links to 14 earlier papers in the series
NOTE: click on "Product main page" in the left margin to read a description of this series of reports

December 7
Canadian Economic Observer, December 2006 issue
HTML version
PDF version
(787K, 114 pages)
- incl. Current economic conditions * Economic events * Feature article ("Trade liberalization and the Canadian clothing market")* Tables * Charts * User information

Earlier issues of the Canadian Economic Observer - links to issues going right back to April 1990, although you have to contact StatCan to request copies of the older issues
NOTE: click on "Product main page" in the left margin to read a description of the Canadian Economic Observer

December 5
National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth:
Early reading ability and later literacy skills, 1994/1995 to 2004/2005

Early reading skills are related to a child's later ability to use and understand printed information, regardless of the child's background, according to data from the most recent cycle of the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth.
- scroll partway down the page to read about the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (NLSCY)

December 5, 2006
Salaries and salary scales of full-time teaching staff at Canadian universities: Final report, 2004/2005
This report presents the final set of tables for the academic year 2004/2005, which contain information on the salaries of full-time teaching staff for Canadian universities that have more than 100 staff.
Complete report (PDF file - 508K, 58 pages)

- Go to the Voluntary Sector Links page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/voluntary.htm
- Go to the Asset-Based Social Policies Links page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/assets.htm
- Go to the Federal Government Department Links (Fisheries and Oceans to Veterans Affairs) page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/fedbkmrk2.htm

8. What's New from the Childcare Resource and Research Unit - December 8
(University of Toronto)

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

8-Dec-06

---------------------------------------------------
What's New
---------------------------------------------------

YOUNG CHILDREN AND THEIR SERVICES: DEVELOPING A EUROPEAN APPROACH
Paper by the Editorial Board of Children in Europe focuses on the development of quality policy and practice in the European Union and its member states. This discussion offers important ideas and lessons for researchers and policy makers in Canada.
http://action.web.ca/home/crru/rsrcs_crru_full.shtml?x=93476

BUILDING BRIDGES: A RESOURCE AND TRAINING GUIDE FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD
EDUCATORS WORKING WITH LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, TRANSSEXUAL AND
TRANSGENDERED FAMILIES
Handbook from the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care seeks to "begin the discussion and understanding of what LGBTQ families need in early childhood environments."
http://action.web.ca/home/crru/rsrcs_crru_full.shtml?x=93475

ECONOMIC ARGUMENTS FOR ACTION ON THE SOCIAL DETERMINANTS OF HEALTH
Report from CPRN describes what is known about the economic benefits of social policies; includes discussion of the "human capital benefits of early childhood education."
http://action.web.ca/home/crru/rsrcs_crru_full.shtml?x=93473

EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT AND SOCIAL MOBILITY
Article by W. Steven Barnett and Clive Belfield for Future of Children examines the effects of preschool education on social mobility in the United States.
http://action.web.ca/home/crru/rsrcs_crru_full.shtml?x=93472

--------------------------------------------------
Child care debate in the National Post
--------------------------------------------------

A day care plan that deserves to die
Mrozek, Andrea
National Post, 5 Dec 06
http://action.web.ca/home/crru/rsrcs_crru_full.shtml?x=93466

Counterpoint: The facts on child care
Friendly, Martha
National Post, 8 Dec 06
http://action.web.ca/home/crru/rsrcs_crru_full.shtml?x=93469

Letter to the Editor: Day care is valuable to our children, no. 1
Prentice, Susan
National Post, 8 Dec 06
http://action.web.ca/home/crru/rsrcs_crru_full.shtml?x=93468

Letter to the Editor: Day care is valuable to our children, no. 2
Bennett, John
National Post, 8 Dec 06
http://action.web.ca/home/crru/rsrcs_crru_full.shtml?x=93467

--------------------------------------------------
Other child care in the news
--------------------------------------------------

Preschool better than home for children, study finds: Gives youngsters step up in math, reading [CA]
Ottawa Citizen, 5 Dec 06
http://action.web.ca/home/crru/rsrcs_crru_full.shtml?x=93470

Tory childcare plan fails to gain support: Businesses balk at setting up daycares [CA]
National Post, 22 Nov 06
http://action.web.ca/home/crru/rsrcs_crru_full.shtml?x=93471

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
This message was forwarded through the Childcare Resource
and Research Unit e-mail news notifier. For information on the
CRRU e-mail notifier, including instructions for (un)subscribing,
see http://www.childcarecanada.org

The Childcare Resource and Research Unit
University of Toronto, Canada
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Related Links:

Links to child care sites in 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

Link to the CRRU home page:
Childcare Resource and Research Unit (CRRU) - University of Toronto

- Go to the Non-Governmental Early Learning and Child Care Links page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/ecd2.htm
- Go to the International Children, Families and Youth Links page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/chn2.htm

9. Poverty Dispatch:
U.S. media coverage of social issues and programs

Poverty Dispatch - U.S.
- links to news items from the American press about poverty, welfare reform, child welfare, education, health, hunger, Medicare and Medicaid, etc.
NOTE: this is a link to the current issue --- its content changes twice a week.

