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Canadian Social Research Newsletter
April 15, 2007

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 about the same number of subscribers as last week.
(I'm having problems accessing my  mailing list online today,  so you'll have to take my word that  there are about 1790 subscribers to this newsletter.)
Scroll to the bottom of this newsletter to see some notes and a disclaimer.


Canadian Content

1. Report of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Canada's Child Care Spaces Initiative - January 2007 (Posted April 2007)
2. Year end review of the economy, 2006 (Statistics Canada) - April 12
3. 2007 Prince Edward Island Provincial Budget - April 10
4. Spring 2007 Issue of the International Productivity Monitor (Centre for the Study of Living Standards) - April 10
5. Four-year action plan to move Manitobans from welfare to work
(Government of Manitoba) - April 10
6. National Advisory Council on Aging, R.I.P. - March 5
7. What's New - from the Childcare Resource and Research Unit (University of Toronto) - April 13

International Content

8. Poverty Dispatch: U.S. media coverage of social issues and programs
9. The Economics of Happiness : We Love to See You Smile (The New Republic - U.S.) - April 10

Have a great week!

Gilles Séguin
Canadian Social Research Links


1. Report of the Ministerial Advisory Committee
on Canada's Child Care Spaces Initiative - January 2007

Supporting Canadian Children & Families : Addressing the Gap Between
The Supply and Demand for High Quality Child Care
Report from the Ministerial Advisory Committee on the Government of Canada’s Child Care Spaces Initiative
Submitted to the Honourable Monte Solberg, P.C., M.P. Minister of Human Resources and Social Development
January 2007
(Posted to the HRSDC website April 2007)
"In 2006, the Government of Canada announced the Universal Child Care Plan. This Plan included two components: the Universal Child Care Benefit, providing direct financial assistance to parents, and the Child Care Spaces Initiative, supporting the creation of new child care spaces. In September 2006, the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development Canada created a Ministerial Advisory Committee to provide advice on the design of the Child Care Spaces Initiative."
Excerpt from the

Executive Summary

Table of Contents (selected content)
- incl. links to : Introduction * Child Care in Canada Involves All Orders of Government * Reasons Families Use Child Care Vary * Reasons Employers Are Involved or Interested in Child Care Vary * Addressing the Supply/Demand Imbalance * The Supply/Demand Equation *Recommendations *Appendices

NOTE: Government report appendices often contain precious info-nuggets that are not found elsewhere.
For example, in the appendices to this report, you'll find the following:
Ministerial Advisory Committee on Child Care Spaces Initiative * Policy Principles * EI Maternity and Parental Benefits Compared with the Quebec Program, 2006 * Employer-supported Child Care Options * Current Federal Government Programs Supporting Child Care * Women in the Paid Labour Force * Number of supervised day care spaces, 1992 to 2004 * References.
Click the above table of contents link to access the links to all appendices.

And by the way...

That title ("Supporting Canadian Children...") is grammatically incorrect.
It should read "...Addressing the Gap between the Supply OF and Demand for High Quality Child Care".

Related link:

Canada's Universal Child Care Plan - "Choice. Support. Spaces."

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

2. What's New from Statistics Canada:
Study: Year end review of the economy, 2006 - April 12

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

April 12, 2007
Study: Year end review of the economy, 2006
In retrospect, the most surprising development in Canada's economy last year was not that a surge in oil prices or the bursting of the American housing bubble failed to dampen growth, according to a year-end review of the economy. The theme that really stands out is the adaptability of Canadians faced with rapid changes in their economy.

Related link / Source:

Canadian Economic Observer
April 2007
- incl. links to : Current economic conditions - Economic events - Feature article (see above) - Tables - Charts - User information
PDF version (816K, 120 pages)

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

3. 2007 Prince Edward Island Provincial Budget - April 10

2007 Prince Edward Island Provincial Budget
April 10, 2007

Budget Address (HTML)
Budget Highlights (PDF)
NOTE: For Estimates of Revenue and Expenses and Capital Estimates, click the PEI Provincial Budget link above and select the file you wish to read.

