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Canadian Social Research Newsletter
August 27, 2006

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 1644 subscribers.
Scroll to the bottom of this newsletter to see some notes and a disclaimer.


Canadian Content

1. Welfare Incomes 2005 (National Council of Welfare) - August 24
2. An Analysis of Canada's Working Poor (Human Resources and Social Development Canada) - August 2006
What's New from Statistics Canada:
--- Perspectives on Labour and Income - August 2006 issue
(increased work stoppages, wives as primary breadwinners, unionization)
--- Consumer Price Index, July 2006
--- Health reports - regional differences in obesity
4. What's New from the Childcare Resource and Research Unit (University of Toronto)

International Content

5. Poverty Dispatch: U.S. media coverage of social issues and programs
6. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) AT 10 - U.S. (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities) - August 17

Have a great week!

Gilles Séguin
Canadian Social Research Links


My, but it *has* been a lovely summer, eh?
Another slim issue of CSRNews Lite --- but what it lacks in quantity it makes up for in quality!

The National Council of welfare just released Welfare Incomes 2005 this past week.
Highly recommended reading!

And don't miss the "Canada's NEW Government" Countdown!
(details at the bottom of this newletter)

1. Welfare Incomes 2005 - August 24
(National Council of Welfare)

Welfare Incomes 2005 (PDF file - 1.4MB, 116 pages)
"Welfare Incomes 2005 estimates total welfare incomes for four types of households in each province and territory, for a total of 52 scenarios. The four household types we use are a single employable person, a single person with a disability, a lone-parent with a 2-year-old child, and a two-parent family with two children aged 10 and 15. The National Council of Welfare has published similar estimates since 1986."

Staggering losses in welfare incomes (PDF file - 24K, 2 pages)
Press release
August 24, 2006
"In Alberta, the income in real dollars of a single person on welfare has decreased by almost 50 percent since 1986. Since 1992 in Ontario, the welfare income of a lone parent with one child has decreased by almost $6,600 and a couple with two children has lost just over $8,700. The National Council of Welfare’s report, Welfare Incomes 2005, paints a dismal picture, and one that is getting worse. When adjusted for inflation, many 2005 welfare incomes were lower than they were in 1986. Most welfare incomes peaked in 1994 or earlier...."

FACT SHEETS from Welfare Incomes 2005
1. Welfare incomes in the peak (best) year and in 2005, by province and territory
2. Losses from the peak year to 2005 by household type
3. Welfare incomes from 1986 to 2005 adjusted for inflation (constant dollars)
4. Welfare incomes for 2005 by province/territory and household type
5. Welfare incomes for 2005 by household type (graph)
--- more to come...

National Council of Welfare

The Council was created in 1969, and its mandate is "to advise the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development in respect of any matters relating to social development that the Minister may refer to the Council for its consideration or that the Council considers appropriate." Web Search : "welfare incomes report, canada" News Search : "welfare incomes report, canada"

Related links:

In rich Canada, welfare worsens:
Recipients get less than 20 years ago,
Public is turning a blind eye to issue

Aug. 25, 2006. 01:10 AM
Thomas Walkom
"Here in Canada, in one of the richest countries of the world, the very poorest are getting poorer. This is not the result of some external or unforeseen crisis. It is happening in the midst of a long-running economic boom and reflects the deliberate decisions of elected governments — presumably supported by the Canadian public at large — to purge the roughly 1.7 million people consigned to welfare from our collective consciousness."
The Toronto Star

Tony Martin and Olivia Chow say
National Welfare Report an Indictment of Government Policies

August 24, 2006
"HALIFAX AND QUEBEC CITY - Canada’s National Council on Welfare (NCW) with the release of its national report today has revealed the cold, hard reality of failed government welfare, childcare, and training policies in Canada, says NDP Social Policy critic Tony Martin (Sault St. Marie) and Olivia Chow (Trinity Spadina), the NDP’s Child and Youth Critic. Chow and Martin say the report clearly establishes that so-called “welfare reform” in recent years has slashed welfare income levels, exacerbated poverty and plunged families relying on welfare far below the poverty line. This downward spiral began with the Liberal Government in the mid-nineties, with the Chrétien-Martin cuts to social transfers and has continued with the current Conservative Government."

