Canadian Social Research Newsletter
April 17, 2011

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 2,404 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. Harper’s Index and Project Democracy - April 16
2. The French leaders' debate : Post-mortem - April 14
3. The English leaders' debate : Post-mortem - April 13
4. Election 2011: Fighting poverty – the party platforms - April 13
5. The Social Election Experiment - April 13
6. Ontario govt. overhauling its adoption system (Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth)
- April 13
7. Manitoba Budget 2011 - April 12
8. Are the federal parties putting their money where their mouths are? (Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives) - April 12
9. Prince Edward Island Budget 2011 - April 6
10. Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's housing cure is ill-advised (Nick Falvo in the Toronto Star) - April 12
11. The Auditor General of Canada opens two cans of worms just in time for the leaders' debate - April 11

12. Report Card on Ending Homelessness in Ottawa, Jan–Dec 2010 (Alliance to End Homelessness in Ottawa) - April 11
13. More federal election resources
14. The New Democratic Party Platform (2011 federal election)
- April 10
15. Mulroney uneasy with Harper's Tories (Toronto Star) - April 8
What's New in The Daily [Statistics Canada]:
--- Disparities in life expectancy at birth (Health at a glance, April 2011) - April 15
--- Canadian Economic Observer, April 2011 - April 14
--- Employment, Earnings and Hours, January 2011
- April 11
17. What's new from the Childcare Resource and Research Unit

International content

18. Poverty Dispatch: U.S. media coverage of social issues and programs
19. The New Demography of Poverty: The Wisconsin Poverty Measure and Effects of Federal and State Policies in Wisconsin (Brookings Institution) - March 31
20 Today is U.S. Tax Freedom Day!! ( + reality check ) - April 12
21. CRINMAIL (weekly children's rights newsletter)

Have a great week!

[ ]

1. Harper’s Index and Project Democracy - April 16

Harper’s Index
The Harper Government by the numbrers
April 16, 2011
* Number of open-to-the- public campaign events that Michael Ignatieff has held so far this campaign: 39
* Number of open events that Stephen Harper has held: Zero
* Number of votes cast by students at the University Guelph that the Conservative Party tried to have rejected through a legal challenge: 700
* Amount spent by John Baird and Tony Clement on “G8 Legacy Fund” projects: $45.7 million
* Percentage of the funds used to build G8 “legacy” projects in Tony Clement’s riding that were misappropriated from the Border Infrastructure Fund: 100%
* Amount approved by Parliament for the “G8 Legacy Fund”: $0
* more...
Liberal Party of Canada (LPC)

Also from LPC:

Rise up, Canada (3-min. video)
Michael Ignatieff
April 16, 2011


Project Democracy
More than 60 percent of Canadians do not support Harper and his government's contempt for democracy. Yet, he could win a majority with as little as 35 percent of the popular vote. Project Democracy is a tool to help you determine if there is a way to "amp up" your vote and stop a Harper majority. By using a riding by riding election prediction model based on the most up to date public opinion research, we can tell you which Party is best positioned to defeat the Conservative in your riding.

2. The French leaders' debate : Post-mortem - April 14


French debate stirs up Que. constitution issue
Harper, Ignatieff say issue not a priority

Apr 13, 2011
The leaders' French-language debate sparked heated exchanges on Quebec's identity, stirred up more coalition talk and jousting over Canada's military and spending priorities as the party chiefs sparred for a second night.
- includes a link to the complete video of the two-hour French debate with translation dubbed in, and another link to a three-minute video of the leaders' closing statements.


* French-language debate video clips (with translation)


From the
Globe and Mail:

* English v. French: Comparing the party leaders' debate performances

* Scatological attack on Stephen Harper’s record goes viral


Reportages en français:

Reportage de
Le Soleil

[ Cybrepresse ]

Débat des chefs: quatre à se battre
Le 14 avril 2011
(Québec) Autre langue, autre stratégie. Reflet de sondages différents au Québec, le débat en français a donné lieu à une lutte à quatre sans coup d'éclat plutôt qu'à une simple chasse à Stephen Harper, hier.


de Cybrepresse:

* Le débat de ce soir vu par nos experts

* Harmonisation des taxes: le PC et le NPD s'engageront dans leur plateforme

* Débats: quel débat des chefs? Vos points de vue

* Québec, le grand absent

* Tout repose sur Jack Layton


- Go to the 2011 Federal Election and General Political Links page:

3. The English leaders' debate : Post-mortem - April 13

Selected media coverage of the leaders' debate
(All articles below were posted on April 12 and 13)

From the
Toronto Star:

* Under attack in debate, Harper asks Canadians for majority

* Ignatieff throws his chips behind the character issue

* Economy on everyone’s tongue during showdown

* The best (and worst) of the debate

* Best quotes from the debate

* A leaders' debate scorecard

* Harper and Ignatieff had six minutes to hammer out truth

* RECAP: Federal Leaders' Debate


From the
Globe and Mail:

* Debate a feisty showdown that likely changed few minds
It may be enough for another Conservative win – just not the kind Harper covets

* HEAD TO HEAD No clear winner in Harper and Ignatieff’s six-minute showdown

* GLOBE EDITORIAL The leaders' debate had policy, but left Canadians in search of passion


From the
National Post:

* Harper deploys Iron Dome to deflect opposition missiles

* Chris Selley: Ignatieff sticks to script, misses opportunity to close gap on Harper

* John Ivison on the debate: Harper won by avoiding blunders



* REALITY CHECK Blog: Fact-checking the leaders' debate
- Recommended!!

