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Canadian Social Research Newsletter
August 30, 2009

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 2,076 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.   Prince Edward Island increases its welfare allowances - August 27
2. Federal program aims to get mentally ill off streets (CBC News) - August 25
3. Social Policy and the Recession: A passive or transformative response? Conference - Queen's University (Kingston) - August 17-19
4. What's New in The Daily [Statistics Canada]:
--- Employment Insurance, June 2009 - August 25
--- Two articles from Perspectives on Labour and Income - August 2009 issue - August 25
***** Pathways into the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS)
***** Family work patterns

Internet Petitions, Shminternet Petitions.
No Way Home - Youth Homelessness - 2004 (CBC Fifth Estate)
7. What's new from the Childcare Resource and Research Unit (Toronto) - August 29

International content

8. Poverty Dispatch: U.S. media coverage of social issues and programs (Institute for Research on Poverty - University of Wisconsin-Madison)
9. A minimum income standard for Britain in 2009 (Joseph Rowntree Foundation) - July 2009
OECD: Policy Briefs (Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development) - Reviewed by: The Scout Report
11. Australian Policy Online
12. CRINMAIL (children's rights newsletter) - August 2009

Have a great week!

Gilles Séguin

Canadian Social Research Links


1. Prince Edward Island increases its welfare allowances - August 27

Prince Edward Island bumps up welfare allowances
August 27, 2009
Islanders on social assistance started getting more money to buy groceries and pay the rent earlier this summer, but the number of clients at the local food bank continues to rise
CBC News

Related links :

PEI Department of Social Services and Seniors (responsible for welfare)

PEI Social Assistance Program

- Go to the Prince Edward Island Links page:

2. Federal program aims to get mentally ill off streets - August 25
(CBC News)

Federal program aims to get mentally ill off streets
August 25, 2009
About 300 homeless people in Montreal will be picked to take part in a new federal housing project.About 300 homeless people in Montreal will be picked to take part in a new federal housing project. (CBC)Hundreds of homeless people with mental illness in five cities across Canada will take part in an ambitious federal housing experiment this fall that researchers say could become a new model for helping the down and out. The experiment – created by the Canadian Commission on Mental Health – will provide subsidized apartments and intensive psychological and social support to more than 1,000 homeless people in Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Winnipeg and Moncton. The $150-million program will track participants' progress for four years and compare it to people who remain on the streets. Researchers hope that by offering furnished housing and social support, homeless people living with mental illness will be able to reintegrate into society.
CBC News

- Go to the Homelessness and Housing Links page:

3. Social Policy and the Recession: A passive or transformative response? Conference - Queen's University (Kingston)
August 17-19, 2009

Social Policy and the Recession:
A passive or transformative response?

Conference - Queen's University (Kingston)
August 17-19, 2009
Queen's International Institute on Social Policy (QIISP)
QIISP 2009 focuses on the impact of the recession on our social programs. The program explores the international and domestic contours of the recession, asking how deep and long it is likely to be. The program then examines its general impact on the “welfare diamond,” examining pressures on the roles of the market, the family, governments and the voluntary sector. It also analyzes in greater depth the implications for vulnerable populations: unemployed adult workers, immigrants, youth and pensioners. The final session takes stock, asking how well we are responding, whether we are paralyzed by the intense economic pressure or whether we are adapting and improving our programs for the future."

Program (PDF - 591K, 16 pages)
- includes the complete program PLUS biographical notes for all speakers and presenters.

