Canadian Social Research Newsletter
January 15, 2012

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

This week's issue of the newsletter is going out to 2,517 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...


Canadian content

1. Economic - new site, launched Jan. 2012 --- Public meeting (in Toronto) Jan. 24
2. Media scan by Jennefer Laidley of the Income Security Advocacy Centre:
‘Austerity’ shouldn’t crush the poor
--- The power of the tax credit
--- An excellent blog on responses to austerity
--- Andrew Jackson blogs on the Mowat Employment Insurance report

3. New from the Caledon Institute of Social Policy:
--- Counsel for the Council
[of the Federation]
--- Disability papers
--- Provincial/Territorial Policy Monitor - December 2011
4. The Federal Role in the Future of Health and Health in Canada (By Bill Tholl and Guy Bujold for the Health Action Lobby) - January 12
5. Standing Up for Freedom and Privacy - Symposium (Toronto, January 27, 2012)
6. The 11th North American Basic Income Guarantee Congress - Call for Proposals Deadline extended to January 31 (Basic Income Canada Network)

7. Are We Doing Enough? A status report on Canadian public policy and child and youth health (Canadian Paediatric Society) - January 10
8. A comparison of Canadian and American welfare reforms in the 1990s--- and a word of caution...
9. Annual Tax Expenditures and Evaluations Report (Department of Finance Canada) - January 9
10. "Microsoft"anti-virus scam - January 8
11. Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Strategy (Nick Falvo in Progressive Economic Forum) - January 8
12. Nunavut Poverty Summit Produces Broad Agreement on Plan of Action (Nunavut Roundtable for Poverty Reduction) - December 1, 2011
13. 2012 : New Year, Same Challenges (Canada Without Poverty) - January 3
14. What's New in The Daily [Statistics Canada]:
Canadian Economic Observer - January 2012 issue - January 12
15. What's new from the Childcare Resource and Research Unit

International content

16. Poverty Dispatch: U.S. media coverage of social issues and programs
17. [U.S.] Drug Testing Welfare Recipients: Recent Proposals and Continuing Controversies (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) - October 2011
18. [U.S.] Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program ["food stamps"] (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities) - January 10

19. CRINMAIL (weekly children's rights newsletter)

Have a great week!

[ ]


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

1. Economic - new site, launched January 2012 --- Public meeting (in Toronto) on Jan. 24

Economic Inequality

Economic inequality is a big subject, and a lot of energy from a lot of people is needed to create more equality. Our organization is creating opportunities for public discussion of the kinds of policies we need and the kinds of actions (by us and by others) that are required.

Economic Inequality: What Do We Do?
Public Meeting: Tuesday January 24th
Public Meeting
Tuesday, January 24 (7 pm – 9 pm)
Trinity St. Paul’s Centre
427 Bloor St. West (one block west of Spadina)
This summer the Occupy movement rekindled widespread interest in the growing income gap in our society.
You are invited to the first in a series of public forums on the subject of economic inequality.


Linda McQuaig, Toronto Star columnist and co-author of The Trouble with Billionaires
Ed Waitzer, partner of law firm Stikeman Elliott, former chair of Ontario Securities Commission, and professor at Osgoode Hall Law School and Schulich School of Business.

Speakers will be followed by an audience discussion moderated by John Sewell.
Be part of this important discussion to plan ways to achieve a more equal society.
This event is wheelchair accessible
Free – donations welcome


- Go to the Inequality Links page:

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

2. Media scan by Jennefer Laidley of the Income Security Advocacy Centre:
‘Austerity’ shouldn’t crush the poor
The power of the tax credit
--- An excellent blog on responses to austerity
--- Andrew Jackson blogs on the Mowat Employment Insurance report

Excerpts from the latest media scan by Jennefer Laidley of the
Income Security Advocacy Centre:
[ ]

Merci, Jennefer!

‘Austerity’ shouldn’t crush the poor

The power of the tax credit:

An excellent blog on responses to austerity:

Andrew Jackson blogs on the Mowat Employment Insurance report:

The Mowat report:

Making it Work : Final Recommendations of the
Mowat Centre Employment Insurance Task Force
(PDF - 859K, 122 pages)
November 16, 2011
Mowat Centre Employment Insurance Task Force
The Mowat Centre EI Task Force is examining Canada's support system for the unemployed and will propose a blueprint for a strengthened national system.
The EI Task Force is part of:
The Mowat Centre
The Mowat Centre for Policy Innovation is an independent, non-partisan public policy research centre located at the School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Toronto. The Mowat Centre undertakes collaborative applied policy research and engages in public dialogue on Canada’s most important national issues, and proposes innovative, research-driven public policy recommendations, informed by Ontario’s reality.