* Debate: Highlight reel (video)
Key moments from the 2011 English-language leaders' debate.

* Leaders make debate pitches, trade barbs
Under attack, Harper appeals for Tory majority

* LEADERS' DEBATE: Replay our live chat and watch the full video on-demand

* Social media: The leaders' English-language debate

* YOUR TAKE Blog: What Canadians are really saying

* MY ELECTION: Riding profiles, candidates and voting information



* Leaders prep for Round 2 after squaring off in debate
- includes an article with highlights of the debate AND a four-minute clip from CTV's national news (Lisa Laflamme and Lloyd Robertson)

* What were the most-used words of the debate?

* Election 2011 : Debate on Demand
- Watch the entire leaders' debate or just the issues that matter to you.


From the
Canadian Daily Digest:

43 links to media coverage of the leaders' debate


CTV Poll Tracker - updated daily by Nanos Research

CBC Poll Tracker - Roundup of surveys

Poll Tracker from Election Almanac


- Go to the 2011 Federal Election and General Political Links page:

4. Election 2011: Fighting poverty – the party platforms - April 13

Election 2011: Fighting poverty – the party platforms
April 13, 2011
How we treat our most vulnerable citizens says a lot about our country and its values. The same is true of governments. Citizens for Public Justice, along with our partners in the Dignity for All campaign, have long called for vigorous and sustained action by the federal government to combat poverty in Canada. (...) So how do the political parties currently vying for our votes specifically plan to address poverty in Canada?
Citizens for Public Justice


- Go to the 2011 Federal Election and General Political Links page:

5. The Social Election Experiment - April 13

Dare Labs and Optimum PR Launch the Social Election Experiment
Press Release
Vancouver, April 13, 2011 - Can the number of likes a candidate has on Facebook indicate their chances of winning the 2011 Canadian Federal election? That’s what the teams at Optimum PR and Dare Labs in Vancouver wanted to find out, so they have joined forces to create The Social Election Experiment:

Since there are now over 16 Million Facebook users in Canada, the teams at Dare and Optimum PR decided to look at Facebook support (”likes”) for candidates in each of the 308 ridings across Canada - in real time. They will be tracking the race dynamically, and showing a snapshot of where each candidate stands in every race across the country and any changes in daily trends.

The Social Election Experiment:


- Go to the 2011 Federal Election and General Political Links page:

6. Ontario govt. overhauling its adoption system - April 13
Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth)

Giving More Kids A Place To Call Home
McGuinty Government Making Changes To Help More Kids Get Adopted
April 13, 2011
Ontario is proposing changes that would help more kids find permanent homes by making it easier for would-be parents to adopt. The changes would also offer more support to youth in care as they transition into adulthood. Later today, Ontario will introduce The Building Families and Supporting Youth To Be Successful Act, 2011. The proposed act would, if passed, remove legal barriers so that more kids in the care of children's aid societies (CASs) could be adopted. Currently, 75 per cent of these kids have legally-binding court orders preventing them from being adopted

Backgrounder: Giving More Kids A Place To Call Home

Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth

Related link:

Province overhauling adoption system
April 13, 2011
Laurie Monsebraaten
Ontario is moving to overhaul its adoption system, which currently allows thousands of Crown wards to languish in foster care while thousands of parents wait to adopt, the Star has learned.
Parent Central
[ Toronto Star ]


- Go to the Ontario Government Links page:

7. Manitoba Budget 2011 - April 12

Manitoba Budget 2011 - Steady Growth. Positive Results
April 12, 2011
- main budget page, includes links to all budget papers
[ Version française de la page principale du budget 2011 ]
Manitoba's five-year economic plan takes a balanced approach. It supports jobs, protects services and has Manitoba on track to return to surplus. The plan is producing positive results. And Budget 2011 is sticking to the plan.
Manitoba Budget 2011:
* Puts Families First with tax credits for children’s activities, seniors and caregivers, plus thousands of new child care spaces
* Invests in Health Care so all Manitobans who want a family doctor will have one by 2015
* Builds Your Community by committing one percentage point of PST to municipal roads, bridges, transit and community centres
* Creates Opportunities for Young People by freezing university tuition increases to inflation and giving strong support to schools, universities and colleges