Themes and speakers/presenters:
(See the program for session chairs and moderators)

Introduction: The Economic Recession and Social Policy

David Dodge [ Speaker's notes (PDF 357K, 17 pages) ] - Chancellor, Queen's University and former Governor of the Bank of Canada
Monika Queisser [ Presentation PDF - 685K, 19 pages) ]- Acting Head, Social Policy, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), France

Shifting Roles in Tough Times: Markets, government, community and family

Jane Jenson [ Presentation (PDF - 50K, 8 pages) ] - [Video] - Canada Research Chair in Citizenship and Governance, University of Montreal
Dan Vale [ Presentation (PDF - 1.9MB, 33 pages)] - [Video] - Programme Manager, The Young Foundation, United Kingdom

Responding to the Adult Unemployed: Active labour market policies

Kevin Hollenbeck [ Presentation (PDF - 103K, 35 pages) ] - Vice President and Senior Economist, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, USA
Craig Riddell [ Presentation (PDF - 157K, 38 pages) ] - Royal Bank Faculty Research Professor, Department of Economics, University of British Columbia

Responding to the Adult Unemployed: Income support

Peter Whiteford [ Presentation PDF - 437K, 26 pages) ] - Professor, Social Policy Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Australia
Michael Mendelson [ Presentation (PDF - 229K, 25 pages) ] - Senior Scholar, Caledon Institute of Social Policy

The Recession’s Impact on the Mental Health of Workers: A Global Perspective

Louise Bradley [no link] - Chief Operating Officer, Mental Health Commission of Canada

Responding to Vulnerable Populations: Immigrants, youth and aboriginals

Robert McPhee [ Presentation (PDF - 95K, 27 pages) ] - McPhee Economic Consulting
Naomi Alboim [ Presentation (PDF - 58K, 12 pages) ] - Fellow, School of Policy Studies, Queen's University

Responding to Vulnerable Populations: Pensioners

Garry Barrett [ Presentation (PDF - 398K, 32 pages) ] - Professor, Economics, Australian School of Business, University of New South Wales, Australia
Keith Ambachtsheer [ Presentation (PDF - 368K, 6 pages) ] - Director, International Centre for Pension Management (ICPM), Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto

How Are We Doing? Is the recession paralyzing or transformative?

Armine Yalnizyan [ Presentation (PDF - 208K, 27 pages) ] - Senior Economist, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA)
Don Drummond [ Speaker's Notes (PDF - 513K, 12 pages) ] - Senior Vice President and Chief Economist, TD Bank Financial Group


Links to previous QIISP events - contains links to all presentations back to 2003 (dozens and dozens of presentations!)

- Go to the Conferences and Events Links page:
- Go to the Canadian Universities and Colleges Links page:

4. What's New in The Daily [Statistics Canada]:
Employment Insurance, June 2009 - August 25
--- Two articles from Perspectives on Labour and Income - August 2009 issue - August 25
***** Pathways into the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS)
***** Family work patterns

Selected content from
The Daily [Statistics Canada]:

August 25, 2009
Employment Insurance, June 2009
In June, 816,600 people received regular Employment Insurance benefits, up 5.1% (+39,500) from a month earlier. Provincially, the largest percentage increases occurred in Alberta, British Columbia and Newfoundland and Labrador.
- includes links to three tables showing comparisons between June 2009 and the previous month / previous year:
* 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 subjects
o Labour
o Employment insurance, social assistance and other transfers
o Non-wage benefits

Related link:

Employment Insurance: A Tale of Two Provinces
Posted by Erin Weir
August 25, 2009
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…
It would be welcome news if the number of Canadians receiving Employment Insurance (EI) benefits increased because of a proactive policy decision to expand this program to combat the recession. In fact, the ongoing rise in EI beneficiaries simply reflects the deterioration of Canada’s labour market. We are still in “the worst of times.” Every month, tens of thousands more Canadians are laid off than can find new jobs.

Click the link above and scroll down the next page to see a table showing Employment Insurance coverage across Canada in June 2009 (seasonally-adjusted figures). For each province and for Canada, the table shows the number of EI recipients, the number of people who are unemployed and the resulting percentage of EI coverage. Where would you prefer to live - Ontario, where 41.3% of unemployed people qualify for EI, or Newfoundland and Labrador, where EI covered 112.4% of unemployed workers in June 2009? [No, this is not a typo.]
Progressive Economics Forum Blog
[ other posts by Erin Weir ]
[ Progressive Economics Forum ]

August 25, 2009
Perspectives on Labour and Income - August 2009 issue
The August 2009 online edition of Perspectives on Labour and Income, released today, features two articles.