3. New from the Caledon Institute of Social Policy:
--- Counsel for the Council
[of the Federation]
--- Disability papers
Provincial/Territorial Policy Monitor - December 2011

New from the
Caledon Institute of Social Policy:

Counsel for the Council (PDF - 32K, 3 pages)
By Sherri Torjman
January 2012
The Council of the Federation was created in 2003 to help promote cooperation and closer ties among provinces and territories. While the Council tackles a range of issues, it has focused considerable attention in recent years on health care. Subsequent to its meeting in July 2011, the Council issued a statement on Health Sustainability. Nearly a decade ago, Premiers published an accord that preceded the 10-year Canada Health Transfer agreement with the federal government. Like the current Council of the Federation communiqué, the 2003 First Ministers’ Accord on Health Care Renewal identified primary care reform and catastrophic drug coverage as major concerns. But another area that figured prominently at the time – home care – has not appeared (at least explicitly) on the Council of the Federation’s statements.
There can be no fundamental reform of health care in the absence of improved supports for long-term care, home care and informal caregivers. Community care should figure prominently when the Premiers resume their conversations at their upcoming meeting in Victoria on January 16 and 17, 2012.

Disability Papers
Sherri Torjman, January 2012
These three articles are contributions to a book published by the Council of Canadians with Disabilities. It sets out 30 years of achievements since 1981, the International Year of Disabled Persons, which have contributed to increased inclusion and participation by people with disabilities. The celebration was held on November 2, 2011, with special honours for the political champions responsible for the major milestones.

The first article discusses the work of the House of Commons Committee on the Disabled and the Handicapped, which produced the Obstacles report. The second entry summarizes the conclusions of In Unison, a vision paper published in 1998 by the Federal-Provincial/Territorial Ministers Responsible for Social Services. The third article summarizes the work of the Technical Advisory Committee on Tax Measures for Persons with Disabilities that reported to the Minister of Finance and the Minister of National Revenue.

Obstacles : 1981 House of Commons Committee on the Disabled (PDF - 32K, 2 pages)
November 201

In Unison: A Canadian Approach to Disability Issues (PDF - 32K, 2 pages)

Technical Advisory Committee
November 2011


Provincial/Territorial Policy Monitor - December 2011* (PDF - 108K, 7 pages)
The Caledon Institute of Social Policy regularly scans provincial and territorial government websites in order to follow policy developments related to our core work and interests. These include: Disabilities, Education, Health, Housing, Income Security, Poverty Reduction, Recreation, Seniors and Youth. This tracking is intended to inform our analysis of policy trends.


Caledon Institute of Social Policy


- Go to the Council of the Federation Links page:

- Go to the Disability Links page:

- Go to the Social Research Organizations (I) in Canada page:

4. The Federal Role in the Future of Health and Health in Canada - January 12
By Bill Tholl and Guy Bujold for the Health Action Lobby)

New from
the Health Action Lobby (HEAL):

News Release:
The Federal Role in the
Future of Health and Health in Canada
(PDF - 52K, 4 pages)
January 12, 2012
For Canada to rank among countries with the healthiest populations, we need a broadly shared vision of health and health care, sustained leadership by the federal government, as well as action and accountability on the parts of provincial and territorial governments, health care providers and the public. This is the main conclusion of the report on the role of the federal government in health and health care that was commissioned by the Health Action Lobby (HEAL) – a coalition representing 34 national health organizations. HEAL is releasing the report in advance of this month’s meeting of the Council of the Federation at which Canada’s premiers will discuss the future of health and health care.
[ Version française du Communiqué (format PDF): ]

The report:

Functional Federalism and the Future of Medicare in Canada 
-  A Report to the Health Action Lobby (HEAL)
 (PDF - 1.5MB, 138 pages)
By Bill Tholl and Guy Bujold
January 2012
This project is a response to concerns about quality, access and the sustainability of Canada’s health and health care systems, an attempt to spark the public discussions needed as the 2003 First Ministers’ Accord on Health Care Renewal, and 2004 First Ministers’ 10­year Plan to Strengthen Health Care (which we refer to here as “the health accords”) come to an end in the Spring 2014. There are critical discussions to be had and decisions to be made if we are going to make the right choices — especially since how engaged the federal government will be in leading those discussions is uncertain.
[ NOTA : L'étude complète n'est pas disponible en français.]

Executive summary (PDF - 236K, 8 pages)

[ Version française du Sommaire (format PDF): ]

Health Action Lobby (HEAL)
The members of the Health Action Lobby are committed to sustaining and enhancing the health of Canadians, and in the continuous improvement of fair, equitable, efficient and effective health services and system(s).

HEAL Publications


Related link from the
Council of the Federation:

Final Details of Council of the Federation Meeting in Victoria on January 16-17, 2012 (2-page PDF file)
January 9, 2012 – British Columbia Premier Christy Clark will host a meeting of the Council of the Federation on January 16 and 17 in Victoria at the Inn at Laurel Point. Premiers’ discussions will focus on health care and fiscal arrangements.
Council of the Federation
Version française du site:
Conseil de la Fédération

On December 5, 2003, Canada’s Premiers proudly announced in Charlottetown the creation of the Council of the Federation. It is a new institution for a new era in collaborative intergovernmental relations*. The Council of the Federation was created by Premiers because they believe it is important for provinces and territories to play a leadership role in revitalizing the Canadian federation and building a more constructive and cooperative federal system.
[ About Us: ]

* NOTE: I crack up every time I read the Council's About Us statement re. "...a new era in collaborative intergovernmental relations". The Council of the Federation was set up by provincial-territorial Premiers specifically to exclude federal representation and to gang up on Stephen Harper's evidently uncollaborative federal government, notably on the subject of health care funding in Canada.


