Canadian Social Research Links logo 
Canadian Social Research Newsletter
May 16, 2010

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

The e-mail version of this week's issue of the newsletter is going out to 2,271 subscribers.

Scroll to the bottom of this newsletter to see some notes, a disclaimer
and other stuff that has nothing whatsoever to do with social policy...


Haiti Earthquake

Haiti still needs our help.
Canadian Red Cross


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



Canadian content

1. Why is it so hard to make sense of poverty measures? (Metcalf Foundation) - May 2010
2. New Westminster enacts Canada’s first living wage law (The Tyee) - April 28
3. Protest shuts down Olympic Village condo sale (CBC British Columbia) - May 15
4. Manitoba looks at debit cards for welfare recipients (Globe and Mail) - May 12
5.What's New in The Daily [Statistics Canada]:
Study: Aboriginal labour market update, 2008 and 2009 - May 13
--- Canadian Economic Observer May 2010 - May 13
--- Residential Care Facilities 2007/2008 - May 11
6. What's new from the Childcare Resource and Research Unit - May 16

International content

7. Poverty Dispatch: U.S. media coverage of social issues and programs (U. of Wisconsin-Madison)
8. Australian Policy Online - recent content - May 8
--- Social Security Reform in Australia - The Henry Review - May 2010
9. CRINMAIL (children's rights newsletter)

Have a great week!
[ ]

1. Why is it so hard to make sense of poverty measures? - May 2010
(Metcalf Foundation)

Lies, damn lies and...
Poverty statistics?

If your eyes glaze over at the mere mention of poverty lines and/or unemployment statistics, I think you'll appreciate this short discussion/reflexion paper by Canadian social policy experts Richard Shillington and John Stapleton. It's an overview of, and observations about, Canada's poverty measurement tools; it includes discussion (or reflexion) points for further study or group discussions. Did YOU know that there are four different ways to measure Employment Insurance coverage of the Canadian workforce? And what the heck is a B/U ratio, anyway? Click below to find out.


Cutting Through the Fog:
Why is it so hard to make sense of poverty measures?
(PDF - 186K, 22 pages)
Richard Shillington and John Stapleton
May 2010
(...) This paper is intended to open up some room for thoughtful discussion about poverty issues among interested Canadians. The goal is not to tell anyone what to think, but to encourage all of us to question.
(...) Data can be presented in many different ways, depending on the goals of the person or group providing the data. It is important to question what is being measured, how it is measured, and when it was measured.
(...) Being critical of the statistics used as “evidence” for a point of view involves finding out what assumptions underlie the numbers.
For example, you might hear that:
• the percentage of Canadians living in poverty is around 15%...or only 5%, or
• Canada’s Employment Insurance (EI) program covers approximately 85% of the unemployed…or only 45%.
(...) The gap between these statistics is so large because they measure different things.

Metcalf Foundation
The Foundation was established by George Cedric Metcalf in 1960. It currently makes grants totaling approximately $5.5 million each year and has an asset base of approximately $130 million. The Foundation works primarily in three areas: environment, performing arts and low-income communities. Our work is focused on supporting organizations that are working collaboratively to cultivate long-term solutions to issues, thinking broadly in pursuit of comprehensive approaches and engaging communities to take a meaningful role in decisions affecting their lives

[ See "About This Paper" on the second page of the PDF file for biographical notes on the authors.]