Pathways into the GIS
August 2009
* Highlights
* Full article: HTML | PDF
(212K, 10 pages)
The article Pathways into the GIS examines the strong correlation of Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) receipt with people's income levels at younger ages, particularly one's 40s. Negative labour market and health occurrences, having a low income and the receipt of social assistance benefits increased the probability of GIS receipt, while having an employer pension plan or a registered retirement savings plan decreased it.
Related link:
Income Security and Stability
During Retirement in Canada
(PDF - 486K, 59 pages)
March 2008

Family work patterns
August 2009
* Highlights
* Full article: HTML | PDF
(194K, 12 pages)
Women’s labour market participation has increased substantially over recent decades, creating challenges for families in balancing work–life responsibilities. The examination of family work patterns revealed significant differences in annual hours of work between families with and those without children.
Related subjects:
o Families, households and housing
o Family types
o Household characteristics
o Income, pensions, spending and wealth
o Household, family and personal income
o Low income and inequality
o Labour
o Hours of work and work arrangements

- Go to the Employment Insurance Links page :
- Go to the Work-Life Balance Links page:
- Go to the Federal Government Department Links (Fisheries and Oceans to Veterans Affairs) page:

5. Internet Petitions, Shminternet Petitions.

Internet Petitions
Signing and circulating online petitions is an effective way of helping to remedy important issues.
Or is it?
"The 2000s have seen the birth of an Internet phenomenon: the e-petition. It offers instant comfort to those outraged by the latest ills of the world through its implicit assurance that affixing their names to a statement decrying a situation and demanding change will make a difference. That assurance is a severely flawed one for a multitude of reasons..."

When I stumbled across the above link on the Snopes website, I was reminded of the e-petitions that were circulating back in 2002-2003 (promoted by the Amnesty International Australia site) in an effort to prevent the stoning death of Amina Lawal, a Nigerian woman sentenced to death for adultery. If the article on e-petitions didn't give you pause to reflect, perhaps the collection of links to the Amina Lawal case on my Internet Petitions page will:
Internet Petitions and Letter-Writing Campaigns - Yes or No?
The story of Amina Lawal
Last updated September 26, 2003

6. No Way Home - Youth Homelessness - 2004
(CBC Fifth Estate)

An "Oldie" Goldie:

No Way Home
March 2004
While youth homelessness is not a new phenomenon, it has become more severe in Canada over the past two decades.
- incl. links to :
* Who are homeless youth? * Life on the street * The hazards of homelessness * The causes of homelessness * The cost of homelessness
CBC News - Fifth Estate

- Go to the Homelessness and Housing Links page:

7. What's new from the Childcare Resource and Research Unit (Toronto) - August 29

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

August 29, 2009

The hidden impact of the global financial crisis
26 Aug 09
- Report from the Australia Institute examining the experiences of Australian women during the recessions. Findings suggest that women are disadvantaged in the labour market.

Family work patterns
26 Aug 09
- Report from Statistics Canada on the work patterns of families over a five-year period.

Issues in education for children three to eight in six countries
26 Aug 09
- Document from the FPG Child Development Institute profiling early education in France, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, and Sweden to inform U.S. policy.

Politicians slammed by leading childcare expert
26 Aug 09
- Video of child care expert Dr. Penelope Leach slamming politicians for making policies on family issues they do not fully understand.

About Canada: Childcare
24 Jun 09
- Just published – a new book co-authored by CRRU director Martha Friendly and University of Manitoba Sociologist Susan Prentice.