- Go to the Council of the Federation Links page:

- Go to the Medicare Debate Links page:

5. Standing Up for Freedom and Privacy - Symposium
January 27, 2012)

Commissioner Cavoukian launches Symposium and to raise
awareness: Beware of "Surveillance by Design:" Standing Up for Freedom and Privacy (PDF - 48K, 2 pages)
Media Advisory
January 12, 2012
(...) The new website, [ ], includes:
• background information on proposed lawful access legislation such as relevant media articles, key letters, and editorials;
• proposed solutions on how the federal government can improve the legislation to respect privacy while also enhancing security; and
• a new Write My MP tool by which individuals can easily share their concerns with their Member of Parliament and urge the government to reconsider the proposed laws. We are inviting members of the public to write to the MPs, raising their concerns and asking them to question the proposed legislation.

Beware of “Surveillance by Design:”
Standing Up for Freedom and Privacy Symposium
Friday, January 27, 2012 (9:00am – 11:00am)
MaRS Centre South tower, Suite 100 (Auditorium – Lower Level)
101 College Street, Toronto, ON
Join Ontario’s Information & Privacy Commissioner, Dr. Ann Cavoukian, and highly respected privacy, legal, and academic experts as we discuss the implications of “lawful access” legislation in Canada.(...)
Media coverage has greatly increased, with this issue becoming a hot topic of discussion by all stakeholders, from the legal community to telecom providers. The Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario has been instrumental in bringing attention to this upcoming legislation — which in our view, would represent a system of “Surveillance by Design.” The anticipated re-introduction of a trio of federal bills (Bills C-50, C-51, C-52) will provide police with much greater ability to access and track information, via the communications technologies that we use every day, such as the Internet, smart phones, and other mobile devices, including without a warrant or oversight. Taken together, the three pieces of legislation will diminish the privacy rights of Ontarians and indeed of all Canadians. (...)
Speakers include:
* Dr. Ann Cavoukian, Ontarios Information & Privacy Commissioner
* Professor John Villasenor, The Brookings Institution and University of California, Los Angeles
* Dr. Ron Deibert, Professor, Political Science, University of Toronto
* Nathalie Des Rosiers, General Counsel, Canadian Civil Liberties Association
* David Fraser, Lead, McInnes Cooper Privacy Practice Group
* John Ibbitson, Ottawa Bureau Chief, Globe and Mail

If you are unable to attend in person, we will be webcasting live and archiving the webcast online.
Click here to register for the webcast.
[ ]

Related link:

Ontario Information and Privacy Commissioner



- Go to the Ontario Government Links page:

6. The 11th North American Basic Income Guarantee Congress - Call for Proposals Deadline extended to January 31
(Basic Income Canada Network)

The 11th North American Basic Income Guarantee* Congress - Call for Proposals Deadline extended to January 31
January 15, 2012

The 11th North American Basic Income Guarantee Congress will take place May 3-5, 2012 at the University of Toronto

Theme : Putting Equality Back on the Agenda: Basic Income and Other Approaches to Economic Security for All.

[ * Basic income is an income guaranteed by government for all, without condition, means test or work requirement; it's also known as guaranteed annual income. ]

Featured speakers at the Congress will include:

* Richard Wilkinson, Professor Emeritus of Social Epidemiology at the University of Nottingham Medical School and co-author of The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better;
* Charles Karelis, Research Professor of Philosophy at The George
Washington University and Author of The Persistence of Poverty: Why the
Economics of the Well-Off Can't Help the Poor
* Armine Yalnizyan, Senior Economist with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives;
* John Rook, Chair of the National Council of Welfare and Senior Associate with Housing Strategies, Inc.;
* Evelyn Forget, Professor, University of Manitoba Faculty of Medicine;
* Trish Hennessy, Director of Strategic Issues for the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives;
* Erik Olin Wright, Professor, University of Wisconson, Madison and
Author of Envisioning Possible Utopias

The North American Basic Income Guarantee Congress is a joint Conference of the U.S. and Canadian Basic Income Guarantee Networks.

Revised Deadline for Proposals : January 31, 2012
Scholars, activists, and others are invited to propose papers or presentations, organize panel discussions, or submit posters. All points of view are welcome.

Anyone interested in presenting, organizing a panel, or displaying a poster should submit an abstract of their proposal to the chair of the organizing committee at:

For more information on how to submit a proposal and for a list of topics, see the conference website:

For further information contact:

Jim Mulvale
Faculty of Social Work
University of Regina

Basic Income Canada Network

BIEN Canada is the Canadian affiliate of the Basic Income Earth Network. BIEN Canada was founded at the 2008 international BIEN Congress to promote dialogue, public education and networking about basic income in Canada. BIEN Canada is composed of individuals and organizations interested in promoting dialogue around basic income.