Google Search Results Links - always current results!
Using the following search terms (without the quote marks):
"Prince Edward Island provincial budget 2007, analysis"
Web search results page
News search results page
Blog Search Results page

- Go to the Canadian Government Budgets Links page:
- Go to the Prince Edward Island Links page:

4. Spring 2007 Issue of the International Productivity Monitor - April 10
Centre for the Study of Living Standards)

International Productivity Monitor - Spring 2007 Issue
Number 14, Spring 2007
On April 10, 2007, the Spring 2007 issue of the International Productivity Monitor was released on the CSLS website in English and French.
- recent productivity developments in the United States by Barry P. Bosworth and Jack E. Triplett,
- lessons for Canada from international productivity experience by Andrew Sharpe,
- India's productivity performance by Joydeep Mukherji,
- measurement error and productivity growth in the Canadian construction industry by Peter Harrison, and
- the recently released EU KLEMS productivity and growth accounts by Marcel P. Timmer, Mary O'Mahony and Bart van Ark.

Centre for the Study of Living Standards (Ottawa)
The Centre for the Study of Living Standards is a non-profit, national, independent organization that seeks to contribute to a better understanding of trends in and determinants of productivity, living standards and economic and
social well-being through research.

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

5. Four-year action plan to move Manitobans from welfare to work - April 10
(Government of Manitoba)


New Child Benefit, Lower-cost Child Care, Stronger Work Incentives, And Skills Package in 10-point Reconstruction of Income Supports
News Release
April 10, 2007
Filling thousands of job vacancies and increasing family prosperity are the objectives of a ground-breaking, four-year action plan to move Manitobans from welfare to work, Family Services and Housing Minister Gord Mackintosh announced today. “Manitobans should always be better off working than on welfare. Yet in getting a job, too often you lose. Benefits are reduced for child allowances, child care, drug, dental and optical coverage, which makes work less attractive,” said Mackintosh. “We must dismantle this welfare wall.”


Rewarding Work - Gateway To Opportunities (PDF file - 21K, 3 pages)

Province of Manitoba

Related link:

Reducing Poverty in Manitoba (PDF file - 134K, 17 pages)
Budget Paper E
Manitoba Budget 2007 (April 4, 2007)

Google Search Results Links - always current results!
Using the following search terms (without the quote marks):
"Manitoba, "Rewarding Work", welfare"
Web search results page
News search results page
Blog Search Results page
NOTE: the Blog Search Results page had zero results as at April 11 (early morning).
However, because these are dynamic links, the results will vary depending on when you access the above links for all three types of search results pages


In other news from Manitoba:

Low-income Families in the North Get Increased Assistance to Address High Cost of Food and Essentials
March 15, 2007
Employment and income assistance (EIA) for residents of Manitoba’s northern and remote communities will increase effective April 1 to help residents buy expensive essential goods and nutritious food, Family Services and Housing Minister Gord Mackintosh announced today.

2005-06 Annual Report - Family Services and Housing
- incl. links to earlier annual reports back to 2001-2002 and Social Services Appeal Boards reports

- Go to the Manitoba Links page:

6. National Advisory Council on Aging, R.I.P. - March 5

A note about the National Advisory Council on Aging (NACA):

It's gone.
As of March 5, 2007, when Canada's New Government announced the creation of a new
National Seniors Council. affiliated with the New Horizons for Seniors Program, the NACA was quietly subsumed by the new Council...

If you find it frustrating to see website content, especially Government website info, disappear mysteriously, you're not alone!
You should consider sending a complaint to the person or group responsible for the offending website, because paper has largely been replaced by online information nowadays, so when something is removed from the Web, it is usually gone, fini, ba-bye..


But - you can still find Web content that's no longer accessible on any given site - not all, but a fair amount of it...
You can copy the title of a report in and see if it's still available at some other website.
Or you can just go to The Internet Archive and enter the URL of the no-longer-accessible website.
With a little luck, there's a link or a set of links on the results page that take you to one or more versions of the entire website.

Here's the latest NACA site content (April 2006)
- older versions of the NACA site ===> 12 earlier versions back to March 2005

Related links:

Division of Aging and Seniors
( Public Health Agency of Canada )

National Seniors Council formed to advise government
March 5, 2007

- Go to the Seniors (Social Research) Links page:

7. What's New - from the Childcare Resource and Research Unit (University of Toronto) - April 13

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

The Childcare Resource and Research Unit offers a free weekly "e-mail news notifier" service.
Here's the content of the latest issue of this bulletin.
For more information about this service,
including instructions for (un)subscribing, see


What's New

Final report of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on the Government of Canada’s Child Care Spaces Initiative.

Letter to Stephen Harper from the Canadian Council on Social Development about the importance of social development and the Canada Social Transfer.

Press release from the Government of Manitoba’s Ministry of Family Services and Housing says they are fulfilling their Five Year Plan for Child Care.

Report from the Child Care Human Resources Sector Council explains how the relationship between program revenue, employment and labour issues, system design, and public policy combine to influence compensation.

