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Canadian Social Research Newsletter
August 22, 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 2,314 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. Welfare review panel urges Ontario government to fix welfare rules (Toronto Star) - August 16
2. Precarious Housing in Canada 2010 (The Wellesley Institute) - August 16
3. Welfare benefit levels in Ontario (+ federal benefit levels), July to September 2010 (Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services)
5.What's New in The Daily [Statistics Canada]:
--- Consumer Price Index, July 2010 - August 20
--- Leading indicators, July 2010 - August 19
--- Employment Insurance, June 2010 - August 18
6. What's new from the Childcare Resource and Research Unit - August 21.

International content
7. Poverty Dispatch: U.S. media coverage of social issues and programs
8. Australian Policy Online - recent content
9. CRINMAIL (children's rights newsletter)

Have a great week!

[ ]

1. Welfare review panel urges Ontario government to fix welfare rules - August 16
(Toronto Star)

Recommendations for
Short Term Rule Changes For 2010
(PDF - 213K, 11 pages)
Social Assistance Review Advisory Council
Dated February 2010 (submitted as confidential)
Released to the public August 16, 2010
NOTE: Although this paper was just released, Laurie Monsebraaten points out in her Toronto Star article below that the Ontario government-appointed Social Assistance Review Advisory Council made these 13 recommendations respecting short-term changes for quick action in a report this past February.

Related links:

Fix welfare rules, panel urges province
by Laurie Monsebraaten
August 16, 2010
(...) Short-term welfare changes recommended by Ontario's Social Assistance Review Advisory Council:

Proposed changes not yet implemented:

* Ensure people on welfare with earnings don’t face unreasonable hikes in subsidized rent.
* Increase asset limits.
* Extend asset exemptions to RRSPs and tax-free savings accounts.
* Treat Employment Insurance benefits as earnings for people receiving Ontario Disability Support Program payments.
* Allow those who have been disqualified from Ontario's student loan program to receive welfare while attending college or university.
* Do not treat loans as income.
* Do not stop welfare payments for dependent children leaving school.
* Allow single parents to keep partial child support.
* Increase medical transportation rates.

Proposed changes accepted in March 2010:

* Let friends and family give casual gifts to people on welfare as is currently allowed for disabled people on benefits.
* Allow those who receive windfalls to remain eligible for welfare.
* Don't reduce welfare for those sharing accommodation
* Change welfare suspension rules for not participating in job search and other requirements
The Toronto Star


Read the Council's
final report:

Recommendations for an Ontario Income Security Review:
Report of the Ontario Social Assistance Review Advisory Council

May 2010
HTML version - table of contents + links to individual sections of the report
PDF version (300K, 33 pages)


From the
Ministry of Community and Social Services:

Social Assistance Review Advisory Council (SARAC)
SARAC was created by the government of Ontario to recommend a scope and terms of reference for a review of Ontario's social assistance system. The Ontario government committed to conducting a social assistance review as part of its Poverty Reduction Strategy.

[ Social Assistance Advisory Council Members - biographical notes ]

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

2. Precarious Housing in Canada 2010 - August 16
The Wellesley Institute)

Precarious Housing in Canada 2010
Precarious Housing in Canada (2010) is a powerful, new research and policy report from the Wellesley Institute. Using the most comprehensive and current data, research and analysis, Precarious Housing sets out a pragmatic, five-point plan targeted to the millions of Canadians who are living in substandard, over-crowded and unaffordable homes – plus those who are living without any housing at all. Housing is one of the most important factors for a healthy life. (...) Federal housing and homelessness investments – adjusted for inflation and population growth – have been shrinking over the past two decades; and, while the federal government announces short-term initiatives from time to time, Canada still doesn’t have a comprehensive, fully-funded and integrated national housing strategy.

Complete report (PDF - 4.4MB, 100 pages)
Executive Summary (PDF - 737K, 9 pages)
Part One: Framing the challenge (PDF - 3.2MB, 49 pages)
Part Two: Vision 2020, toward a national housing plan (PDF - 2.2MB, 40 pages)

Wellesley Institute Blog
Part of:
The Wellesley Institute
The Wellesley Institute advances the social determinants of health through rigorous community-based research, reciprocal capacity building, and the informing of public policy. ]

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

3. Welfare benefit levels in Ontario (+ federal benefit levels), July to September 2010
(Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services)

NOTE : Whether you're from Ontario or elsewhere, please take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with this gem. It's a one-page chart with more information than a long Census questionnaire! Seriously, print out the page and use it as a handy reference to amaze your friends and family.
No thanks to the Ministry that produces it but apparently doesn't like to share it.
[See the note at the bottom.]