Past Poverty Dispatches
- links to two dispatches a week back to June 1 (2006) when the Dispatch acquired its own web page and archive.

Poverty Dispatch Digest Archive - weekly digest of dispatches from August 2005 to May 2006
For a few years prior to the creation of this new web page for the Dispatch, I was compiling a weekly digest of the e-mails and redistributing the digest to my mailing list with IRP's permission.
This is my own archive of weekly issues of the digest back to August 2005, and most of them have 50+ links per issue. I'll be deleting this archive from my site gradually, as the links to older articles expire.

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

- 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

10. Social Policy, Research and Evaluation (SPRE) Conference 2007 - April 3-5, 2007
(New Zealand Ministry of Social Development)

Social Policy, Research and Evaluation (SPRE) Conference 2007
Wellington, New Zealand
3 - 5 April 2007
The SPRE Conference 2007 enables policy makers, researchers and evaluators, students and academics, and social service providers to come together to describe, discuss and debate our key social policy opportunities and challenges. Panels of world-leading social policy experts from New Zealand and abroad will lead our discussion.
Source:
Ministry of Social Development
(New Zealand Government)

Programme at a Glance

- Go to the Conferences and Events Links page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/confer.htm
- Go to the Government Social Research Links in Other Countries page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/internat.htm

11. The World Distribution of Household Wealth - December 5
(World Institute for Development Economics Research - United Nations University)

The World Distribution of Household Wealth:
Pioneering Study Shows Richest Two Percent Own Half World Wealth
(PDF file - 252K, 14 pages)
Press Release (incl. tables)
5 December 2006
A new study on The World Distribution of Household Wealth by the World Institute for Development Economics Research of the United Nations University (UNU-WIDER) was launched on Tuesday 5 December 2006. According to the study, the richest 2% of adults in the world own more than half of global household wealth. "The most comprehensive study of personal wealth ever undertaken also reports that the richest 1% of adults alone owned 40% of global assets in the year 2000, and that the richest 10% of adults accounted for 85% of the world total. In contrast, the bottom half of the world adult population owned barely 1% of global wealth."

Complete report:

The World Distribution of Household Wealth (PDF file - 1.14MB, 70 pages)
James B. Davies, Susanna Sandstrom, Anthony Shorrocks, and Edward N. Wolff
5 December 2006
Department of Economics
University of Western Ontario

Source:
World Institute for Development Economics Research (WIDER)
- "WIDER seeks to raise frontier issues and provide new and original insights and policy advice aimed at bosdting the economic and social development of the poorest nations."
--- WIDER Publications

WIDER is part of:
United Nations University (UNU)
- incl. links to : About UNU * UNU System * Environment & Sustainable Development * Peace & Governance * Capacity Development * Online Learning
--- UNU Publications

- Go to the Asset-Based Social Policies Links page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/assets.htm
- Go to the United Nations Links page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/un.htm

12. Closing the Gap: Strategies for Action to Tackle Health Inequalities (Europe)
(European Health Inequalities Portal - European Commission)

Found on The Wellesley Institute Blog:

Closing the Gap
The European Commission has initiated a major project – Closing the Gap: Strategies for Action to Tackle Health Inequalities – to address health disparities. They have created a European Health Inequalities Portal with links to relevant agencies and networks, a database of best practices and country specific data on polices and programs.

Among their very useful and comprehensive publications are:

* a review of national policies and strategies (PDF file - 466K, 56 pages) to address health inequalities in Europe
* a similarly comprehensive review of international policy (PDF file - 543K, 80 pages), and
* a background paper for the WHO Commission (PDF file - 530K, 50 pages) on the Social Determinants of Health analyzing why previous policy has had so little impact, what lessons can be learned from this experience, and how to develop policies that will work.

- Go to the Health Links (Canada/International) page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/health.htm

13. International Human Rights Day 2006 - December 10
(United Nations)

From the United Nations:

International Human Rights Day 2006
Human Rights Day is observed by the international community every year on 10 December. It commemorates the day in 1948 the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
- incl. links to : * Home * Background Information * Statements * Calendar of Events * Newsroom * UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights * Millennium Development Goals * Documents
* Global Issues on the UN Agenda * Additional Resources * Youth Corner * Past Observances * UN Homepage

Annan says UN has often failed to deliver
on protecting and promoting human rights
8 December 2006 – The United Nations has often failed to live up to its responsibility to promote human rights, with the ongoing killing and displacement of civilians in Darfur only the latest example of how the world has not improved its act, Secretary-General Kofi Annan said today as he urged Member States, organizations and individuals to make the protection of rights a reality in every country.

Message of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour
States and international community have a duty to fight poverty, High Commissioner for Human Rights says

Secretary-General urges human rights activists to ‘fill leadership vacuum’,
hold world leaders to account, in address to international day event
8 December 2006
News Release
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s address to mark International Human Rights Day in New York City

Source:
News Centre
[ United Nations ]

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

From the Office of the United Nations
High Commissioner for Human Rights
:

Human Rights Day 2006
- incl. links to events, Documents and related websites

- Reports on Human Rights in the World - country reports, including:
--- Canada and Human Rights

From the Department of Canadian Heritage:

Human Rights Day
In 1950, the United Nations General Assembly proposed that its members declare December 10 to be Human Rights Day. This day marks the anniversary of the unanimous adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the General Assembly in 1948.