Budget Papers
[NOTE : A selection of the following content appears below.]
- includes links to * The Budget * Economic Review and Outlook * Expanding Manitoba's Capacity for Innovation * Supplementary Financial Information * Taxation Adjustments * The Manitoba Advantage * Age-Friendly Manitoba: The Golden Years (PDF) [ English only ] * An Update on Fiscal Transfer Arrangements * Education and Training - Investing in the Future Success of Manitoba Youth and Families
[ Version française ]


The Budget (PDF - 1.1MB, 46 pages)
April 12, 2011
[ Version française du texte du budget (PDF - 915Ko.) ]
Rhetorical question: how many Manitoba Department of Finance types does it take to spell FOREWORD?
On page "v" of the Budget, introductory material is presented under the heading "FORWARD".
Forward is a direction.
F oreword is the word or block of words that comes before the main body of text
If you do that again, I'll have to send Marg Warrior Princess to smite you, once she's done with Stephen Harper.


Manitoba’s Five-Year
Economic Plan – Update 2011
(PDF - 393K, 8 pages)
April 2011
[ Version française du plan économique (PDF - 404Ko.) ]


April 12, 2011
Budget 2011 : Putting Families First, Moving Manitoba Forward
Selinger Government's Five-year Plan Delivering Positive Results, Steady Growth: Wowchuk

News Release
[ Version française du communiqué ]
Budget 2011, year two of Manitoba’s five-year economic plan, is keeping Manitoba on track as the province climbs out of the global economic downturn by delivering on the priorities of families, Finance Minister Rosann Wowchuk announced today.


Budget Paper D:
An Update on Fiscal Transfer Arrangements
(PDF - 530K, 10 pages)
[ English only ]
The legislation governing Canada’s major federal transfer programs will expire on March 31, 2014. (...) The key objectives of the renewal process must be to develop an approach that provides an adequate and appropriate level of transfers overall and allocates these funds to jurisdictions in a fair and principled manner.
On the Importance of transfers
In 2011/12, the federal government will transfer close to $58 billion, approximately 23% of total federal program expenses, to the provinces and territories through the major transfer arrangements: the Canada Health Transfer (CHT), the Canada Social Transfer (CST), Equalization and Territorial Formula Financing (TFF). Payments provided through these programs are a significant source of revenue for all provinces and territories to provide the services important to all Canadians.

[ Related link : Federal Transfers to Provinces and Territories - from Finance Canada ]

* This Manitoba Budget paper is an excellent primer on the renewal of the federal system of transfers that will take place in the Spring of 2014. It includes some contextual information (a description and history of transfers, how they are calculated, etc.), along with a summary of recent changes to major transfer programs and "Looking Forward". Here's an excerpt from that concluding section :

"Looking forward to the renewal of the major transfer arrangements in 2014, Manitoba believes that Equalization, as potentially the only remaining major national program that addresses differences in provincial revenue-raising capacities, will be an even more important feature of our Canadian federation."

* See also:
Cuts Coming to the Canada Health Transfer and the Canada Social Transfer?

(February 1, 2011, By Rob Rainer of Canada Without Poverty)


TD Bank Financial Group
Analysis of the Budget:

A Fiscal Plan Uncannily Similar to Last Year's (PDF - 477K, 3 pages)
April 12, 2011
Manitoba Finance Minister Rosann Wowchuk delivered her second provincial budget earlier today. In comparison to the flooding that has dominated the news in the past few days, today’s documents are not poised to create much of a stir. This is because the fiscal plan, while better-than-expected, is quite similar to that presented in last year’s budget. Admittedly, a cumulative $88 million improvement to the deficit tally is anticipated, but the better fortunes are not carried over to the medium-term. Instead, the upgrade is front-end loaded impacting only the first two years of the plan. As a result, a return to surplus is not scheduled to take place before FY 14-15.

2011 Federal, Provincial and Territorial Budgets
[ TD Bank Financial Group ]


Selected media coverage:

From CBC News:

Municipalities get PST in 2011 Manitoba budget
Provincial debt climbs, $438-million deficit forecasted
April 12, 2011
A share of the PST for Municipalities and an increase to the personal tax-exemption in Manitoba were among the highlights as Greg Selinger's NDP government released its pre-election deficit budget Tuesday.
Budget Highlights:
* University operating funding boosted by five per cent a year or the next three years.
* Tuition increases pegged to the rate of inflation and college fee increases capped at $100
* Tobacco tax increased by 50 cents for a pack of 25 cigarettes.
* Tax credit up to $54 offered for kids under 16 enrolled in arts and cultural activities.
* Funding for municipal infrastructure and transit hiked by $5 million this year.
* $438-million deficit forecast on $14-billion budget. Two per cent increase in overall spending.
* Money to create 2,100 more child-care spaces and 400 more nursery spaces.
* Small increases in education property tax rebates restored.
* Basic personal exemption to increase by $1,000 over four years


- Go to the 2011 Canadian Government Budgets Links page:

- Go to the Manitoba Links page:

8. Are the federal parties putting their money where their mouths are? - April 12
(Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives)

Are the federal parties putting their money where their mouths are?
April 12, 2011
On the CCPA federal election blog, research associate David MacDonald takes a look at what the four major national federal parties are saying in their platforms vs. what they actually want to spend money on.

