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Canadian Social Research Newsletter
January 31, 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 2,208 subscribers.

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


Haiti Earthquake
(Canadian Red Cross)

Powerful earthquake hits Haiti – Urgent help needed

On January 12, 2010 a 7.0 magnitude earthquake, followed by several powerful aftershocks,
struck off the western coast of Haiti, causing buildings to collapse in Port au Prince and chaos
as people fled the damage. Hundreds of thousands of people are dead or homeless. Haiti needs our help.

The Canadian Red Cross is accepting donations to support Red Cross relief efforts in Haiti.
Please give what you can.
* Donate online (secure site)
* Call toll-free 1-800-418-1111
* Visit a Red Cross office near you to donate in person.
* Other ways to donate (regular mail, planned legacy)

Canadian Red Cross



Canadian content

1. Ontario Disability Support Program : "Stupid Rules" Create Dire Consequences (ODSP Action Coalition) - January 28
2. Canada Suffering from Huge Democratic Deficit, Report Says (Institute of Wellbeing) - January 27
3. The importance of social science research in Canada - E-dialogue (Royal Roads University, Victoria) - February 2
4. Is EI Working for Canada’s Unemployed? Analyzing The Great Recession (Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives) - January 25
5. [British Columbia] A timeline of cuts to BC legal aid ( - January 25
6. [Ontario] Province Moves Forward With Legal Aid Transformation (Ontario Attorney-General) - January 24
7. [British Columbia] Going for gold on minimum wages (Vancouver Sun) - January 20
8. British Columbia 2010 Poverty Olympics coming to Vancouver on February 7
9. On Prorogation: Selected readings
10. What's New in The Daily [Statistics Canada]:
--- Study: The financial impact of student loans
- January 29
--- Participation and Activity Limitation Survey 2006: Tables - January 29
--- Payroll employment, earnings and hours, November 2009
- January 28
--- Real Gross Domestic Income, Relative Prices and Economic Performance Across the
- January 28
--- Hours worked and labour productivity in the provinces and territories, 1997 to 2008
- January 27
--- Study: Consequences of long-distance caregiving, 2007
- January 26
--- Cities and Growth: Earnings Levels Across Urban and Rural Areas: The Role of Human Capital - January 26
11. What's new from the Childcare Resource and Research Unit (Toronto) - January 31

International content

12. Poverty Dispatch: U.S. media coverage of social issues and programs (Institute for Research on Poverty - U. of Wisconsin-Madison)
13, The Happy Planet Index : Is Gross Domestic Product An Obsolete Measure of Progress? (New Economics Foundation - U.K.) - January 30
14. Australian Policy Online - recent content
15. CRINMAIL (children's rights newsletter)

Have a great week!

Gilles Séguin

Canadian Social Research Links


1. Ontario Disability Support Program : "Stupid Rules" Create Dire Consequences - January 2
(ODSP Action Coalition)

Ontario Disability Support Program:

"Stupid Rules" Create Dire Consequences
January 28, 2010
The Coalition had an opportunity to meet with members of the Social Assistance Review Advisory Council (SARAC) in late January, and to present them with a list of quick changes that could be made to some of the "stupid rules" in ODSP. This Council was recently appointed by the government to give advice on two things: some "quick fix" changes to counterproductive rules, and the mandate and scope of a more comprehensive social assistance review to be carried out later this year.

Related link:

A Proposal for ODSP Rule Changes (Word file - 127K, 16 pages)
ODSP Action Coalition
The ODSP Action Coalition is made up of community clinic caseworkers, agency staff, and community activists. We undertake campaigns and activities designed to raise awareness of issues affecting persons in receipt of Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) benefits.

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

2. Canada Suffering from Huge Democratic Deficit, Report Says - January 27
(Institute of Wellbeing)

New from the
Institute of Wellbeing:

Canada Suffering from Huge Democratic Deficit, Report Says
Press Release
January 27, 2010
OTTAWA, ON – Canada is experiencing a huge democratic deficit with trust in Canadian government and public institutions on a steep decline, says a report on Democratic Engagement released today by the Institute of Wellbeing.The report, which assesses Canadians’ democratic engagement, looks at eight quality of life indicators and finds Canadians aren’t satisfied with their democracy – which shows growing skepticism in political institutions and declining voter turnout rates.

The Canadian Index of Well-being is tracking changes in eight quality of life categories or “domains”. The Democratic Engagement report, released on January 27, is the latest release in the series. Domain reports on Living Standards, Healthy Populations and Community Vitality are now available; reports on the findings from the other domains will be released as the research is completed over the next year.