Social Assistance, Pension and Tax Credit Rates, July to September 2010 (PDF - 160K, 2 pages)
Prepared by the
Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services

Recommended reading/saving/printing!
All in two pages, (just about) everything you ever
wanted to know about federal and provincial social program benefit levels in Ontario.
[This factsheet is mostly benefit levels and rates - to find corresponding program information, do a Google search using any program name from the list below...]

This factsheet contains current rate information (benefit levels)
for the following federal and Ontario programs:

* Federal Income Security and tax benefit programs
----- Old Age Security, Guaranteed Income Supplement, the Allowance (formerly Spouse's Allowance)
----- Canada Pension Plan
----- Harmonized Sales Tax Credit
----- Medical Expense Tax Credit
----- War Veterans Allowance
----- Employment Insurance
----- Canada Child Tax Benefit (incl. the Basic Child Tax Benefit, the National Child Benefit Supplement, the Child Disability Benefit and the Universal Child Care Benefit)

* Ontario income assistance programs
----- Ontario Works - Social Assistance rates + earnings exemptions and incentives
----- Ontario Disability Support Program - Social Assistance rates
----- Ontario Guaranteed Annual Income System (provincial top-up for Ontario seniors receiving the Guaranteed Income Supplement under the federal Old Age Security program)
----- Ontario Child Benefit
----- Ontario Child Care Supplement for Working Families
----- Ontario Sales and Property Tax Credits
----- Assistance for Children with Severe Disabilities

Found in:
Tip Sheet List - (check this link for more recent updates)
[ Community Advocacy & Legal Centre - a non-profit community legal clinic
serving low income residents of Hastings, Prince Edward and Lennox & Addington counties.]

Kudos to the Community Advocacy & Legal Centre for posting this valuable resource on their website.
A Bronx Cheer to the Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services for NOT posting this valuable resource on its own website

- Go to the Ontario Government Links page:
- Go to the Key Provincial/Territorial Welfare Links page:


#1 Recommended Census issue resource: is a blog that's maintained mostly by Tracey Lauriault.
It's inspired by, which believes all levels of Canadian governments should make civic information and data accessible at no cost in open formats to their citizens.

Latest Census-related
blog posts from

* Thursday Census Media Roundup - August 20 (7 links)
* Wednesday Census Media Roundup
- August 18 (22 links)
* Census Actions
- August 17 (Ten things YOU can do to help the cause.)
* Lots of Census Media!
- August 16 (76 links)
* Census humour - August 12 (7 links to editorial cartoons)
* 2 days – Census Media Roundup
- August 12 (41 links)
* Tuesday Census Media Roundup
- August 11 (24 links)
* Monday Census Media Roundup
- August 10 (34 links)


A Country Founded On Statistics
With all the current wrangling over the fate of the long-form census,
we should recall the vital role stats has played in Canada's history.

By John Stapleton, Social Policy Consultant
August 16, 2010
(...) In 1871 the [Census] questionnaire covered a variety of subjects, and asked 211 questions on area, land holdings, vital statistics, religion, education, administration, the military, justice, agriculture, commerce, industry and finance. Not every household answered all 211 questions. In 1867, it was unthinkable that we would not want to know more about each other. (...)Today, our national narrative is not defined through print statistics the way it was back then. We have moved to new forms of media that tell different truths and lies about ourselves. There is now much more information available than we could ever hope to watch, read or listen to. But if we do lose our statistical base, we will have to face the fact that we will know less about ourselves than did Globe readers on July 1, 1867.
It's hard not to think that that's just a bit sad.
The Mark

[ Open Policy - John Stapleton's website ]


The economist in Harper knows exactly why he's decimating the census
By Frances Russell
August 18, 2010
Industry Minister Tony Clement's tweets aside, Stephen Harper's Conservatives know that changing the 2011 long-form census from compulsory to voluntary makes it useless for public and private Canadian decision makers. That's exactly why they're doing it. An economist, the prime minister understands the value of statistics. He appreciates that authoritative statistics on the relative social and economic well-being of individual Canadians empower the disempowered to demand government programs (higher taxes) to reduce poverty and disparity and promote upward mobility. He also appreciates the need to dumb them down to facilitate stripping government back to its core functions: a strong military to defend the nation abroad, more police, prisons and tougher justice to defend the citizen at home and an unfettered free market to create wealth and employment through ever-lower taxes, especially on business and the well-to-do. Addressing social and economic inequality should be left to individual initiative and private charity.