For each party he's created two wordles or word charts, to illustrate:
* Conservative Party
* New Democratic Party
* Liberal Party
* Green Party

Making it Count!
Countdown to the Federal Election

[ Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives


- Go to the 2011 Federal Election and General Political Links page:

9. Prince Edward Island Budget 2011
April 6, 2011

Prince Edward Island Budget 2011
April 6, 2012
- main budget page, includes links to all supplementary papers and supporting documents

Budget Address
HTML version
PDF version
April 6, 2011
Adequate and affordable housing also contributes to family well-being and healthy child development. Across PEI, nine Family Housing Boards maintain and operate 476 housing units serving low-income families. Additional funding of $300,000 will be provided to the Housing Boards to maintain these units in good condition.
The Social Assistance Program assists eligible clients with their costs of shelter based on type of accommodation and family size. Effective June 1, 2010, the Social Assistance Shelter rate will increase by 2 percent, representing a $270,600 investment for the current fiscal year.
In addition to these supports for shelter and housing, this Budget also takes action to meet other essential needs. Last June, the Social Assistance Food Allowance rate was increased by 10 percent. In this fiscal year, a further $83,000 will be provided to cover the annualized cost of this increase for social assistance clients, taking our annual support for this increase to a total of $500,000.

Highlights (PDF - 134K)

Budget 2011 supports health, education and a return to balance
News Release
April 6, 2011
[ Version française du communiqué ]
The new provincial budget will continue the progress being made by Islanders to build a stronger society and a more competitive economy, says Finance and Municipal Affairs Minister Wes Sheridan. “Budget 2011 is an appropriate budget for the times,” said the Minister. “Its primary focus is to keep expenditure increases lower than revenue increases so we can return to fiscal balance by our target date of 2013-2014. At the same time, it contains modest increases to support the major gains being made to strengthen and sustain our health and education systems.”

Department of Finance and Municipal Affairs


TD Bank Financial Group
Analysis of the Budget:

Delicate Balancing Act for the PEI Government (PDF - 437K, 3 pages)
Finance Minister Wesley Sheridan tabled a budget document that consisted of some new measures, saving targets and modest sin tax hikes. Given the improved economic performance taking hold, budgetary revenues are expected to grow by 5.0% year-over-year in FY 11-12. By contrast, total spending is poised to inch down by 0.5% in this same fiscal year.

2011 Federal, Provincial and Territorial Budgets
[ TD Bank Financial Group ]


Selected media coverage:

From CBC News:

P.E.I. deficit misses target
April 6, 2011
P.E.I. Finance Minister Wes Sheridan projected a $42 million deficit for the province Wednesday, $2 million more than he estimated it would be at budget time last year. The budget contained nothing in the way of major announcements. Expenditures are expected to go up $19 million, about 1.25 per cent. The largest increases are in education and health. Both budgets are up about three per cent, but the new money is mostly consumed by increases in salary.


- Go to the 2011 Canadian Government Budgets Links page:
- Go to the Prince Edward Island Links page:

10. Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's housing cure is ill-advised - April 12
(Nick Falvo in the Toronto Star)

Ford's housing cure is ill-advised
April 12, 2011
By Nick Falvo
In the aftermath of two damning reports by the City of Toronto’s auditor, the entire board of directors of the Toronto Community Housing Corp. has been replaced and multiple staff have been let go.
But privatizing Canada’s largest provider of affordable housing would be expensive for both taxpayers and renter households over the long term.
Toronto Star


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

11. The Auditor General of Canada opens two cans of worms just in time for the leaders' debate - April 11

From the
Toronto Star:

[ Both articles below include links to a half-dozen related articles. ]

Tories under attack over bombshell G8 spending report
April 11, 2011
Tonda MacCharles and Joanna Smith
OTTAWA—An explosive report suggesting the Conservative government misinformed Parliament about wasteful G8 summit spending has put leader Stephen Harper on the defensive as he heads into crucial election debates.
Just as the mid-campaign revelation of an RCMP investigation into leaks of income trust tax changes derailed the Liberals in 2006, the story has the potential to destabilize the Harper campaign.
[ Comments (581) ]


Fraser says Tories misused old quote to justify G8/G20 spending
April 11, 2011
By Les Whittington
OTTAWA—Auditor General Sheila Fraser is rebuking the Conservatives for using an old quote of hers praising the Liberals as proof she approved of last year’s G8/G20 spending by the Tories. In another twist in the summit spending uproar, Fraser is demanding that the quote cited by the Tories be removed from a recent report by a Commons committee that studied how the Harper government spent $1.2 billion on the Muskoka and Toronto summits.