Related links:

Open Policy - John Stapleton's website
Tristat Resources - Richard Shillington's website

- Go to the Poverty Measures - Canadian Resources page:
- Go to the Non-Governmental Organizations Links page:
- Go to the Ontario Municipal and Non-Governmental Sites (D-W) page:

2. New Westminster enacts Canada’s first living wage law - April 28
(The Tyee)

New Westminster enacts Canada’s first living wage law
By Monte Paulsen
April 28, 2010
New Westminster has become the first city in Canada to pass a "living wage" bylaw, effectively raising the minimum wage paid by the municipality. "New Westminster has taken a stand for working families today by setting this powerful precedent,” said Dave Tate of BC ACORN, one of 40 organizations that lobbied for the bylaw. Living wage bylaws set a wage "floor" above the minimum wage for workers who work directly for the city, for firms that receive contracts from the city, and firms that receive economic development money from the city.Once the policy is implemented, all direct and indirect workers (contract workers, etc.) performing work on City premises will earn a wage no lower than $16.74.
The Tyee

Related links:

From ACORN Canada:
(Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now)

* New Westminster campaign news : Making History
April 26th - Today, the City Council of New Westminster British Columbia made history by voting to pass Canada's first living wage policy. BC ACORN members are ecstatic that New Westminster has taken the lead among Canadian municipalities and set a new national precedent for the municipal role in establishing wage floors above the provincial minimum wage.

* Ottawa campaign news
We’ve passed the first hurdle towards a living wage bylaw in the City of Ottawa by winning the first vote directing City staff to investigate possible Living Wage options. Now comes the hard part. Over the coming months City staff will investigate different types of living wage bylaws before presenting proposals to Ottawa City Council for a vote. We need to make sure we have the votes necessary on Council to pass the most progressive of the options that staff will present.

New Westminster BC just became the first Canadian jurisdiction to enact a living wage policy. It's time for Ottawa to step up and follow New West's lead. (...) ACORN Members in Ottawa have been taking to the streets and lobbying their local councilors in support of a Living Wage Bylaw. Living Wage Bylaws ensures that projects funded with tax dollars from the municipal government must pay workers a fair wage.

* Living Wage Resource Centre
The ACORN Living Wage Resource Centre aims to be a one-stop shop of resources and materials to help organizations mount and win campaigns to enact Living Wage Bylaws in Canadian municipalities. Here you will find materials being generated out of the attempts of ACORN Canada and others to enact the first municipal bylaw as well as resources from the United States highly successful Living Wage movement that has enacted ordinances in over 140 municipalities.

ACORN Canada:
(Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now
ACORN Canada is among the largest community based membership organizations in Canada with nearly 30,000 members in 20 neighbourhood chapters in 4 cities across Canada. Since ACORN Canada's founding in 2004, we have taken action and won victories on issues of concern to our membership. Their priorities include: higher wages for low wage workers, regulation of predatory payday lenders, better housing for tenants, and increased investment from banks and governments in working family communities


Living Wage - from Wikipedia
Living wage is a term used to describe the minimum hourly wage necessary for shelter (housing and incidentals such as clothing and other basic needs) and nutrition for a person for an extended period of time (lifetime).


Vancouver's living wage hits $18 an hour
May 4, 2010
Working people in Metro Vancouver need to earn more than $18 an hour in order to meet the most basic costs of raising a family, a new report says. Source:
CBC British Columbia


A Living Wage for Families (British Columbia)
Work should lift you out of poverty, not keep you there
The Living Wage for Families Campaign is guided by an Advisory Committee of representatives from community organizations and other partners and supporters in Metro Vancouver.
- incl. links to:
* Home * What is a Living Wage? * Get Involved * Learn More * What is a Living Wage Employer? * About Us


BC Municipality Enacts Canada's First Living Wage Bylaw
It's New Westminster, which has been at the forefront of other poverty-reduction campaigns.

April 28, 2010
Living wage bylaws set a wage 'floor' above the minimum wage for workers who work directly for the city, for firms that receive contracts from the city, and firms that receive economic development money from the city. (...) How about other BC municipalities and the province following New West's example? Heck, why not municipalities and provinces/territories throughout Canada?
economicus ridiculous ... exercises in miserly minimalism
(Chrystal Ocean's blog)


A Living Wage for Toronto?