With our best future in mind: Implementing early learning in Ontario
17 Jun 09
- Report to the Premier of Ontario from Charles Pascal, the Premier's Special Advisor on Early Learning.


child care in the news

· Korea needs affordable childcare to battle low birth rate
[KR] 27 Aug 09

· Liberal minister negligent on childcare
[CA-BC] 26 Aug 09

· Japanese campaign focuses on child care
[JP] 26 Aug 09

· Teachers and early educators can be classroom partners
25 Aug 09

· Work bias hurting mothers
[AU] 24 Aug 09

· Merkel urges women to fight for equal pay
[DE] 24 Aug 09


Related Links:

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:

8. 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 content from the Poverty Dispatch:

August 28:
Microfinance and Poverty Reduction
Climate Change and Hunger - Nepal
Child Hunger and Malnutrition in Guatemala
Budget Cuts and Early Childhood Education - Ohio
Remittances from Philippine Workers Abroad
Young Adults Lacking Identification Paperwork

August 27:
Infections and Disease among the U.S. Poor
Unemployment in Households with Children - United Kingdom
Recession and Poverty Reduction Goals - Asia

August 26:
Supplemental Security Income Program - California
Post-Katrina Recovery - New Orleans, LA
Flu Preparedness and High-poverty Schools
Low-income Home Energy Assistance Program - Pennsylvania
Weatherization Programs - Kansas, Pennsylvania

August 25:
Financing for Social Service Agencies
Health Coverage and the Homeless
Cities and Homeless Programs
Access to Fresh Food and Produce - Detroit, MI
State Health Plan Enrollment - Minnesota

August 24:
Medicare/Medicaid Dual Eligibility and Access to Care - Oregon
Funding for Section 8 Housing Subsidies
Increasing Need for Food Assistance - Alabama
People Living in Poverty - Cherokee County, OK
State Budget Cuts and Child Care Subsidies - Ohio, Pennsylvania


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


Past Poverty Dispatches
- links to dispatches back to June 2006

Search Poverty Dispatches

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:

9. A minimum income standard for Britain in 2009 - July 2009
(Joseph Rowntree Foundation)

A minimum income standard
for Britain in 2009
(PDF - 427K, 24 pages)
July 2009
By Donald Hirsch, Abigail Davis and Noel Smith
Published on 1 July 2009, this report is the first annual update of the Minimum Income Standard for Britain (MIS), originally published in 2008. The standard is based on research into what members of the public, informed where relevant by expert knowledge, think should go into a budget in order to achieve a minimum socially acceptable standard of living. The report considers two aspects of uprating the standard for 2009: changes in prices that influence the cost of a minimum ‘basket’ of goods and services, and changes in living standards that may influence what items should be included in that basket.
Joseph Rowntree Foundation

"We seek to understand the root causes of social problems,
to identify ways of overcoming them, and to show how social needs can be met in practice."

- Go to the Poverty Measures - International Resources page:

10. OECD: Policy Briefs (Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development)
Reviewed by: The Scout Report

OECD: Policy Briefs
The Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) has a sizeable research staff, and they publish dozens of policy papers, reports, and related documents every year. This website will lead visitors directly to their archive of policy briefs, and it is one that every person with an interest in international relations, economic policy, and related matters will want to add to their collection of bookmarks. The basic list of briefs is arranged chronologically, and recent briefs added to the site have included an economic survey of Greece, an examination of international migration trends, and regional innovation trends in 15 Mexican states. At this part of the site, visitors can read abstracts of each document, and also download them as well. On the left-hand side of the page, visitors can browse all of the briefs by topic, country, or view an alphabetical list of the briefs.
Reviewed by:
The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2009.