- Go to the Guaranteed Annual Income Links page:

7. Are We Doing Enough? A status report on Canadian public policy and child and youth health - January 10
(Canadian Paediatric Society)

Child-friendly public policies good for economy, says study
By Derek Abma
January 10, 2012
If governments want to put the economy at the top of their agendas, actions that focus on improving the well-being of children and youth should be prioritized, according to a report released Tuesday.
The Canadian Paediatric Society said in this report that child care, mental health and poverty are some of the key areas related to kids for which there are clear economic benefits to be had by taking action.
Montreal Gazette

From the
Canadian Paediatric Society (CPS):

Are governments doing enough to protect kids?
No. Canada can do better, say paediatricans
News Release
January 10, 2012
OTTAWA—Canada’s provincial and territorial governments could be doing more to protect and promote the health and well-being of Canada’s children and youth, according to a report released today by the Canadian Paediatric Society (CPS). The fourth edition of Are We Doing Enough? A status report on Canadian public policy and child and youth health examines how effectively governments use legislation and programming in areas such as injury prevention, disease prevention and health promotion. It also assesses the federal government in key areas.

The CPS report:

Are We Doing Enough? A status report on
Canadian public policy and child and youth health
(PDF - 432K, 40 pages)
2012 (Fourth Edition)
January 2012
Are We Doing Enough? assesses public policy in four major areas:
• Disease prevention • Health promotion • Injury prevention • Best interests of children and youth
Children’s opportunities for health, emotional well-being and life success are determined in large part by their early development. A deprived environment can leave a child with life-long deficits, while high-quality early learning and care help to stimulate cognitive and social development. [report, p. 3]
The CPS calls upon ...the federal government to show leadership with a national strategy [to alleviate poverty]. A number of evidence-based solutions are available, including income support measures, education and job training, and quality child care programs. The CPS believes that ending child and youth poverty should receive
the same focus as stimulating economic growth. Public accountability is imperative for tracking progress on this critical health issue. [report, p. 26]
NOTE : See pages 26-27 for the CPS perspective on provincial and territorial governments' poverty alleviation plans and a quick chart showing how well each jurisdiction is doing compared with the CPS recommended actions in the area of child poverty reduction.

Canadian Paediatric Society (CPS)
The Canadian Paediatric Society is the national association of paediatricians, committed to working together to advance the health of children and youth by nurturing excellence in health care, advocacy, education, research and support of its membership.


- Go to the National/Federal and International Anti-poverty Strategies and Campaigns page:

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

8. A comparison of Canadian and American welfare reforms in the 1990s--- and a word of caution...

A Comparison of Canadian and American Welfare Reforms and
their Effects on Poverty After 1990
(PDF - 10.7MB, 9 pages)
March 2009
By Fern Karsh
Department of Economics, University of Western Ontario
By Gilles:
This undergrad paper that I found in a Google search result is a large download, but welfare historians will find it an interesting read. It offers a brief history of the funding mechanism for federal contributions to provincial-territorial welfare programs from the (1966) Canada Assistance Plan to the 1990 "cap on CAP" to the 2006 Canada Health and Social Transfer (CHST). It also contains a section on welfare reforms in Ontario starting in the mid-1990s with the Mike Harris Tories. There's a section on welfare reform in the U.S during the same period, and a conclusion that the U.S. had "greater success (than Canada) in reducing welfare rolls, unemployment and poverty."

Not so fast.
You can't compare American and Canadian welfare systems, nor the relative success of welfare reforms in both countries, without the necessary context. Tempting as it may be to assume that Temporary Assistance to Needy Families in the U.S. and the Canada Social Transfer are pretty much the same thing - a mechanism to stream federal funding to the lower order of government - it would be incorrect to do so, for as host of reasons. Below, I'll address only the caseload composition of both TANF and Canadian welfare programs.


Unlike the Canadian welfare system, state welfare programs under the federal Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF)* initiative normally grant welfare ONLY to households with children, often headed by single mothers. They exclude all non-disabled single people and childless couples, who must apply instead to the national Food Stamp program and to residual aid programs where they live (if there are any such programs, which is not always the case). In Canada, singles and childless couples make up close to 60% of the total welfare caseload.

Moreover, state welfare programs receiving TANF funding exclude households headed by someone with a disability. In the U.S., people with disabilities must apply for assistance from the federal Social Security Disability program [ ]. In Canada, we have the contribution-based Canada Pension Plan Disability Benefit [ ], but provincial-territorial welfare programs also provide needs-tested assistance to people with disabilities - who currently make up about 35-40% of the national welfare caseload.
* TANF is the federal transfer for state welfare programs, the U.S. equivalent to the Canada Social Transfer, which replaced the CHST in 2004. However, there are important differences between the two funding mechanisms in addition to the target population as noted above. For one thing, the federal government in the U.S. imposes a number of conditions on state welfare programs under TANF (e.g., targets for work participation and child poverty), while the Harper Government™ imposes only a non-residency rule on provincial welfare programs (i.e., eligibility for provincial welfare cannot be based on residency in a particular province). Also, welfare programs under TANF are only *one* of several programs in the U.S. that must be taken into account when comparing U.S. "welfare" with the Canadian system.