NDP launches campaign to end poverty in Canada
Thu 1 Jun 2006
"OTTAWA - The NDP today launched a national "End Poverty in Canada" campaign vowing to engage Canadians and their politicians in deciding what the fairest way forward is for all Canadians. "Our social safety net has become an incoherent, inefficient mess that must be repaired," said NDP Social Policy Critic Tony Martin (Sault Ste. Marie).
New Democratic Party of Canada

to CBC Radio, who covered the release of this welfare incomes report right across the country starting at six a.m. in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador.

You can find links to CBC radio coverage of this story, in the form of written articles or an audio file as in the example below, adapted for each region's audience, with local reaction for each jurisdiction in Canada, by doing a search using the search terms "welfare incomes, 2006, Ontario".
Remember to remove the quotation marks from your search terms and replace Ontario with the name of your province or territory, and be sure to try both the Web Search and the News Search buttons in

Here's a sampling of coverage concerning the release of this report from St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador:

CBC Radio - St. John's Morning Show (7-minute Real Audio file - requires speakers and RealPlayer)
Newfoundland and Labrador
Thursday, August 24
NOTE - if you're behind a corporate firewall in your government office or university, this audio stream probably won't work, for security reasons.

Welfare payments called 'morally disgraceful' - August 24 article from the CBC Newfoundland and Labrador


Brickbats to the Citizen in my home town of Ottawa, who didn't even mention the release of the welfare incomes report. I'm not sure what people in the media call it (scoop? oversight? stoopid editorial board decision to take a pass on the story?), but the Citizen editorial board richly deserves the egg that's on their collective faces for having missed the boat on a report that's as significant as this one. Judging by the significant media coverage and public feedback in forums and letters to the editor - elsewhere in Canada - since the release, "this story's got legs" --- it'll be in the public consciousness for awhile longer.
No thanks to the Citizen, though...

More editorializing:

If you've read the Top Ten Reasons I Created This Site, you already know (#8) that I think there's too much of a slant from organizations like the Fraser Institute and Prime Minister Steve's earlier gig, the National Citizens' Coalition, in the mainstream media, and not enough from progressive non-governmental organizations like the Canadian Council on Social Development and Campaign 2000.

Another such organization that's actually part of government in an arm's-length kind of way is the National Council of Welfare <===[click the link for more detailed info from the Council's website]. The Council came to life in the late sixties via an integral part of the statute that defined the activities of the Department of National Health and Welfare. After a few departmental restructuring initiatives and name changes over the years, the Council is currently the government advisory body to the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development in matters pertaining to social development, i.e., well-being in Canada.

I have the highest regard for the Council as an advisory body, because it advocates on behalf of people, not corporations. The excellent reports produced by the Council's secretariat - especially the time series like Welfare Incomes and Poverty Profiles - offer up to twenty years' worth of cross-Canada information for use by both federal and provincial-territorial policy-makers to support their work. The reports are also for use by the social advocacy sector, to keep governments' feet to the fire --- fits right in with the concept of Accountability as one of the New Canadian Government's five priorities, doesn't it?

For about 25 of my 30 years as a welfare program information specialist with the federal government, I supported the work of the Council on the subject of welfare program information and welfare rates, and I think that their collection of historical, cross-Canada information on Canadian welfare programs is second to none. I spent a year on secondment with the Council secretariat starting in the summer of 1996, and I updated the numbers in Welfare Incomes 1995 as part of my work there. Now, ten years later, we find that after inflation, welfare incomes in '96 were more generous than they were in 2005 by several thousand dollars a year. And that includes thousands of families with kids...

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

2. An Analysis of Canada's Working Poor - August 2006
(Human Resources and Social Development Canada)

When Working is not enough to Escape Poverty:
An Analysis of Canada's Working Poor
August 2006
[NOTE: this is an executive summary only --- the French and English versions of the complete report will be available online, around the end of 2006.]
Dominique Fleury and Myriam Fortin
Policy Research Group
Exploring myths about the working poor: The poor do not work * The working poor do not work hard * The working poor are low paid * Self-employed workers are wealthy professionals * Bad jobs are the main cause of poverty among workers * Working poverty is a short transition between welfare and ‘decent’ work.

Order a paper copy of this publication

Human Resources and Social Development Canada

Links to two more recent papers by the same authors:
(NOTE: these two texts are available from the Policy Research Initiative)

What Does it mean to be Poor and Working?
• This paper discusses the spending patterns and living conditions of working poor families in 2002, using data from the Survey of Household Spending.

The Other Face of Working Poverty
• This paper looks at low-income Canadians who were active in the labour market in 2001 according to the number of hours that they worked, using data from the Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics.