Living wage becomes a reality — but not here [in Toronto]
May 10, 2010
By Carol Goar
The breakthrough came quietly. On April 27, a small city in British Columbia made history, enacting Canada’s first living-wage bylaw. New Westminster council voted unanimously to pay all civic employees (full- and part-time) an hourly wage of at least $16.74 and require all contractors working on municipal property to meet the same standard. A living wage — unlike a minimum wage — is the pay required to keep a family with two working parents and two children above the poverty line. Unions, anti-poverty groups, churches and social agencies had been fighting for this precedent for a decade, but few expected New Westminster, one of Vancouver’s least affluent satellites, to be the groundbreaker.
(...) After Boston adopted the first living-wage policy [in the U.S. in 1994, other cities joined the movement. There are now 140 municipalities in the U.S. — including Los Angeles, New York, Detroit and Washington D.C. — with living-wage bylaws.
NOTE: This article from the Toronto Star focuses on the two reasons why Toronto is unlikely to follow New Westminster’s example.
(Spoiler: The two reasons are Toronto's "fair-wage policy" and Toronto's strained municipal budget.)

- Go to the BC Government Links page:
- Go to the Non-Governmental Sites in British Columbia (A-C) page:
- Go to the Non-Governmental Sites in British Columbia (D-W) page:
- Go to the Minimum Wage /Living Wage Links page:

3. Protest shuts down Olympic Village condo sale - May 15
(CBC British Columbia)

Protest shuts down Olympic Village condo sale
May 15, 2010
Protesters crashed an open house at Vancouver's Olympic Village on Saturday, forcing police to lock the area down. Brandishing signs and chanting, dozens of people were there to protest what they say is a lack of social housing at the development. (...) About 475 units at the $1.1-billion waterfront development in False Creek went on the market Saturday. Another 260 were sold during pre-sales in 2007. About 250 rental units will be reserved for civic workers and low-income residents. The project has been mired in controversy. Last month, the city voted to halve the amount of social housing it had promised to provide in the Olympic Village development. The project also had to be rescued by the City of Vancouver with loan guarantees in order to get it ready for the Olympic Games in February.

False Promises on False Creek
Mayor hires hundred more police in response to growing homeless population;
hands promised social housing units at Olympic Village over to police
May 11, 2010
By Nathan Crompton
Mayor Gregor Robertson’s recent homeless count shows a 12% increase in homelessness since 2008, the year of his election to office. While Gregor ran on a platform to end homelessness, he and the Vision caucus have responded to this increase with the unaccompanied strategy of millions of dollars for increased policing. Now, as of April 20, the vast majority of the promised low-income units in the Olympic Village are being handed over to the police and other “essential” City workers.
[TIP : If you scroll to the bottom of the above article, you'll find 10 links to related information
Vancouver Media Co-Op

- Go to the BC Government Links page:
- Go to the Non-Governmental Sites in British Columbia (A-C) page:
- Go to the Non-Governmental Sites in British Columbia (D-W) page:

4. Manitoba looks at debit cards for welfare recipients - May 12
(Globe and Mail)

Manitoba looks at debit cards for welfare recipients:
Plan would circumvent cheque-cashing companies’ fees
By Steve Lambert
May 12, 2010
Winnipeg — The Manitoba government is looking at giving welfare recipients special debit cards to get around the stigma, fees and hurdles that can come with cashing monthly cheques. The cards would be attached to an account where money would be deposited every month. People on social assistance would no longer have to wait for cheques to arrive in the mail and then find a place to cash them. They could spend money by swiping their card at any retail outlet, and the card would be automatically reloaded every month. (...) The government prefers to use direct deposit for welfare payments, but less than two-thirds of recipients have signed up. Many don’t have bank accounts and must pay fees at cheque-cashing companies to get their money. It’s why poverty-rights groups are encouraging the government to set up the debit cards.
Globe and Mail