Human Rights Program Website
The mission of the Human Rights Program is to promote the development, understanding, respect for and enjoyment of human rights in Canada.

International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
- Fifth Report of Canada

Covering the period September 1999 – December 2004

International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
- Fourth Report of Canada

Covering the period October 1994 - September 1999

International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
- Third Report of Canada
Covering various periods (1987, 1992, 1994)

International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
- incl. links to six other relevant texts

Canada's Reports on UN Human Rights Treaties and Related Official Documents
- links to dozens of reports and publications

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- Go to the United Nations Links page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/un.htm




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Gilles

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Men: 10 Tricks to Teach Your Body
(and none of them involve pulling someone's finger!)

NOTE 1: some of these tricks *probably* won't work as well for women, like number 3, I imagine...
NOTE 2: number 9 is very timely for the <ahem> holidays...

1. If your throat tickles, scratch your ear.

When you were 9, playing your armpit was a cool trick. Now, as an adult, you can still appreciate a good body-based feat, but you're more discriminating. Take that tickle in your throat; it's not worth gagging over. Here's a better way to scratch your itch: "When the nerves in the ear are stimulated, it creates a reflex in the throat that can cause a muscle spasm," says Scott Schaffer, M.D., president of an ear, nose and throat specialty center in Gibbsboro, New Jersey. "This spasm relieves the tickle."

2. Experience supersonic hearing!

If you're stuck chatting up a mumbler at a cocktail party, lean in with your right ear. It's better than your left at following the rapid rhythms of speech, according to researchers at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine. If, on the other hand, you're trying to identify that song playing softly in the elevator, turn your left ear toward the sound. The left ear is better at picking up music tones.

3. Overcome your most primal urge!

Need to pee? No bathroom nearby? Fantasize about Jessica Simpson. Thinking about sex preoccupies your brain, so you won't feel as much discomfort, says Larry Lipshultz, M.D., chief of male reproductive medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine. For best results, try Simpson's "These Boots Are Made for Walking" video.

4. Feel no pain!

German researchers have discovered that coughing during an injection can lessen the pain of the needle stick. According to Taras Usichenko, author of a study on the phenomenon, the trick causes a sudden, temporary rise in pressure in the chest and spinal canal, inhibiting the pain-conducting structures of the spinal cord.

5. Clear your stuffed nose!

Forget Sudafed. An easier, quicker, and cheaper way to relieve sinus pressure is by alternately thrusting your tongue against the roof of your mouth, then pressing between your eyebrows with one finger. This causes the vomer bone, which runs through the nasal passages to the mouth, to rock back and forth, says Lisa DeStefano, D.O., an assistant professor at the Michigan State University college of osteopathic medicine. The motion loosens congestion; after 20 seconds, you'll feel your sinuses start to drain.

6. Fight fire without water!

Worried those wings will repeat on you tonight? "Sleep on your left side," says Anthony A. Star-poli, M.D., a New York City gastroenterologist and assistant professor of medicine at New York Medical College. Studies have shown that patients who sleep on their left sides are less likely to suffer from acid reflux. The esophagus and stomach connect at an angle. When you sleep on your right, the stomach is higher than the esophagus, allowing food and stomach acid to slide up your throat. When you're on your left, the stomach is lower than the esophagus, so gravity's in your favor.

7. Cure your toothache without opening your mouth!

Just rub ice on the back of your hand, on the V-shaped webbed area between your thumb and index finger. A Canadian study found that this technique reduces toothache pain by as much as 50 percent compared with using no ice. The nerve pathways at the base of that V stimulate an area of the brain that blocks pain signals from the face and hands.

8. Make burns disappear!

When you accidentally singe your finger on the stove, clean the skin and apply light pressure with the finger pads of your unmarred hand. Ice will relieve your pain more quickly, Dr. DeStefano says, but since the natural method brings the burned skin back to a normal temperature, the skin is less likely to blister.

9. Stop the world from spinning!

One too many drinks left you dizzy? Put your hand on something stable. The part of your ear responsible for balance—the cupula—floats in a fluid of the same density as blood. "As alcohol dilutes blood in the cupula, the cupula becomes less dense and rises," says Dr. Schaffer. This confuses your brain. The tactile input from a stable object gives the brain a second opinion, and you feel more in balance. Because the nerves in the hand are so sensitive, this works better than the conventional foot-on-the-floor wisdom.

10. Unstitch your side!

If you're like most people, when you run, you exhale as your right foot hits the ground. This puts downward pressure on your liver (which lives on your right side), which then tugs at the diaphragm and creates a side stitch, according to The Doctors Book of Home Remedies for Men. The fix: Exhale as your left foot strikes the ground.

Source:
MSN Men's Health
http://health.msn.com/menshealth/articlepage.aspx?cp-documentid=100119940&GT1=7538
(Click the link for eight more neat-o tricks - and none of them involve burping the alphabet!)

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Light travels faster than sound.
This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.