- Go to the Census 2011 questionnaire links links page:

5. What's New in The Daily [Statistics Canada]:
Consumer Price Index, July 2010 - August 20
--- Leading indicators, July 2010
- August 19
Employment Insurance, June 2010 - August 18

Selected content from
The Daily [Statistics Canada]:

August 20, 2010
Consumer Price Index, July 2010
Consumer prices rose 1.8% in the 12 months to July, following a 1.0% increase in June. On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, consumer prices rose 0.6% from June to July. Consumer prices were affected by changes in consumption taxes in Nova Scotia, Ontario, and British Columbia.
- includes links to three tables:
* Consumer Price Index and major components, Canada
* Consumer Price Index by province, and for Whitehorse, Yellowknife and Iqaluit
* Consumer Price Index and major components

Related reports:

The Consumer Price Index, July 2010
PDF version (521 K, 67 pages)
HTML version - Table of contents with links to each of the following sections of the report:
1. Highlights 2. Briefing notes 3. Analysis 4. Tables 5. Charts 6. Data quality, concepts and methodology 7. Appendices 8. User information 9. Related products

[ earlier editions of this report ]

Guide to the Consumer Price Index (1998)

Related subjects:
* Prices and price indexes
* Consumer price indexes


August 19, 2010
Leading indicators, July 2010
The composite leading index slowed to a 0.4% increase in July, after a gain of 0.7% in June. Most of the slowdown originated in the household sector, where three components fell. None of the seven other components decreased.

Related subjects:
* Economic accounts
* Leading indicators


August 18, 2010
Employment Insurance, June 2010
In June, 691,600 people received regular Employment Insurance (EI) benefits, up slightly (+8,400) from May and the third consecutive month of small increases.Despite these recent gains, the number of beneficiaries has fallen by 137,700 (-16.6%) since the peak in June 2009.
- includes three tables:
* Employment Insurance: Statistics by province and territory
* Beneficiaries receiving regular benefits by age group, sex, province and territory
* Beneficiaries receiving regular benefits by census metropolitan areas

Related link:

Employment Insurance Statistics Maps, June 2010
- change in number of people receiving regular Employment Insurance benefits in the last 12 months, by Census Metropolitan Areas and Census Agglomerations.
(Intro to maps + link to June 2010 maps)

Related subjects
o Labour
o Employment insurance, social assistance and other transfers
o Non-wage benefits

[ earlier editions of this report ]


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 Employment Insurance Links page:

6. What's new from the Childcare Resource and Research Unit - August 21

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

August 21, 2010

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

7th Meeting of the OECD Network on
Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) - "Financing ECEC Services"

18 Aug 10
- Over 25 international presentations available from June 20-22th meeting of the OECD ECEC Network.

ECE Link: Summer 2010
18 Aug 10
- Latest issue of the Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario's periodical features a series of articles on the unionization of ECEs in the full-day early learning program.

Centring community services around early childhood care and development:
Promising practices in Indigenous communities in Canada

18 Aug 10
- Article by Jessica Ball provides case studies of Indigenous communities that are creating programs committed to family-centred and community centred practice.

Brief Report: Funding cuts to state-funded prekindergarten programs in FY10 & 11
18 Aug 10
- The US National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) estimates that $338 million in state funding could be cut from prekindergarten programs in 2010/11.


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

· CUPE, Catholic board reach deal
18 Aug 10

· Daycare drowning probed by child services
16 Aug 10

· South Asian women fight for rights in Canada: No equality without child care, immigrant women say
13 Aug 10

· Cancelled school daycare frustrates families
13 Aug 10

· Parents fight back when day care killed
4 Aug 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:

August 19:
Funding for Medicaid Programs - Alabama, Nebraska
Infant Mortality Rate - Alabama
Federal Funding for Housing Aid and Homelessness Prevention
Initial Jobless Claims

August 18:
Funding Formula for Homeless Programs - Las Vegas, NV
Funding for Health Centers
Food Stamp Program Delivery - Texas

August 17:
Milwaukee Parental Choice Program
Evaluating Teachers - Los Angeles, CA
Effects of Childhood Stress on Adult Health

August 16:
High School Graduation Rates - Atlanta, GA
Achievement Gap - New York City
Unemployment Safety Net - Denmark
Medicaid Waiver for Developmental Disabilities - Indiana


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 - selected recent content (August 20)
Now it's personal: Learning from welfare-to-work approaches around the world
--- A social inclusion action plan: opportunities and challenges
--- Housing, support and care for older Australians: the role of service integrated housing

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 (see below)
appear in a dark box in the top right-hand corner of each page.