Democratic Engagement
Democratic Engagement measures the participation of citizens in public life and in governance; the functioning of Canadian governments with respect to openness, transparency, effectiveness, fairness, equity and accessibility; and the role Canadians and their institutions play as global citizens.
TIP: in the left-hand margin of the Democratic Engagement page, you'll find links to the other seven domains.

* Report Highlights (PDF 345KB)

* Full Report (PDF 2MB)

* Improving Canada’s Democratic Engagement: Ten Ideas for Positive Change (PDF 85KB)

Related link:

Time to address democratic deficit
January 27, 2010
Canadians like to think of themselves as nothing if not democratic. Since the days of Baldwin and LaFontaine, we have enjoyed the fruits of responsible government – responsible, that is, to Parliament. But a report today from the Institute of Wellbeing – a non-partisan research group – suggests that our democracy is being eroded on a variety of fronts. Turnout in the last federal election was down to a pathetic 59 per cent of voters, a record low. It is even lower in most municipal and provincial elections. Just 2 per cent of Canadians are involved in advocacy or political groups. Surveys show Canadians are dissatisfied with their democracy. And women and visible minorities are grossly under-represented in our parliament and legislatures.
The Toronto Star

- Go to the Poverty Measures - Canadian Resources page:

3. The importance of social science research in Canada (E-dialogue) - February 2
(Royal Roads University, Victoria)

Social Science Research: Dark Age Ahead?
The importance of social science research
to Canada's innovation and competitiveness

E-dialogue (online panel discussion)
February 2nd, 3:00pm to 5:00pm ET (Noon-2:00 p.m. PT)
Social science research is seriously underfunded in this country.
Listen in, and participate, as researchers across the country engage in a critical real-time discussion on the contributions the social sciences have made and are making in Canada.

Go to the e-dialogues page and register to be part of the e-audience*,
then listen in to our expert panel discuss the contributions of the
social sciences in the areas of innovation, competitiveness and well-being.
Registered participants may ask questions of the panelists during the last hour.
* NOTE: Click the link, then (on the next page) read the terms of use (Rules, Policies, and Disclaimers)
on the left side of the page and then click "I agree" to create a user profile; ignore the Login box on the right side of that page until you've registered.

Dr. Ann Dale, Canada Research Chair on Sustainable Community Development, Royal Roads University

* Caroline Andrew, former Dean of Social Sciences, Professor, School of Political Studies and Director of the Centre for Governance, University of Ottawa
* Chad Gaffield, President of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council
* Noreen Golfman, Professor and Dean of Graduate Studies, Memorial University and President, Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
* Professor John Robinson, Member of the International Panel on Climate Change, University of British Columbia
* Giselle Yasmeen, Vice-President of Partnerships, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.
[ Biographical notes on all panelists (scroll down the page for bio notes) ]

E-dialogues for sustainable development
[ Community Research Connections ]
[ Royal Roads University - Victoria, British Columbia ]


Related links from

(A Globe and Mail feature):

Do social sciences get enough funding?
(Online discussion transcript)
May 27, 2009
Scholars say science research is getting a disproportionate amount of government money, in the mistaken view that innovation is restricted to that area

Social scientists to press Ottawa for more funding
By Elizabeth Church
May 25, 2009
Social scientists and humanities scholars are feeling stung by the federal government's policies on research, and the tendency to equate innovation with science alone

- Go to the Canadian Universities and Colleges Links page:

4. Is EI Working for Canada’s Unemployed? Analyzing The Great Recession - January 25
(Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives)

EI system failing recession “stress test”—report
News Release
January 25, 2010
OTTAWA—Canada’s Employment Insurance system is failing the “stress test” of the recession and fixing it must be a key priority in the upcoming federal budget, says a new report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA). According to the report, even as the EI system became easier to access the number of unemployed Canadians not in receipt of EI benefits jumped from 650,760 in October 2008 to 777,4000 in October 2009.“Many unemployed workers have fallen through the cracks of the EI system,” says Andrew Jackson, Chief Economist with the Canadian Labour Congress and a CCPA Research Associate. “In October 2009, 51% of unemployed Canadians were collecting EI benefits—and just 41% in Ontario.”

Complete report:
Is EI Working for Canada’s Unemployed?
Analyzing The Great Recession
(PDF - 348K, 8 pages)
January 2010

Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA)
The CCPA is an independent, non-partisan research institute concerned with issues of social and economic justice. Founded in 1980, the CCPA is one of Canada’s leading progressive voices in public policy debates. By combining solid research with extensive outreach, we work to enrich democratic dialogue and ensure Canadians know there are workable solutions to the issues we face.