Plastic welfare over paper
Province wants cheque phase-out
By Larry Kusch
May 13, 2010
The Selinger government wants to banish the welfare cheque. Instead, it wants to introduce debit cards and boost the number of Employment and Income Assistance (EIA) recipients who are paid through direct deposit into their bank accounts.
Winnipeg Free Press

- Go to the Manitoba Links page:

5. What's New in The Daily [Statistics Canada]:
Study: Aboriginal labour market update, 2008 and 2009 - May 13
--- Canadian Economic Observer May 2010 - May 13
--- Residential Care Facilities 2007/2008 - May 11

Selected content from
The Daily [Statistics Canada]:

May 13, 2010
Study: Aboriginal labour market update, 2008 and 2009

May 13, 2010
Canadian Economic Observer May 2010
1. Sections 2. Tables 3. Charts 4. Appendices 5. User information 6. Related products

May 11, 2010
Residential Care Facilities 2007/2008
1. Highlights 2. Introduction 3. Analysis 4. Tables 5. Data quality, concepts and methodology 6. User information 7. Related products 8. PDF version


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

The Daily
[Statistics Canada]

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

6. What's new from the Childcare Resource and Research Unit - May 16

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

May 16, 2010

What's new online
This section archives documents that have been featured on the CRRU homepage.

Perspectives of play in three nations: A comparative study in Japan, the United States, and Sweden 10 May 10 - Reflective paper from Early Childhood Research and Practice discussing the similarities and differences in perspectives on play among early childhood educators.

State of child care in Australia 10 May 10 - Report from the Australian Government focusing on child care in Australia over the past 5 years. Administrative and survey data are included.

Healthy habits start earlier than you think 10 May 10 - Report card from Active Healthy Kids Canada examining the state of physical activity in Canada with a focus on the early years.

Caring and learning together 10 May 10 - Cross- national study by Kaga Yoshie, John Bennett and Peter Moss looking at the integration of early childhood care and education within education.


child care in the news
This section features interesting and noteworthy news about ECEC and related issues in Canada and internationally.

· Labor's New Child Centres are gone but families continue to struggle for places
[AU] 10 May 10

· Alternative to school closings
[CA-ON] 9 May 10

· Child Care Now!
[CA] 7 May 10

· Women's group cuts 'ideological': MPs
[CA] 5 May 10



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

Links to child care
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)
The Childcare Resource and Research Unit (CRRU) is a policy and research oriented facility that focuses on early childhood education and child care (ECEC) and family policy in Canada and internationally.

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

7. Poverty Dispatch: U.S. media coverage of social issues and programs
(Institute for Research on Poverty - University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Poverty Dispatch (U.S.)
- the content of this link changes several times a week
- scan of U.S. web-based news items dealing with topics such as poverty, welfare reform, child welfare, education, health, hunger, Medicare and Medicaid, etc.

Latest issues of Poverty Dispatch:

May 14:
Supplemental Poverty Measure
Poverty and Infectious Disease in the US
Foster Care Placements - Texas
State Budget and Programs for the Poor - Minnesota
Hybrid Welfare Eligibility System - Indiana

May 13:
Hospitals, Medicaid Patients, and Long-Term Care
State Health Programs - California, Minnesota
After-School Meal Program
Visiting Nurse Program - Minnesota

May 12:
Weatherization Program - Texas
Anti-Asthma Program - New York City
Maternal Mortality - India
AIDS Orphans and Social Services - South Africa

May 11:
Hybrid Welfare Eligibility System - Indiana
Medicaid Expansion - Minnesota
Report: State of Metropolitan America

May 10:
Suburban Population and Poverty
COBRA Subsidy and the Rate of Unisured
Unemployment and Early Retirement


Past Poverty Dispatches
- links to dispatches back to June 2006

Search Poverty Dispatches


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


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

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

- Go to the Poverty Measures - International Resources page:

8. Australian Policy Online - recent content - May 8
Social Security Reform in Australia - The Henry Review - May 2010

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

Found in APO:

Summary of ACOSS proposals, Henry Review
recommendations and the government’s response: social security reform

Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS)
07 May, 2010
On the whole, the Henry Review’s proposals regarding working age payments are disappointing, according to this ACOSS paper.