In Canada, welfare covers food, shelter, clothing an personal and household needs; in addition to health care coverage, which is universal in Canada, each Canadian jurisdiction offers a range of assistance for special medical needs under its welfare program. In order to compare Canadian and American welfare, the following American programs *must* be included:
* TANF welfare
SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps)
Housing vouchers
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
School lunch and breakfast programs
Earned Income Tax Credit
NOTE: In the U.S. when a person or family times out of TANF welfare (between two and five years, depending on the state), they can still apply for some aid from the above programs and other state programs of last resort. If "timing out" were possible in Canada, individuals and families would have no other recourse. But
there's no time limit on welfare in Canada ---- you can receive continue to receive welfare as long as you can prove financial need and you meet other eligibility requirements. The Government of British Columbia actually imposed a time limit in 2002 that was similar to what many U.S. states had adopted - two years eligibility for welfare out of five. For more info about this draconian Canadian (BC) welfare time limit policy and how it bombed, see:

For more information about TANF, see:

For more information about Canadian welfare programs under the Canada Social Transfer, see:

For more information about welfare and welfare reforms in Canada, see:

The Bottom Line:
Canadian and American welfare systems are like apples and oranges.
They shouldn't be compared without situating each system in its appropriate context.


- Go to the Welfare and Welfare Reforms in Canada page:

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

9. Annual Tax Expenditures and Evaluations Report - January 9
(Department of Finance Canada)

Department of Finance Releases Annual Tax Expenditures and Evaluations Report
News Release
January 9, 2012
The Department of Finance today released the 2011 Tax Expenditures and Evaluations report. This report provides estimates and projections of the revenue impacts of federal tax measures designed to support the economic and social priorities of the Government of Canada.The publication reflects tax relief measures from the Next Phase of Canada’s Economic Action Plan, the Harper Government’s low-tax plan for jobs and growth. (...) The report includes an analytical paper entitled “Distributional Impact of the Federal Personal Income Tax System and Refundable Credits: Analysis by Income, Sex, Age and Family Status” as well as an evaluation of the Public Transit Tax Credit, introduced in July 2006.

Related Document:

Tax Expenditures and Evaluations 2011
Part 1—Tax Expenditures: Estimates and Projections
What's New in the 2011 Report
The Tax Expenditures
Part 2—Tax Evaluations and Research Reports
Distributional Impact of the Federal Personal Income Tax System and Refundable Credits: Analysis by Income, Sex, Age and Family Status
Evaluation of the Public Transit Tax Credit
[ PDF version of the complete report - 1MB, 67 pages: ]

Department of Finance Canada

Related link:

Flaherty’s tax credits cost Ottawa billions
By Bill Curry
January 9, 2012
The myriad tax credits introduced by Jim Flaherty before the recession are now placing an added strain on Ottawa’s bottom line as the Finance Minister prepares to wrestle a $31-billion deficit. In his first few federal budgets, Mr. Flaherty created a wide range of tax breaks aimed at specific elements of the population. Groups on the receiving end of new deductions included construction workers, public transit riders, seniors and parents of sporty kids. The credits featured prominently in government advertising, allowing the Conservatives to target their message toward various segments of the population.
A Finance Canada report released Monday provides an update as to how much these and other credits – which the government officially calls “tax expenditures” – now cost the federal government in terms of lost revenue.


Globe and Mail


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

10. "Microsoft"anti-virus scam - January 8

"Microsoft"anti-virus scam - January 8

NOTE: As a rule, I don't highlight links to articles about spam, phishing, spoofing, mass marketing and telemarketing fraud and all that skullduggery. However, the article below by Ellen Roseman struck a chord with me because I've personally had three phone calls in the past two months from people introducing themselves as Microsoft employees with that exact same pitch.

Read on and heed...

Beware this anti-virus scam!
By Ellen Roseman
January 8, 2012
It’s a consumer scam that reached epidemic proportions in Canada last year. You get a call from someone who says your computer is at risk of crashing because of a virus or malicious software. The caller may suggest he or she works for Microsoft and is aware of issues with your Windows operating system. You may be asked to open a program called Windows Events Viewer, whose contents are worrisome. They look like a long list of errors, some labelled critical. The caller offers to guide you through the steps to fixing it. The selling of fake anti-virus programs has gone viral in Canada. It accounts for 70 to 80 per cent of the frauds reported daily, says the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. The centre, formerly known as Phonebusters, is operated by the RCMP, the Ontario Provincial Police and the federal Competition Bureau.