Child care in the news

Report: Tories need to collect child care data [CA]
Halifax Chronicle Herald, 13 Apr 07

Childcare policies reflect my views: Howard [AU]
Sydney Morning Herald, 13 Apr 07

Province looks at day care subsidies [CA-AB]
Edmonton Sun, 12 Apr 07

Another one bites the dust... [CA-BC]
Nelson Daily News, 9 Apr 07

Swedish system praised for encouraging women into workforce [SE]
New Zealand Herald, 9 Apr 07

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
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,

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:
Try the Advanced Search feature, very handy!

8. 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.

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:

9. The Economics of Happiness : We Love to See You Smile - April 10
The New Republic - U.S.)

Happiness Economics : We Love to See You Smile - April 10, 2007
American surveys over the past few decades seem to show that a personal sense of happpiness doesn't necessarily go along with a high Gross National Product. According to the author, many economists feel that it makes more sense to shift priorities to boosting other (non-GNP) forms of well-being, like happiness itself. Indeed, why not measure Gross National Happiness (GNH) in place of GNP
The New Republic (U.S.)

The Economics of Happiness (PDF file - 104K, 13 pages)
- from the Brookings Institution

A Plateau of Happiness
("A country's wealth may not always indicate the happiness of its people")
New York Times

The Second International Conference on Gross National Happiness
June 20 to June 24, 2005

Gross National Happiness:
A New Measure of Well-Being From a Happy Little Kingdom

October 4, 2005
"What is happiness? In the United States and in many other industrialized countries, it is often equated with money. Economists measure consumer confidence on the assumption that the resulting figure says something about progress and public welfare. The gross domestic product, or G.D.P., is routinely used as shorthand for the well-being of a nation. But the small Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan has been trying out a different idea. In 1972, concerned about the problems afflicting other developing countries that focused only on economic growth, Bhutan's newly crowned leader, King Jigme Singye Wangchuck, decided to make his nation's priority not its G.D.P. but its G.N.H., or gross national happiness..."

Discussion Papers on Gross National Happiness
- from the Center for Bhutanese Studies

World Values Survey
The World Values Survey is organised as a network of social scientists coordinated by a central body, the World Values Survey Association. (...) The World Values Survey Association is founded in order to help social scientists and policy makers better understand worldviews and changes that are taking place in the beliefs, values and motivations of people throughout the world.

World Values Survey - from Wikipedia

The Canadian Index of Wellbeing:
Measuring What Matters

The CIW is being developed as a tool to account honestly and accurately for changes in our human, social, economic and natural wealth through a new index that can best capture the full range of factors that determine wellbeing in Canada – health prevention initiatives, clear air and water, genuine progress by our Aboriginal peoples, early childhood education, and other determinants of a healthy nation.
The Atkinson Foundation

Genuine Progress Index for Atlantic Canada
Since the Second World War, economic growth statistics based on the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) have been widely used as a proxy for societal wellbeing and prosperity. This was not the intention of those who created the GDP. (...) GDP-based measures were never meant to be used as a measure of progress, as they are today. In fact, activities that degrade our quality of life, like crime, pollution, and addictive gambling, all make the economy grow. The more fish we sell and the more trees we cut down, the more the economy grows. Working longer hours makes the economy grow. And the economy can grow even if inequality and poverty increase.

Personal Security Index 2003:
A reflection of how Canadians feel five years later
- includes: * Economic Security * Health Security * Physical Safety * Regional Differences
Canadian Council on Social Development

The Happy Planet Index attempts to calculate life satisfaction and expectancy in relation to environmental impact. By this index, Vanuatu is #1, Columbia is #2, and Bhutan is #13, leaving the United States, at #150, in the dust.
New Economics Foundation (U.K.)

Guidelines for National Indicators of Subjective Well-Being and Ill-Being (PDF file - 25K, 7 pages)
November 2005
- promoted by leading happiness researcher Ed Diener and a group of 50 prominent psychologists, sociologists, and economists.

World Database of Happiness
- covers the following themes:
* Consumption * Cultural climate * Crime * Demography * Education * Freedom * Geography * Happiness * Health * Inequality * Institutional quality * Law and order * Lifestyle * Modernity * Personality * Politics * Risks * Social climate * Values * War * Wealth
Erasmus University (Rotterdam)

- Go to the Poverty Measures - Canadian Resources page:
- Go to the Poverty Measures - International Resources page:

Disclaimer/Privacy Statement

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

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

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

If you wish to subscribe to the e-mail version of newsletter, go to the Canadian Social Research Newsletter Online Subscription page:

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


The e-mail version of this newsletter is available only in plain text (no graphics, no hyperlinks, no fancy bolding or italics, etc.) to avoid security problems with government departments, universities and other networks with firewalls. The text-only version is also friendlier for people using older or lower-end technology.