[ Comments (31) ]

Sheila Fraser for Prime Minister!!


- Go to the 2011 Federal Election and General Political Links page:

12. Report Card on Ending Homelessness in Ottawa, Jan–Dec 2010 - April 11
Alliance to End Homelessness in Ottawa)

Report Card on Ending Homelessness in Ottawa, Jan–Dec 2010
NOTE : The above link takes you to the home page of the Alliance to End Homelessness in Ottawa, where you'll currently find a summary of the report findings and links to the news release and the report itself; the content of the home page will eventually change when a new report is uploaded to their site.

Ottawa community still not on target to end homelessness
in 10 years says The Alliance to End Homelessness
(PDF - 393K, 3 pages)
News Release
April 11, 2011
[ Version française ]
“Despite some progress in creating additional affordable housing units last year, the Ottawa community faced challenges in meeting the 2010 targets we set to end
homelessness by 2020,” says Marion Wright, Chair of the Alliance to End Homelessness (ATEH). Last year the Alliance to End Homelessness set strong annual targets to end homelessness within the next decade, particularly for the development of new affordable housing units.
- includes detailed highlights from the report card.
Selected highlights:
* the Report Card gave Ottawa its first "F" grade for housing affordability
* a single person on Ontario Works would need 121% of the income rate set by the provincial government to rent a bachelor apartment (...) For a single person on Ontario Disability Support Program benefits, that bachelor apartment eats up 69% of their income.
* the average stay in shelters for families with children was 72 days; there were 1,408 homeless children last year
* Ottawa families are now spending more than two months in emergency shelter before finding housing.
- also included in the report:
* Specific messages for politicians and voters at the national, provincial and municipal levels
* Calgary’s Plan to End Homelessness and how its approach could work in Ottawa.
* Canada’s “hidden health emergency” – Canadians who are “vulnerably housed” face the same severe health problems as people who are homeless
* Deprivation “hot spots” in Ottawa and neighbourhood initiatives aimed at improving the situation
* New housing that works

Complete report (PDF - 5.6MB, 16 pages)
[ Version française ]
Table of contents:
1. On target to end homelessness?
2. How we see it
3. Parliament and housing
4. Queen’s Park, housing and homelessness
5. In the City of Ottawa
6. A portrait of shelter use in Ottawa
7. Calgary’s Plan to End Homelessness
8. Data: perspective, housing & affordability
9. Data: shelter use, length of stay plus 7-Year Trend
10. What is Canada’s hidden emergency?
11. Deprivation in Ottawa. Try Ontario’s Deprivation Index
12. Deprived, not hopeless – neighbourhood perspective
13. Place matters: photovoice in Ottawa
14. / 15. New housing in 2010!
16. Psst…Can I ask you a favour?

[ homelessness reports cards for previous years (2004-2009) ]

Alliance to End Homelessness in Ottawa
The Alliance to End Homelessness (ATEH) in Ottawa envisions an inclusive community that takes responsibility for ensuring every resident has an appropriate home. Our non-partisan coalition is committed to working collaboratively to end homelessness.
- incl. links to : What's New * About the Alliance * About Homelessness * Action Centre * Events * Report Card on Homelessness in Ottawa * Ottawa Service Inventory for Agencies

Related link:

Homelessness alliance likes city’s budget:
$14M will make difference, group says

By Tom Spears
April 11, 2011
The Alliance to End Homelessness has been doing an annual report card for Ottawa for years, but chair Marion Wright says this year is different: “a time of hope.” With one F and no mark above C+, this year’s report card doesn’t look so good on the surface. There has been one solid gain, though, Wright said Monday in presenting the report: Ottawa had 334 new units of affordable housing in 2010, far better than the 88 units added a year earlier. Her target remains 1,000 new units a year. The big news, she said, is in the city’s new budget, which promises $10 million in new investment to fight homelessness and poverty plus a further $4 million in capital funding.
Ottawa Citizen


- Go to the Ontario Municipal and Non-Governmental Sites (A-C) page:

- Go to the Homelessness and Housing Links page:

13. More federal election resources

More federal election resources:


Pope Benedict XVI Declares Stephen Harper a "Living Saint"
PM Reciprocates by naming Benedict to the Canadian Senate

- YouTube video from Operation Maple
Operation Maple's mission is "Take Canada Back"
Watch "short hard-hitting videos that put you in the center of issues that affect Canadians"
[ My other personal favourite is "Stephen Harper Makes Helena Guergis Cry" - Gilles ]


Children and the 2011 Federal Election (PDF - 151K, 2 pages)
By Kathy Vandergrift
April 13, 2011
Canadians under 18 cannot vote, but federal policies affect their lives. They represent one quarter of Canada’s population. There is a lot of talk about families in this election, but not all family policies have the same impact for children. The Canadian Coalition for the Rights of Children hopes you will use your voice and vote to support the rights of children in Canada.
Canadian Coalition for the Rights of Children
The Canadian Coalition for the Rights of Children (CCRC) is a network of Canadian organizations and individuals who promote respect for the rights of children. Its purpose is to: exchange information; provide public education materials about the Convention on the Rights of the Child; monitor implementation of the Convention in Canada; and engage in dialogue with government officials on child rights issues.