3. What's New from Statistics Canada:
--- Perspectives on Labour and Income - August 2006 issue
(increased work stoppages, wives as primary breadwinners, unionization)
--- Consumer Price Index, July 2006
--- Health reports - regional differences in obesity

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

August 23, 2006
Perspectives on Labour and Income - August 2006 issue (PDF file - 723K, 2 pages)
- includes the following articles:
--- Increased work stoppages
--- Wives as primary breadwinners
--- Unionization, including rates in first half of 2005 and 2006 and membership and coverage by selected characteristics

August 22, 2006
Consumer Price Index, July 2006
The 12-month percentage change in the Consumer Price Index was down for a second consecutive month, from 2.5% between June 2005 and June 2006 to 2.4% between July 2005 and July 2006. Prices were down slightly despite the 1.0% reduction in the goods and services tax that took effect on July 1.

August 22, 2006
Health Reports: Regional differences in obesity, 2004
Adults who lived in large Canadian cities in 2004 were far less likely to be obese than were their counterparts who lived outside such metropolitan areas, a new report indicates.

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

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

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

What's New? - Canadian, U.S. and international resources
Child Care in the News - media articles
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

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

5. Poverty Dispatch:
U.S. media coverage of social issues and programs

Poverty Dispatch - U.S.
- links to news items from the American press about poverty, welfare reform, child welfare, education, health, hunger, Medicare and Medicaid, etc.
NOTE: this is a link to the current issue --- its content changes twice a week.

Past Poverty Dispatches
- links to two dispatches a week back to June 1 (2006) when the Dispatch acquired its own web page and archive.

Poverty Dispatch Digest Archive - weekly digest of dispatches from August 2005 to May 2006
For a few years prior to the creation of this new web page for the Dispatch, I was compiling a weekly digest of the e-mails and redistributing the digest to my mailing list.
This is my own archive of weekly issues of the digest back to August 2005, and most of them have 50+ links per issue. I'll be deleting this archive from my site gradually, as the links to older articles expire and "go 404"...

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:

6. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) AT 10 (U.S.) - August 17
(Center on Budget and Policy Priorities)

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) AT 10:
Program Results are More Mixed than Often Understood

August 17, 2006
by Sharon Parrott and Arloc Sherman
"The 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act established the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant. Under TANF, states received fixed block grants and had broad flexibility to design their own rules for their cash assistance programs, and broad authority to use the block grant resources for other programs outside of cash assistance to assist low-income families, promote marriage, and reduce non-marital childbearing.

Many discussions of TANF focus on three sets of trends:
- the decline in the number of families receiving cash assistance through TANF programs,
- the increase in employment rates of single mothers during the 1990s, and
- the decline in child poverty during the 1990s.

While important, these three sets of trends miss important information about the functioning of the TANF program and the impacts on low-income families over the last decade.
This report examines a broader set of indicators.

PDF : 16pp.

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

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

Disclaimer/Privacy Statement

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Thanks, CUPE!

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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...

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The Canadian Social Research Links
"New Canadian Government" Countdown Contest!

New Canadian Government Countdown Contest

A few weeks ago, I'd commented in this newsletter how I found it odd that almost seven months after winning the election, the ruling Conservative were still referring to themselves as Canada's New Government in their dealings with the public, for example the Government of Canada home page and the home page of the Prime Minister. I also see it frequently in government news releases and such, to the point where it almost sounds defensive, as in, "Hey, we're still new at this!" It's starting to sound a bit stale, so I thought we might have some late-summer fun with it...

Let those creative juices flow!


Steven Wright - The Visionary!

All those who believe in psychokinesis raise my hand.

The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

I almost had a psychic girlfriend but she left me before we met.

OK, so what's the speed of dark?

How do you tell when you're out of invisible ink?

If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something.

Support bacteria - they're the only culture some people have.

When everything is coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.

Ambition is a poor excuse for not having enough sense to be lazy.

Hard work pays off in the future. Laziness pays off now.

Everyone has a photographic memory. Some just don't have film.

Shin: a device for finding furniture in the dark.

Many people quit looking for work when they find a job.

I intend to live forever - so far, so good.

Join the Army, meet interesting people, kill them.

If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends?

Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.

Dancing is a perpendicular expression of a horizontal desire.

When I'm not in my right mind, my left mind gets pretty crowded.

Boycott shampoo! Demand the REAL poo!

Who is General Failure and why is he reading my hard disk?

What happens if you get scared half to death twice?