[ Comments (35): ]

Moneyville (Toronto Star)

Related link:

Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre
The CAFC is jointly managed by the RCMP, OPP and the Competition Bureau Canada and its mandate has expanded to include many versions of Mass Marketing Fraud (MMF) – these frauds are essentially schemes that target many victims at the same time whether by telephone, facsimile, postal mail or the internet.
[ About the CAFC : ]


- Go to the Virus and Virus Hoax Links page:

11. Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Strategy- January 8
(Nick Falvo in Progressive Economic Forum)

Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Strategy
By Nick Falvo
January 8, 2012
December marked the three-year anniversary of Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Strategy. While I believe there is much to celebrate, much remains to be done. The Strategy surprised a lot of observers, especially in light of the fact that it was announced in December 2008, just as Ontario was entering a recession. Its focus was almost exclusively child poverty, and at full implementation (i.e. 2013), it will result in $300 million in new annual spending. This is equivalent to 0.3 percent of total provincial spending in Ontario, which is roughly $100 billion. (...) Let’s not kid ourselves though (pun intended): the Strategy has its shortcomings. First, 0.3 percent of total spending is a relatively modest spending boost when it comes to poverty. Because of the modest new spending made available for the Strategy by the McGuinty government, the Strategy didn’t even attempt to make inroads with respect to Ontario’s lack of affordable housing; that was left to a separate Strategy [ ]
Nor did the Poverty Reduction Strategy attempt to increase social assistance benefit levels, even though single adults without dependents on welfare in Ontario currently receive less than $8,000 a year; rather, it announced the creation of the Commission for the Review of Social Assistance in Ontario [ ]

Relentlessly Progressive Economics Blog

[ Progressive Economics Forum (PEF) ]
The Progressive Economics Forum aims to promote the development of a progressive economics community in Canada. The PEF brings together over 125 progressive economists, working in universities, the labour movement, and activist research organizations.


- Go to the Provincial and Territorial Anti-poverty Strategies and Campaigns page:

12. Nunavut Poverty Summit Produces Broad Agreement on Plan of Action - December 1, 2011
(Nunavut Roundtable for Poverty Reduction)

Nunavut poverty summit produces “a shared approach to poverty reduction:”
But Makimaniq action plan isn't public yet
December 1, 2011
Nunavut’s first territory-wide poverty summit [ ] wrapped up in Iqaluit Nov. 30, delivering a vision to cut poverty with the help of all Nunavummiut. The Poverty Reduction Action Plan produced by the summit is still a few weeks away from release, although the plan has a name – Makimaniq, Inuktitut for "empowerment.” (...) The 45 participants at the three-day summit finalized a draft of the plan Nov. 30, which summit hosts says must first be approved before it goes public. But Aariak’s government has already committed to meet certain objectives by the end of its mandate in 2013...
Nunatsiaq Online


From the
Nunavut Roundtable for Poverty Reduction:

Nunavut Poverty Summit Produces
Broad Agreement on Plan of Action
(PDF - 160K, 2 pages)
November 30, 2011
IQALUIT, Nunavut — Nunavut Premier Eva Aariak and Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. Vice-President Jack Anawak today announced The Makimaniq Plan: A Shared Approach to Poverty Reduction. The plan outlines a common agenda for poverty reduction in Nunavut, developed by the 45 participants in the territory’s first poverty summit.

Related links:

Nunavut Anti-Poverty Secretariat
The Nunavut Anti-Poverty Secretariat, part of the Nunavut Department of Economic Development & Transportation, is responsible for developing and implementing Nunavut’s Poverty Reduction Action Plan through public engagement, and for overseeing the implementation of comprehensive community initiatives to address poverty.
Department of Economic Development & Transportation


According to Rob Rainer,
Executive Director of
Canada Without Poverty:

When the plan is public and under implementation, Nunavut will be the seventh of the provinces and territories to at least have made a start with a more comprehensive approach on poverty, following (in order) QC (2004), NL (2006), NS (2008), ON (2008), NB (2009) and MB (2009). (Like MB, NB and ON, Nunavut also intends to enshrine its commitment for action within legislation.) While these plans vary enormously in breadth, depth, delivery and impact, their existence at the least reflects public awareness/concern about poverty and political recognition of the need for something better than a piecemeal approach. Continued civil society pressure on senior governments to address poverty and be better accountable for results will be needed.


- Go to the Provincial and Territorial Anti-poverty Strategies and Campaigns page:

13. 2012 : New Year, Same Challenges - January 3
(Canada Without Poverty)

Canada Without Poverty (CWP):

New Year, Same Challenges
January 3, 2012
The beginning of a new year can offer a sense of promise – a hopefulness for change and opportunity – and yet what many people with low-income face remains the same: poor housing, increased costs of living, and dismal welfare rates. While the solutions to poverty are around us in numerous reports and from the voices of those who are currently experiencing low-income, the political will needed to shift policy continues to be sidelined.

CWP Resources

Canada Without Poverty:
Canada Without Poverty is a federally incorporated, non-partisan, not-for-profit and charitable organization dedicated to the elimination of poverty in Canada


- Go to the Non-Governmental Organizations Links page:

14. What's New in The Daily [Statistics Canada]:
Canadian Economic Observer - January 2012 issue - January 12

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


It was a slow week in the area of social statistics at StatCan.
Don't believe me?
Check last week's Daily archives for yourself.
Click the link below the next red bar and check the Daily issues for the past week,
the past month or the past 15 years (individual Daily listings go back to January 1996)