Campaign Blog - By Brent Patterson
Council of Canadians


Murray Dobbin's Blog of Canada’s most popular progressive political commentators and analysts, Murray has been a journalist, broadcaster, author and social activist for over forty years.


Canadians for Tax Fairness
Over the past few months, a group of progressive organizers have launched a new organization - Canadians for Tax Fairness - to promote a progressive tax system, based on ability to pay, to fund the public services and programs required to meet our social, economic and environmental needs. For more info on the organization, mission, founding board, etc., see
- home page includes links to : * Home * Petition * About Us * Campaigns * Get Involved * News * Resources * Donate * Contact Us

Our first campaign is to fight the proposed corporate tax cuts.
Please read and sign our petition:

Petition to Stop Corporate Tax Cuts!

Related links:

Having Their Cake and Eating It Too:
Business Profits, Taxes, and Investment in Canada: 1961 Through 2010
(PDF - 955K, 38 pages)
By Jim Stanford
April 13, 2011
This study examines historical data on business investment and cash flow from 1961 through 2010, and, using econometric techniques, finds no evidence in the historical data that lower taxes have directly stimulated more investment.
[ Related news release ]
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives


Canada’s corporate tax policy sustains child poverty
April 10, 2011
By Simon Rosenblum and Sid Frankel
During the federal election campaign, it is important to remember that Canada already has one of the lower corporate tax rates in the western world. Now the Conservatives want to lower it even further. Canada also has one of the highest rates of child poverty in the western world. Why can’t we be one of the lowest? It’s a question of priorities — fiscal priorities. Surely that is the nub of the question.
[ Comments (12) ]
Toronto Star


- Go to the 2011 Federal Election and General Political Links page:

14. The New Democratic Partty of Canada Party Platform - April 10

NDP Platform
Jack Layton:
My commitment to you : Leadership you can trust to give your family a break
For too long Ottawa has focused on the priorities of the well-connected, not the priorities of your family. Together we’re going to fix that. Today I’m releasing my affordable plan to get Ottawa working for your family - one practical step at a time."

Complete platform (PDF - 1.1MB, 28 pages)
Table of contents:
1.0 Give your family a break
2.0 Reward the job creators
3.0 Improve your family’s health services
4.0 Tackle climate change
5.0 Leadership in Canada
6.0 Leadership on the world stage

Platform 2011 Costing document (PDF - 105K, 4 pages)


Media coverage
in The Toronto Star:

NDP unveils $9 billion election platform
April 10, 2011
The New Democratic Party is offering a $9 billion election platform it hopes will appeal to a broader sector of Canadians as it struggles against the Liberals and Conservatives to define its fourth party policies and priorities.
“I am telling you we are relentlessly optimistic about the future … we don’t give up,” NDP Leader Jack Layton said Sunday after releasing the “grab bag” platform aimed at expanding the NDP base at a time when the party is sliding in the polls. (...) From health-care improvements to bringing Canadian soldiers home from Afghanistan, the plan provides a little bit for everybody while balancing the budget by 2014-15. (...) The substantial revenue predicted in the platform comes, in large measure, at the expense of Canadian corporations.
Toronto Star

[ Comments (88) ]


- Go to the 2011 Federal Election and General Political Links page:

15. Mulroney uneasy with Harper's Tories - April 8
(Toronto Star)

Mulroney shows his unease with Harper's Tories
April 10, 2011
Mulroney advice to Harper:
“There are big ideas out there. Popularity is meaningless unless you use it to do big and good things for your country and for the people of Canada.
Toronto Star


- Go to the 2011 Federal Election and General Political Links page:

16. What's New in The Daily [Statistics Canada]:
--- Disparities in life expectancy at birth (Health at a glance, April 2011) - April 15
--- Canadian Economic Observer, April 2011 - April 14
--- Employment, Earnings and Hours, January 2011
- April 11

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

April 15, 2011
Health at a glance, April 2011
Today, Statistics Canada launches a new online publication called Health at a Glance. This publication, which will be released on an occasional basis, will consist of short informative analytical reports on health-related topics intended for a general audience. The inaugural article, released today, is titled "Disparities in life expectancy at birth." It compares life expectancy in Canada to that in other countries, and examines developments in life expectancy over time, regional differences and factors behind these differences.