Week ending August 22, 2010
Most viewed this week on APO:

1.Who'll win, and by how much
2. Increasing Indigenous economic opportunity: a discussion paper on the future of the CDEP and Indigenous Employment Programs
3. A new approach to Indigenous training
4. Leaving Care and Homelessness: A CHP Sector Forum
5. Tell us 2010

[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

Week ending August 22, 2010
Most viewed this week in the Social Policy area:

1. Leaving Care and Homelessness: A CHP Sector Forum
2. Tell us 2010
3. Indicators used internationally to measure Indigenous justice outcomes
4. Belonging, being and becoming - the early years learning framework for Australia
5. Shock of the new

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


Of special interest, perhaps:

Now it's personal: Learning from welfare-to-work approaches around the world
August 2010
Edited by Dalia Ben-Galim and Alice Sachrajda
Personalisation – tailored support offered to help people (back) into work – has become a dominant feature of many welfare regimes around the world. The role of the personal adviser is an important aspect of offering more flexible, tailored support into work. While the language may differ from country to country, the challenges that many governments face, such as reducing their welfare bills and improving cost effectiveness, are similar, as is the move towards a focus on getting people into decent jobs that they then retain.
- includes a chapter

Complete text (PDF - 396K, 38 pages)

Institute of Public Policy Research


A social inclusion action plan: opportunities and challenges
20 August 2010
This discussion paper outlines the challenges and opportunities for Swinburne University of Technology in responding to the emerging social inclusion policy agenda in Australia.


Housing, support and care for older Australians: the role of service integrated housing
By Andrew Jones and others
20 August 2010
This paper asks whether there a need for a more hands-on role for government in directing, shaping and expanding service integrated housing
Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI)

- 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 issue of CRINMAIL (children's rights newsletter):

18 August 2010, issue 1188
In this issue:
- UN Committee on the Rights of the Child: session 55
- Stateless Roma: no documents - no rights
- Slovakia commits to ending segregation in education
- Contribute to UN report on human rights and HIV and AIDS
- Malaysia's reservations to UN disability rights convention
- Germany takes action to promote right to play
- The International Year of Youth
- Southern Africa Youth Conference on Climate Change

- Also includes:
* World news * Reports * Events * Laws * Issues
* Advocacy * Challenging breaches * Take action * Campaigns * Toolkits


Links to Issues of CRINMAIL
- links to hundreds of 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 [ ]


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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.




More questions...



Why the sun lightens our hair, but darkens our skin?

Why women
can't  put on mascara with their mouth closed?

Why don't you ever see the headline 'Psychic Wins Lottery'?

Why is 'abbreviated' such a long word?
And why is there no abbreviation for it?

Why is it that doctors call what they do 'practice'?

Why is lemon juice made with artificial flavor, and dishwashing liquid made with real lemons?

Why is the man who invests all your money called a broker?

Why is the time of day with the slowest traffic called rush hour?

Why isn't there mouse-flavored cat food?

Why didn't Noah swat those two mosquitoes?

Why do they sterilize the needle for lethal injections?

Why don't sheep shrink when it rains?

Why are they called apartments when they are all stuck together?

If con is the opposite of pro, is Congress the opposite of progress?

If flying is so safe, why do they call the airport the terminal?

Only in  America drugstores make the sick walk all the way to the back of the store to get their prescriptions while healthy people can buy cigarettes at the front.

Only in  America people order double cheeseburgers, large fries, and a diet coke.

Only in  America banks leave vault doors open and then chain the pens to the counters.

Only in  America we leave cars worth thousands of dollars in the driveway and put our useless junk in the garage

Only in  America we buy hot dogs in packages of ten and buns in packages of eight.

Only in  America they have drive-up ATM machines with Braille lettering

Email - thanks, Bob!


And, in closing...


25 Hottest Urban Legends from


The Majestic Plastic Bag : A Mockumentary
Filmed in the style of a nature documentary and narrated by Academy Award-winner Jeremy Irons, this "mockumentary", though lighthearted in tone, hammers home the stark reality of California’s plastic bag pollution situation.


eHOW - How to Do Just About Everything!
Can you bake a pie?
No? Neither can I.


The Final Countdown --- on the cello! (video)