Most viewed this week on APO:

1. Garma Festival 2009 key forum address
2. The budget of social exclusion
3. The most important chart in the budget
4. 2010-11 Commonwealth budget
5. Immigration: taking a long view

[You'll find these links on the APO home page.]


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

Most viewed this week:

1. The budget of social exclusion
2. 2010-11 Commonwealth budget
3. Immigration: taking a long view
4. Restrictive and supportive parenting: effects on children's school affect and emotional responses
5. Belonging, being and becoming - the early years learning framework for Australia

[You'll find these links on the APO Social Policy page.]

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

(Child Rights Information Network - CRIN)

From the Child Rights Information Network (CRIN)

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

13 May 2010 - CRINMAIL 1174
* HUMAN RIGHTS COMMENT: Adoption should only be agreed when it is in the child's best interests [position paper]
* SEXUAL EXPLOITATION: Pope issues his most direct words to date on abuse [news]
* UNITED STATES: My So-Called Emancipation: From foster care to homelessness for California youth [publication]
* DISCRIMINATION: Portugal brought before European tribunal for Roma housing situation [news]
* TRAINING MATERIAL: Children's Rights Colouring Book [publication]
* MEXICO: Domestic violence, children and marginalisation [international conference and call for papers]
* EMPLOYMENT: Save the Children/ UNICEF [job postings]

11 May 2010 - CRINMAIL 1173
* CHILD LABOUR: Accelerating Action against Child Labour [publication]
* MOLDOVA: Juvenile solitary confinement cells to be abolished [news]
* UNITED STATES: Opening Doors for LGBTQ Youth in Foster Care - A guide for lawyers and judges [publication]
* VIOLENCE: Liechtenstein prohibits all corporal punishment [news]
* MEXICO: Children in the line of fire in Ciudad Juárez [news]
* UNITED KINGDOM: Teenager voted 'to make a difference' [news]
* EMPLOYMENT: Department of Social Affairs of the African Union / UNICEF [job postings]


Links to Issues of CRINMAIL
- links to 200* weekly issues, many of which are special editions focusing on special themes, such as the 45th Session of the Committee on the Rights of the Child, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the launch of the EURONET Website.
NOTE: see for the table of contents for, and links to, several months' worth of issues of CRINMAIL.

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

- Go to the Children's Rights Links page:


Disclaimer/Privacy Statement

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

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

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

If you wish to subscribe to the e-mail version of newsletter, go to the Canadian Social Research Newsletter Online Subscription page:
...or send me an email message.
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.




<><>A Baker's Dozen

<><>Analogies and Metaphors

<><><>Found in High School Essays


* Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had its two other Sides gently compressed by a Thigh Master

* His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like underpants in a dryer without Cling Free.

* He spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a Guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking at high schools about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it.

* From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an eerie, surreal quality, like when you're on vacation in another city and "Jeopardy" comes on at 7:00 p.m. instead of 7:30.

* Her hair glistened in the rain like nose hair after a sneeze.

* Her eyes were like two brown circles with big black dots in the center.

* Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.

* He was as tall as a six-foot-three-inch tree.

 * Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left Cleveland at 6:36 p.m. traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 p.m. at a speed of 35 mph.

* The politician was gone but unnoticed, like the period after the Dr. on a Dr Pepper can.

* John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met.

* The thunder was ominous sounding, much like the sound of a thin sheet of metal being shaken backstage during the storm scene in a play.

* The red brick wall was the color of a brick-red Crayola crayon.-Unknown



And, in closing...


Strange signs from abroad


The Future of Publishing


Low-Tech Solution To Gulf Oil Spill Looks Surprisingly Good