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

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

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

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




Kids say the Darndest Things
I stole this title from the Art Linkletter series of long ago even though the content is something I
just  found somewhere online.
They  *still* say the darndest things...

A kindergarten teacher was observing her classroom of children while they drew. She would occasionally walk around to see each child's artwork. As she got to one little girl who was working diligently, she asked what the drawing was. The girl replied, "I'm drawing God."

The teacher paused and said, "but no one knows what God looks like."

Without missing a beat, or looking up from her drawing the girl replied, "They will in a minute."


An honest 7-year-old admitted calmly to her parents that Billy Brown had kissed her after class.

"How did that happen?," gasped her mother.

"It wasn't easy," admitted the young lady, "but three girls helped me catch him."


A 3-year-old went with his dad to see a litter of kittens. On returning home, he breathlessly informed his mother that there were two boy kittens and two girl kittens.

"How did you know?" his mother asked.

"Daddy picked them up and looked underneath," he replied. "I think it's printed on the bottom."


The children had all been photographed, and the teacher was trying to persuade them each to buy a copy of the group picture.

"Just think how nice it will be to look at it when you are all grown up and say: "There's Jennifer; she's a lawyer, or that's Michael; he's a doctor."

A small voice at the back of the room rang out, "And there's the teacher. She's dead".


For weeks, a 6-year old lad kept telling his first-grade teacher about the baby brother or sister that was expected at his house. One day the mother allowed the boy to feel the movements of the unborn child. The 6-year old was obviously impressed, but he made no comment. Furthermore, he stopped telling his teacher about the impending event. The teacher finally sat the boy on her lap and said, "Tommy,
whatever became of that baby brother or sister you were expecting at home?"

Tommy burst into tears and confessed, "I think Mommy ate it!"


A Sunday school teacher was discussing the Ten Commandments with her 5 and 6 year-olds. After explaining the commandment "Honor thy Father and thy mother," she asked,

"Is there a commandment that teaches us how to treat our brothers and sisters?"

Without missing a beat one little boy answered, "Thou shall not kill."


On the first day of school, the Kindergarten teacher said, "If anyone has to go to the bathroom, hold up two fingers."

A little voice from the back of the room asked, "How will that help?"


Like I said, I found this somewhere online...


Give your Doctor a Checkup
Very impressive Doctor  rating service - I found BOTH my family physician and my dentist, and both had very positive reviews/ratings

Angel Knocking at the Door
My  80-something-year-old uncle from Cornwall sends me these *very* regularly. 
I promise never to share any of the enormous files that he includes as attachments, some of which are almost 10MB in size and which would definitely cripple the email system of someone on a dialup connection.

HINT: Bearing in mind that not everyone has the same sense of humour or the same sense of values, if you *must* share a large amusing or inspirational file that you've received from someone with everyone else in your  Address Book [C'mon, you know who you are...],  try checking to see if that file is already online so that you can send ONLY the URL rather than the entire file.  Use Google to find the file name online and send your friends and relatives the URL of  that location instead of the entire file.
This goes out to everyone who wishes they had an 80-something-year-old uncle sending them shmaltzy emails.


And now for something completely different...

Marilyn Willis is retiring this Friday.
[If the name doesn't ring a bell, feel free to skip the next bit...]

My former Director and boss for just under 25 years until my own retirement in 2003, Marilyn has finally decided to retire from the federal government.
She'll be missed by those who worked for and with her - and that includes the directors of child protection and income support  from the provincial and territorial governments with whom she worked tirelessly over the years to support the open exchange of information.

I know that there are subscribers to this newsletter who have met Marilyn
over the years wearing one of her many hats (fed-prov, social assistance, child welfare, Disability Weblinks, National Child Benefit, longitudinal study of children and youth, and so on...). If you're one of those people, and if you'd like to wish her well in retirement, you can do so by writing a few lines ot her in the Guest Book on this website:

Thank you, Marilyn, for those most excellent 25 years that I was lucky enough to work with and for you.  If you hadn't been as supportive of my  views and my work over that entire period, I don't think I would have ended up leaving my day job to focus more on my Canadian Social Research Links website and newsletter. 

Happy Retirement!

<The rest of you, get back to work.>