- Go to the Employment Insurance Links page:

5. [British Columbia] A timeline of cuts to BC legal aid - January 25

A timeline of cuts to BC legal aid
January 25, 2010
Brief timeline and backgrounder on the cuts to legal aid in BC culled from various press releases and news articles.


Related link:

Access to Justice
- campaign to restore funding to legal aid in BC and to stop the cutbacks to the Legal Services Society
- incl. links to press releases, news, petitions and more

- Go to the Non-Governmental Sites in British Columbia (D-W) page:

6. [Ontario] Province Moves Forward With Legal Aid Transformation - January 24
(Ontario Attorney-General)


Province Moves Forward With Legal Aid Transformation
McGuinty Government Resolves Legal Aid Boycott
News Release
January 24, 2010
Ontario is transforming the province's legal aid system, to help ensure that Ontarians have access to the legal services they need, regardless of their ability to pay, and to drive reforms in the family and criminal courts.
Office of the Ontario Attorney-General

Criminal lawyers and Ontario make deal to end legal aid boycott:



The Star:

The Globe:

[Thanks to Jennefer Laidley of the
Income Security Advocacy Centre (ISAC)
for the above media links.]

- Go to the Ontario Government Links page:

7. [British Columbia] Going for gold on minimum wages - January 20
(Vancouver Sun)

British Columbia:

Going for gold on minimum wages
By Marjorie Griffin Cohen and Iglika Ivanova
January 20, 2010
As we prepare to cheer for our athletes during the upcoming Olympic and Paralympic Games, it's worth remembering the fields in which B.C. isn't going for the gold. Ensuring that work is a guaranteed way out of poverty, for example. It's a little-known fact, but "the best place on Earth" is now home of the lowest minimum wages in Canada. Our minimum wage has been frozen at $8 per hour (and an embarrassingly low $6 for the first 500 hours of work) since 2001, and there is little indication that this is about to change any time soon.
Vancouver Sun

[ more Vancouver Sun articles on the minimum wage ]

How does that compare
with other Canadian jurisdictions?

Current And Forthcoming Minimum Hourly Wage Rates For Adult Workers in Canada
(this is the BEST resource for info on current and upcoming minimum wage levels by province/territory)

Minimum Hourly Wages for Canadian Adult Workers since 1965
This information is presented in five files - one for each decade.
The link above takes you to the latest decade (2005 to 2014);
click the date links at the top of the page for pages for earlier decades.

NOTE: Several other jurisdictions have either recently increased their minimum wage level or will be doing so in the coming months.
* Newfoundland and Labrador increased its minimum wage from $9.00 to $9.50 as of January 1.
* Nova Scotia will increase its minimum wage twice this year - in April and October. The current level is $8.60, increasing to $9.65 as of October.
* Ontario's minimum wage, currently $9.50, will increase to $10.25 at the end of March.
* Since 2007, Yukon increases its minimum wage each April to match increase in the Consumer Price Index for the City of Whitehorse.
For more information, see Minimum Hourly Wages, 2005-2014 (this is the same link as above)

Minimum Wage Database
[ Employment Standards Legislation in Canada ]
[ Labour Program, Human Resources and Social Development Canada ]

- Go to the Minimum Wage /Living Wage Links page:

- Go to the Non-Governmental Sites in British Columbia (D-W) page:

8. British Columbia 2010 Poverty Olympics coming to Vancouver on February 7

And while we're on the
subject of British Columbia...

Poverty Olympics to be held
in Vancouver days before 2010 Winter Games

January 16, 2010
By Stephen Hui
Five days before the opening of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, community groups will stage a protest event designed to internationally embarrass the Canadian, B.C., and city governments into addressing poverty. The 2010 Poverty Olympics, the third edition of the annual street-theatre event, will take place on February 7 at the Vancouver Japanese Language School and Japanese Hall (487 Alexander Street) in the Downtown Eastside.
Georgia Straight

Related links:

2010 Winter Olympics (Official Home Page)

2010 Poverty Olympics
The Vancouver Poverty Olympics are brought to you by a group of concerned citizens and community groups who oppose the 2010 Winter Games because public dollars could be more justly spent on ending poverty and homelessness.
- incl. links to : * Home * World Class Poverty * Land of Plenty * Broken Promises * Take Action * The Games * Who We Are
"Come out for free family fun with a conscience on February 7, 2010
at the Japanese Language School (487 Alexander St., Vancouver) from 1 - 3 p.m.
Watch the Games (Welfare Hurdles, Skating around Poverty, and more), cheer the
Mascots (Itchy the Bedbug, Creepy the Cockroach and Chewy the Rat), boo the Bad Guys
(Mr. Bid and Mr. Con Dough), sing along with the Poverty Anthem, eat cake and be merry!
Contact us:

Poverty Olympics Blog
- dozens of links to articles in the media, news releases and related resources concerning the Poverty Olympics

Poverty Olympics partners:
* Raise the Rates is a coalition working towards a five-point poverty reduction strategy in BC. Raise the Rates is lead organizer of the 2010 Poverty Olympics and the Provincial Poverty Olympics Torch Relay.
* Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood House
* The Carnegie Community Action Project (CCAP) is a project of the board of the Carnegie Community Centre Association. CCAP works mostly on housing, income, and land use issues in the Downtown Eastside (DTES) of Vancouver so the DTES can remain a low income friendly community.
* The British Columbia Persons With AIDS Society exists to enable persons living with AIDS and HIV disease to empower themselves through mutual support and collective action.
Streams of Justice
Streams of Justice is a christian social justice movement that has as its fundamental concern the realization of human communities marked by liberating justice and life-giving love.
Vancouver Area Network of Drugs Users (VANDU)
VANDU is a group of users and former users who work to improve the lives of people who use illicit drugs through user-based peer support and education.

[ 2009 Poverty Olympics - Last year's event in Vancouver ]

Poverty Olympics Social Index
- baker's dozen of factoids intended to draw links between the cost of the Olympics and the costs of poverty and welfare, e.g. the face value of the best seat at the Olympic opening ceremony is $1,100, which is almost $200 more than the maximum monthly welfare amount payable in BC to a single person with disability.

Downtown Eastside
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Downtown Eastside (DTES) is the oldest neighbourhood in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and is known as "Canada's poorest postal code".

9. On Prorogation: Selected readings

On Prorogation:

Jennefer Laidley of the Income Security Advocacy Centre (ISAC) has collated
a large number of links to media coverage of the prorogation of Parliament in Canada in 2010.
Thanks for sharing this, Jennefer!


A few selections to whet your prorogation appetite:

250,000 Canadians hit the streets:

Thousands protest:


To access links to over 100 articles in the Canadian media about prorogation,
go to the Prorogation links page:


Visit the ISAC website and ISAC's Social Assistance Review website for a large collection of Ontario resources.
The Income Security Advocacy Centre works with and on behalf of low income communities in Ontario to address issues of income security and poverty.


- Go to the Prorogation Links page :

10. What's New in The Daily [Statistics Canada]:
--- Study: The financial impact of student loans
- January 29
--- Participation and Activity Limitation Survey 2006: Tables - January 29
--- Payroll employment, earnings and hours, November 2009
- January 28
--- Real Gross Domestic Income, Relative Prices and Economic Performance Across the
- January 28
--- Hours worked and labour productivity in the provinces and territories, 1997 to 2008
- January 27
--- Study: Consequences of long-distance caregiving, 2007
- January 26
--- Cities and Growth: Earnings Levels Across Urban and Rural Areas: The Role of Human Capital
- January 26

Selected content from
The Daily [Statistics Canada]:

January 29
Study: The financial impact of student loans
As tuition fees have risen, more students have relied on student loans to help finance their postsecondary education and debt loads have gone up. This situation in turn has had an impact on individual students' financial positions after graduation. This study, based on data from three different surveys, found that well over one-half (57%) of the graduating class of 2005 had student loans, up from 49% 10 years earlier. Average student debt on graduation rose from $15,200 to $18,800 during the same decade. Also, the proportion of borrowers who graduated with debt loads of at least $25,000 increased to 27% in 2005 from 17% in 1995.

The financial impact of student loans
* Highlights
* Full article:
(220K, 14 pages)

January 2010 issue of
Perspectives on Labour and Income

Related subjects:
* Education, training and learning
* Fields of study
* Outcomes of education
* Income, pensions, spending and wealth
* Household assets, debts and wealth
* Household, family and personal income
* Labour
* Employment and unemployment


January 29
Participation and Activity Limitation Survey 2006: Tables (part VI)
The Participation and Activity Limitation Survey (PALS) is Canada's national survey that gathers information about adults and children whose daily activities are limited by a physical, mental, or other health-related condition or problem.
This report presents a series of tables concerning help with everyday activities as well as unmet needs and help providers.
- includes tables with statistics on the number of people with disabilities who (*) need help with everyday activities in 2001 and 2006, organized by sex, by age groups, by type of disability, by province, by severity and by activity type; also includes a table showing the r
easons specified by respondents regarding unmet needs with everyday activities in Canada in 2006 and a table with stats on main help providers, Canada in 2006.