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

11. Australian Policy Online

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

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

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

12. CRINMAIL - August 2009
(Child Rights Information Network - CRIN)

From the Child Rights Information Network (CRIN)

Latest issues of CRINMAIL:

27 August 2009 - CRINMAIL 1103
* CRC: Alternative reports for Committee session 52 [publication]
* EDUCATION/HEALTH: International Guidelines on Sexuality Education [publication]
* ZAMBIA: NGOs fear law will hobble their activities [news]
* AUSTRALIA: Schools telling disabled children to stay at home [news]
* UNITED STATES: Federal report details abuse at New York juvenile centres [news]
* ONLINE DIALOGUE: Using shadow reports for advocacy

25 August 2009 - CRINMAIL 1102
* MALAWI: Hard work, long hours and little pay - Research with children working on tobacco farms [publication]
* OPT: New military order on juveniles issued in the West Bank [news]
* GREECE: Create Open Centers for Migrant Children [news]
* CHILD EXECUTIONS: New book argues for abolition based on Islamic and international law (Arabic and Farsi) [publication]
* CYPRUS: Monitoring child well-being: better policy and practice [event]
* CRC at 20: Call for events information


Earlier issues of CRINMAIL
- links to 200+ 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.

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.




Definitely NOT Social Policy.


25 Hottest Urban Legends
- from

From time to time, a friend or family member forwards an email message to me about the "Greeting Card Virus" or the "Mars Spectacular in August".
99.7% of the time, the message that's being forwarded is a hoax or an urban legend, and 99.8% of the time, there's an open "TO" or "CC" list that includes my email address.

BEFORE forwarding an email that you've just received to your entire list of
contacts because it contains a dire warning or a link to a free gift or something

1. PLEASE check the Snopes Top 25 link above to see if this is a hoax or an urban legend;
then check the complete database of hoaxes (the site Search feature works very well)
using a key word or two from the email that you've been asked to "FORWARD TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW!!"

2. If you're *sure* that the email you're about to send to 250 people is legit, then...

3. Please-please-please delete all email addresses that appear on the email and ensure that YOU forward the email in question
to yourself only and to everyone else on your list as a "BCC". There's mailing list harvesting software out there that sniffs out
forwarded emails and collects all the email addresses, and everyone whose email address appears in a "TO" list or a "CC" list is liable to be "harvested".
Then they may wonder why they're getting more SPAM these days...
Use BCC.


Sweet Misery (one-hour video)
The artificial sweetener, aspartame, is the bedrock of the diet industry. Found in everything from fizzy drinks to vitamin pills and marketed under a variety of different names, it is difficult to detect and even harder to avoid. But how safe is it? Does it really cause brain tumors, blindness and other serious illnesses? This shocking documentary investigates how the FDA came to approve such a potentially dangerous product.
So did *you* know that:
* Donald Rumsfeld was, from 1977 to 1985, CEO of the company that gave us Aspartame?
* Rumsfeld was part of
President Reagan's transition team?
* The day after he took office, Rumsfeld appointed an FDA Commissioner who would approve Aspartame.
* No FDA Commissioner in the previous sixteen years had allowed aspartame on the market because of potential for brain tumors.

Read all about it:
How Donald Rumsfeld put me off Aspartame
(I've taken a serious dislike to My Canada Dry Diet Ginger Ale after viewing the above video and reading the above article.)


A trillion dollars for U.S health reform?
Why, that's outrageous!


High-speed robotic hand
(See how quickly and skillfully the 'bionic' fingers can pick up a grain of rice with tweezers!)


Why the Canadian Social Research Newsletter was late last week:
(Yup, that's the CSRL Guy.)
My son Daniel
- From his photoblog:
Check out this excellent award-winning photography (no bias here at all...)

More fishing photos
Except for the woodpile photos, the photos are of Daniel, with four of the over two dozen smallmouth bass he caught
during the three days we fished on The Mighty Gatineau River at the cottage an hour north of Ottawa.
My favourite photo is Daniel's spot-on imitation of a bass!
BTW - ALL fish were carefully and lovingly unhooked and safely released.
I'm strictly a catch-and-release fisherman, and so are all my fishing buddies.