January 12, 2011
Canadian Economic Observer - January 2012 issue
1. Current economic conditions
2. Economic events
3. Recent feature articles
4. National accounts
5. Labour markets
6. Prices
7. International trade
8. Goods-producing industries (manufacturing, construction and resources)
9. Services (trade, transportation, travel and communications)
10. Financial markets
11. Provincial (latest Unemployment rates and Consumer Price Index)
User information
Related products
Canadian Economic Observer - Product main page*
This monthly periodical is Statistics Canada's flagship publication for economic statistics. Each issue contains a monthly summary of the economy, major economic events and a feature article. A statistical summary contains a wide range of tables and graphs on the principal economic indicators for Canada, the provinces and the major industrial nations.
[ * Click "View" for the latest issue of this periodical; click "Chronological" index for earlier editions. ]


The Daily Archives
- select a month and year from the drop-down menus 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:

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

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

January 15, 2012

What's new online this week:

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

A historical snapshot of inequality in Canada
6 Jan 2012
This week's Know Thy History looks back at the inequalities between various groups that have been constant themes in Canada; a universal system of high quality ECEC has a key role to play in addressing these inequities.

The impact of austerity measures on households with children
6 Jan 2012
Report from Family & Parenting Institute analyses the impact of tax and benefit changes in the UK; findings show "low-income households with children, particularly non-working lone parent households, lose more as a percentage of income on average from tax and benefit changes."

The next six years: The first six years: Start Strong Ireland conference 2011
5 Jan 2012
Presentations from the annual conference of Start Strong Ireland; a wide range of organisations and individuals discuss current issues and future strategies for ECEC.

Starting strong III: A quality toolbox for early childhood education and care
4 Jan 2012
Major new publication from OECD focuses on quality issues; aims to define quality and outlines five policy levers that can enhance it in ECEC.

Canada's CEO elite 100: The 0.01%
3 Jan 2012
In CCPA's annual look at CEO compensation, Hugh Mackenzie argues that "the gap between Canada’s CEO Elite 100 and the rest of us is growing at a fast and steady pace, to date impervious to a tumultuous global economic reality with no signs of abating."

MORE research, policy & practice

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

Local politicians holding childcare forum
11 Jan 2012 Ontario

Child-friendly public policies good for economy, says study
11 Jan 2012 Quebec

Parents pay anything from $62 to $130 a day
11 Jan 2012 Australia and New Zealand

Poll suggests boomers are the real 'ME generation'
11 Jan 2012 British Columbia

Children’s centre must leave school site
11 Jan 2012 Nova Scotia

MORE child care in the news


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

Links to child care
sites in Canada and elsewhere

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)
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:

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

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

Latest issues of Poverty Dispatch:

January 13: Report: State of the States 2012
Free and Reduced-Price Lunch Program
Polio Eradication - India

January 12:
Kids Count Report - Nebraska
Foster Care Report Card - Florida
High-Poverty Schools and School Funding - Florida

January 11:
Jobless Benefits - South Carolina
Earned Income Tax Credit - Illinois
Economic Mobility in the US

January 10:

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - Pennsylvania
Welfare Overpayments - California, Ohio

January 9:
State Program Cuts - Maine
Jobless Benefits - North Carolina, Ohio


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


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


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:

17. [U.S.] Drug Testing Welfare Recipients: Recent Proposals and Continuing Controversies - October 2011
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)

[U.S.] Drug Testing Welfare Recipients:
Recent Proposals and Continuing Controversies
October 2011
This paper discusses the prevalence of substance abuse among TANF recipients, how States typically address substance abuse in their welfare programs, the variety of drug testing proposals now under discussion in States, and legal and practical issues raised by drug testing proposals.
Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


- Go to the Drug Testing for Welfare Recipients (Ontario) Links page:

18. [U.S.] Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly known as the Food Stamp Program) - January 10
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities)

New from the
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities:

U.S. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly known as the Food Stamp Program)
America's ’s most important anti-hunger program
January 10, 2012

Policy Basics: Introduction to SNAP

In 2011, SNAP helped almost 45 million low-income Americans to afford a nutritionally adequate diet in a typical month. Nearly 75 percent of SNAP participants are in families with children; more than one-quarter are in households with seniors or people with disabilities. While SNAP’s fundamental purpose is to help low-income families, the elderly, and people with disabilities afford an adequate diet and avoid hardship, it promotes other goals as well, such as reducing poverty, supporting and encouraging work, protecting the overall economy from risk, and promoting healthy eating.

View the full Policy Basic:


PDF (8 pages):


SNAP Is Effective and Efficient

SNAP caseloads have risen significantly since late 2007, as the recession and lagging recovery battered the economic circumstances of millions of Americans and dramatically increased the number of low-income households who qualify and apply for help from the program. Yet, despite the rapid caseload growth, SNAP payment accuracy has continued to improve, reaching all-time highs. Moreover, the Congressional Budget Office predicts that SNAP spending will fall as a share of the economy in coming years as the economy recovers and temporary benefit expansions that Congress enacted in 2009 expire.

View the full analysis:


PDF (7 pages):

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP)
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities is one of the nation’s premier policy organizations working at the federal and state levels on fiscal policy and public programs that affect low- and moderate-income families and individuals.