Disparities in life expectancy at birth
By Lawson Greenberg and Claude Normandin
April 2011
This article examines the life expectancy of Canadians within an international and national context. A variety of factors related to differences in life expectancy are explored including: smoking, drinking, and obesity; socio-economic variables such as gender, education, and income; and other factors such as population density and remoteness.
HTML version
PDF version
Data Sources for this article

Health at a Glance - Product main page*
Health at a Glance features current Canadian health statistics from Statistics Canada's health-related surveys and administrative databases. Each issue of Health at a Glance includes a short analytical article that uses statistics to illustrate topical health issues. They include analysis of the complex inter-related topic of health by examining social, economic, and demographic factors.
* On the product main page, click "View" to see the latest issue of this report online; click "Chronological index" for earlier issues.

April 14, 2011
Canadian Economic Observer

April 2011
Table of contents:

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
* National accounts
* Labour markets
* Prices
* International trade
* Goods-producing industries (manufacturing, construction and resources)
* Services (trade, transportation, travel and communications)
* Financial markets
* Provincial
Dozens and dozens of charts, covering everything related to the economy
Appendix (survey)
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. ]

April 11, 2011
Employment, Earnings and Hours, January 2011
Note to users
Data quality, concepts and methodology
User information
Related products
PDF version (2.5MB)

Employment, Earnings and Hours - product main page*
This publication presents a timely picture of employment, earnings and hours.
The tabulations focus on monthly labour market information and some historical data series.
Online data on payroll employment, earnings and hours for the current month is usually posted to the site a month after this report first appears in The Daily.
* On the product main page,click "View" to see the latest issue of this report online; click "Chronological index" for earlier issues.


The Daily Archives
- select a month and year from the drop-down menus and click on a date for that day's Daily


Summer job?
35,000 Census jobs across Canada (April-August 2011)
1,200 jobs in the Census Data Operations Centre in Gatineau QC (April-September 2011)
2011 Census of Canada
The next census will take place in May 2011.


The Daily
[Statistics Canada]


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

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

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


April 16, 2011

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

Private companies in public schools?
15 Apr 11
- CUPE Ontario urges provincial government to hold province wide consultations on proposed Education Act amendment to allow third party providers to deliver extended ELP and after school care.

Federal election 2011: What do the party platforms say?
13 Apr 11
- CRRU has gathered links to the parties' election platforms and highlighted excerpts from their ECEC platforms or related family policies where included.

Code Blue for Child Care
13 Apr 11
- New website from Code Blue for Child Care campaigning for political parties to make child care a central issue in the federal election.

Federal election 2011: Early childhood education and care
13 Apr 11
- Fact sheet from the Canadian Union of Public Employees reviews the Conservative government's record on ECEC and provides a plan for how the federal government could build a child care system.

Early learning/kindergarten programs and Ministry/ Department integration of education and child care in Canada
13 Apr 11
- A summary of early learning/kindergarten programs by jurisdiction and a description of the state of integration of Education and Child Care under provincial/territorial minist or departments.

Young children in cities: Challenges and opportunities
13 Apr 11
- This edition of the Bernard van Leer Foundation's Early Childhood Matters series looks at young children's experiences of growing up in urban settings.


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

· Sault federal election candidates discuss childcare
[CA] 13 Apr 11

· Trustee urges public board to stay out of child care
[CA-ON] 13 Apr 11

· A moving target: federal parties aim for the family
[CA] 13 Apr 11

· Struggling NBers see hope in parties' pledges
[CA-NB] 12 Apr 11

· Lapses in childcare are unacceptable
[AU] 11 Apr 11

· The foundation is finally ready to build national child care
[CA] 7 Apr 11

· Mothers take Sure Start cuts fight to Downing Street
[UK] 3 Apr 11



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:

18. 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:

April 15:
State Medicaid Costs
Voter ID Laws
Basic Economic Security
Electronic Benefit Transfer Cards - Illinois

April 14:
Prison Recidivism Rates
State Aid to Community Colleges
Sick Leave Legislation

April 13:
Child Care Subsidies - Ohio, Missouri
Job Subsidy Program - San Francisco, CA

April 12:
Earned Income Tax Credit
Health Coverage for the Poor
Farmers’ Markets and Urban Farming

April 11:
Teen Pregnancy - Colorado
Unemployment Benefits - Missouri
State Minimum Wage - Maryland


Past Poverty Dispatches
- links to dispatches back to June 2006

Search Poverty Dispatches


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


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:

19. The New Demography of Poverty: The Wisconsin Poverty Measure and Effects of Federal and State Policies in Wisconsin - March 31
(Brookings Institution)

The New Demography of Poverty:
The Wisconsin Poverty Measure and
Effects of Federal and State Policies in Wisconsin

By Julia B. Isaacs, Timothy M. Smeeding et al.
Paper prepared for presentation at the
2011 Annual Meeting of the Population Association of America
Washington, D.C.
March 31, 2011
March 31, 2011
Full Paper (PDF - 630K, 24 pages)
Abstract + links to related content
This paper describes efforts to develop a more comprehensive and up-to-date measure of poverty in Wisconsin as a model for other states to follow. The Wisconsin model uses American Community Survey data to measure the level, depth, and trends in poverty and the effects on poverty of such programs as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) and refundable tax credits, as well as out-of-pocket health care costs and work-related expenses including child care. In many ways, the Wisconsin measure, which was unveiled in September 2010, is a preview of the forthcoming federal Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM). However, the two measures differ in important respects. After a brief review of methodology underlying the Wisconsin measure, this paper focuses on a comparison of poverty across two vulnerable demographic subgroups, children and the elderly, and analyzes how specific federal and state policies affect low-income children and elderly in Wisconsin.
Brookings Institution