- Go to the Food Banks and Hunger Links page:

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

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

From the
Child Rights Information Network (CRIN):

Children's rights Wiki - from CRIN
The Children's Rights Wiki assembles all information about children's rights in every country in one place. The purpose of the project is to make the huge volume of information that exists on children's rights more accessible, assist children's rights advocates in identifying persistent violations, and inspire collective action. This is a web-based, multi-lingual and interactive project.
More about the project:


CRINMAIL - children's rights newsletter
Latest issue:


11 January 2012 - CRINMAIL Issue 1258
In this issue:
Latest news and reports
- Upcoming election at the Council of Europe
- "Protecting" children from harmful content
- Mass closure of orphanages
- Anger over secret drug trials on children
- Seeking justice from abroad
- A step backwards for rights of migrants
- A step forward for gay rights
- New reports
- Call for submissions
Upcoming Events


for the table of contents for, and links to, a large collection of issues of CRINMAIL.
NOTE : The CRIN "Links to Issues of CRINMAIL" (next link below) doesn't include the table of contents for each issue.

Links to Issues of CRINMAIL (from CRIN)
- links to earlier weekly issues, many of which are special editions focusing on special themes, such as the 45th Session of the Committee on the Rights of the Child, 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 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 receive this weekly newsletter by email, go to the Canadian Social Research Newsletter Online Subscription page:
...or send me an email message.

You can unsubscribe by going to the same page or by sending me an e-mail message [ ]


Privacy Policy:

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

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

To access earlier online HTML issues of the Canadian Social Research Newsletter, go to the Newsletter page:

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




Animal Facts

* The liquid inside young coconuts can be used as a substitute for blood plasma.
* Once a bull has impregnated a cow, it will never impregnate that same cow again. So once a bull has had his way with your herd, he is useless.
* Carnivorous animals will not eat another animal that has been hit by a lightning strike.
* Mountain goats can walk almost straight up a cliff due to a supple pad on each cloven hoof. These pads have extremely soft centers. When the animal puts its foot down, each pad works like a powerful suction cup, enabling the wild goat to appear to defy gravity.
* The average person falls asleep in seven minutes.
* A group of geese on the ground is a gaggle, a group of geese in the air is a skein.
* The underside of a horse's hoof is called a frog. The frog peels off several times a year with new growth.
* The shape of plant collenchyma cells and the shape of the bubbles in beer foam are the same - they are orthotetrachidecahedrons.
* Emus and kangaroos cannot walk backwards, and are on the Australian coat of arms for that reason.
* Cats have over one hundred vocal sounds, while dogs only have about ten.
* Camel's milk does not curdle.
* An animal epidemic is called an epizootic.
* Murphy's Oil Soap is the chemical most commonly used to clean elephants.
* The housefly hums in the middle octave, key of F.
* An ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain.
* The longest recorded flight of a chicken is thirteen seconds.
* A pregnant goldfish is called a twit.
* If NASA sent birds into space (inside a space capsule, that is), they would soon die because they need gravity to swallow.
* It was discovered on a space mission that a frog can throw up. The frog throws up its stomach first, so the stomach is dangling out of its mouth. Then the frog uses its forearms to dig out all of the stomach's contents and then swallows the stomach back down again. [No big whoop --- my buddy Bill used to do that after a bender.]
* Studies show that if a cat falls off the seventh floor of a building it has about thirty percent less chance of surviving than a cat that falls off the twentieth floor. It supposedly takes about eight floors for the cat to realize what is occurring, relax and correct itself. [Who figured this out?!]
* Your stomach has to produce a new layer of mucous every two weeks otherwise it will digest itself.
* Armadillos have four babies at a time and they are always all the same sex.
* Armadillos are the only animal besides humans that can get leprosy.
* To escape the grip of a crocodile's jaws, push your thumbs into its eyeballs -- it will let you go instantly.
* Reindeer like to eat bananas.
* A group of unicorns is called a blessing.
* Twelve or more cows are known as a "flink."
* A group of frogs is called an army.
* A group of rhinos is called a crash.
* A group of kangaroos is called a mob.
* A group of whales is called a pod.
* A group of ravens is called a murder.
* A group of larks is called an exaltation.
* No animal, once frozen solid (i.e., water solidifies and turns to ice) survives when thawed, because the ice crystals formed inside cells would break open the cell membranes. However there are certain frogs that can survive the experience of being frozen. These frogs make special proteins which prevent the formation of ice (or at least keep the crystals from becoming very large), so that they actually never freeze even though their body temperature is below zero Celsius. The water in them remains liquid: a phenomenon known as 'supercooling.' If you disturb one of these frogs (just touching them even), the water in them quickly freezes solid and they die.
* The pupil of an octopus' eye is rectangular.

More animal facts:


And, in closing...


Discount cruises
America's Clearinghouse for Discount Cruises
Extra-special deals on Carnival cruises this week...


Stan Rogers "Barrett's Privateers" (video, duration 2:38)


Smart car, dumb driver (video, duration 4:43)


How to Speak like a Newfoundlander (video, duration 3:22)


Slot car racing on steroids (video, duration 3:15)


Draw a stickman