Related link:

Wisconsin Poverty Report:
New Measure, Broader View
(PDF - 1.5MB, 12 pages)
September 2010
Institute for Research on Public Policy


- Go to the Poverty Measures - International Resources page:

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

20. Today is U.S. Tax Freedom Day!! ( + reality check ) - April 12

United States

America Celebrates Tax Freedom Day 2011
Tax Freedom Day will arrive on April 12 this year, the 102nd day of 2011. That means Americans will work well over three months of the year, from January 1 to April 12, before they have earned enough money to pay this year's tax obligations at the federal, state and local levels. Tax Freedom Day arrives three day later in 2011 than it did in 2010, but nearly two weeks earlier than in 2007. This shift toward a lower tax burden since 2007 has been driven by three factors:
• The Great Recession has reduced tax collec­tions even faster than it has reduced income.
• President Obama and the Congress, after a long debate, extended the Bush-era tax cuts for two additional years.
• As part of the extension agreement, the Making Work Pay tax credit was replaced with the 2 percent reduction in the payroll tax.
Despite these tax reductions, Americans will pay more in taxes in 2011 than they will spend on groceries, clothing and shelter combined.

The Tax Foundation
The mission of the Tax Foundation is to educate taxpayers about sound tax policy and the size of the tax burden borne by Americans at all levels of government.

Reality check:

Tax Foundation Figures Do Not Represent Typical Households’ Tax Burdens
Figures May Mislead Policymakers, Journalists, and the Public

April 12, 2011
By Chuck Marr and Brian Highsmith
[ PDF version - 5 pages ]
"Each year, the Tax Foundation releases a report projecting 'Tax Freedom Day,' which it describes as the day when Americans will have 'earned enough money to pay this year's tax obligations at the federal, state, and local levels.'

"The Tax Foundation's 'Tax Freedom Day' report is plagued by two major problems. First, its estimates of state and local tax burdens suffer from a number of serious methodological flaws. Second, over the years, many journalists and policymakers have misinterpreted the Tax Foundation's report as reflecting the tax burdens faced by typical middle-income workers.

"In fact, the Tax Foundation's calculation of the 'average' tax burden merely measures tax revenues as a share of the economy; it is similar to estimates of total revenues as a share of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In a progressive tax system like that of the United States, only upper-income households pay tax at rates equal to or exceeding the overall level of revenues as a share of the economy. Authoritative figures from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office show that middle- and even upper-middle-income Americans pay a considerably smaller share of their income in taxes than the Tax Foundation report implies. The CBO data suggest that 80 percent of U.S. households pay federal tax at a lower rate than the Tax Foundation's estimated 'average' federal tax burden."

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP)


- Go to the The Tax Freedom Day Links page:

(Child Rights Information Network - CRIN)

From the
Child Rights Information Network (CRIN)

CRINMAIL - children's rights newsletter

13 April 2011, CRINMAIL issue 1220
In this issue:
Latest news and reports
- A question of religion: France, Italy, Ireland
- State violence: Libya, Yemen, Bahrain, Syria
- A call for democracy: Côte d’Ivoire
- Back to school: Japan
- Food safety: China
- Juvenile justice deficit: Pakistan, UAE, Canada
- Pushing for children's rights: Ireland
Upcoming events
Also includes:
* World news * Reports * Events * Laws * Issues
* Advocacy * Challenging breaches * Take action * Campaigns * Toolkits


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.

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.




Physician Diagnoses
From actual medical records as dictated by physicians:

* By the time he was admitted, his rapid heart had stopped, and he was feeling better.

* Patient has chest pain if she lies on her left side for over a year.

* On the second day the knee was better and on the third day it had completely disappeared.

* She has had no rigors or shaking chills, but her husband states she was very hot in bed last night.

* The patient has been depressed ever since she began seeing me in 1983.

* Patient was released to outpatient department without dressing.

* The patient is tearful and crying constantly. She also appears to be Depressed.

* Discharge status:  Alive but without permission.

* The patient will need disposition, and therefore we will get Dr. Blank to dispose of him.

* Healthy appearing decrepit 69 year-old male, mentally alert but forgetful.

* The patient refused an autopsy.

* She slipped on the ice and apparently her legs went in separate directions in early December.

Click the link for more...



And, in closing...


Otomata :  PLAY!


New York Times Brain Games

Wordles --- create your own word cloud from any text!


Aspartame is bad for you
(at the risk of sounding like a broken record...)