< *Begin grammar lament. >
The actual heading on each of the StatCan tables is "Adults with disabilities that need help..." but I can't paste that on my page in all good conscience.
It's bad English. StatCan needs a copy editor to tell them that "who" should always be used in the case of a person, and "that" in the case of a thing.
< End grammar lament.>

[ Earlier tables from the 2006
Participation and Activity Limitation Survey


January 28, 2010
Payroll employment, earnings and hours, November 2009
Non-farm payroll employment fell by 33,800 in November, the result of small losses across a large number of industries. This decline followed two consecutive months of increases.
- includes links to two tables:
* Average weekly earnings (including overtime) for all employees
* Number of employees

[ Related link: Employment, Earnings and Hours - click "View" to see the latest issue]

Related subjects:
o Labour
o Employment and unemployment
o Hours of work and work arrangements
o Industries
o Wages, salaries and other earnings
o Non-wage benefits


January 28, 2010
Real Gross Domestic Income, Relative
Prices and Economic Performance Across the
Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development

This paper uses Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) data to examine changes in labour productivity, real gross domestic product (GDP), real gross domestic income (GDI), economic aggregates and relative economic growth over time.
NOTE: Click "View" to access the latest issue of this report,
or click "Chronological index" to access dozens of reports in
the Economic Analysis Research Paper Series.


January 27, 2010
Hours worked and labour productivity in the provinces and territories, 1997 to 2008
From 1997 to 2008, business sector productivity increased at an annual average rate of 1.3% in Canada. However, productivity growth slowed considerably after 2003 when compared with the 1997-to-2003 period. All provinces experienced a slowdown between the two periods with the main contributors being Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec.
- incl. links to two tables:
* Real output and hours worked in the business sector
* Labour productivity and hourly compensation in the business sector

Related subjects:
o Economic accounts
o Productivity accounts
o Labour
o Hours of work and work arrangements
o Wages, salaries and other earnings


January 26, 2010
Study: Consequences of long-distance caregiving, 2007
As the population of seniors increases and families live further apart, many Canadians face the challenges of caring for an aging parent from a distance. In 2007, about 1.65 million people aged 45 and over provided assistance or care to a parent or a mother- or father-in-law who suffered from a long-term health problem or physical limitation. Roughly 360,000 of these individuals, or 22%, provided help to a parent, even though the individual receiving care lived at least an hour away by car.

Article from issue #89 of
Canadian Social Trends:

Caring for a parent who lives far away: The consequences
By Mireille Vézina and Martin Turcotte
January 26, 2010

(136K, 13 pages)
Canadian Social Trends
[ more articles on caregiving and disabilities ]
[ more articles on all subjects - from Aboriginal People to Volunteering ]

Related subjects:
* Seniors
* Care and social support
* Health and disability among seniors
* Housing and living arrangements


January 26, 2010
Cities and Growth: Earnings Levels Across Urban and Rural Areas:
The Role of Human Capital
by Desmond Beckstead, W. Mark Brown, Yusu Guo, and K. Bruce Newbold
[ Click the link above to access all of the files below; only two are linked below.]
1. Acknowledgements
2. Abstract
3. Executive summary
4. Main article
5. Tables
6. Charts
7. Appendices
8. User information
9. PDF version (279K, 40 pages)
The Canadian Economy in Transition
[ Earlier reports in this series ]


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 :
- Go to the Social Statistics Links page:

11. What's new from the Childcare Resource and Research Unit (Toronto) - January 31

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

January 31, 2010

What's new online

This section archives documents that have been featured on the CRRU
homepage. Items are in chronological order by posting date from the most
recent to the least recent. Follow the title link for details.

Increasing Canada's productivity through early childhood development
27 Jan 10
- Resolution from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce calls on the federal government to "fund and assist in the development of a provincially-delivered effective early childhood development program".

A portrait of Canada's early childhood education and care (ECEC) workforce 2009
27 Jan 10
- Report from the Child Care Human Resource Sector Council "provides a statistical overview of the labour market situation in the ECEC sector".

Early care and education quality and child outcomes
27 Jan 10
- Research-to-Policy brief from Child Trends describes findings from a meta-analysis of studies looking at associations between child care quality and child outcomes

Women, men and the new economics of marriage
27 Jan 10
- Study from the Pew Center (US) has revealed that the proportion of American wives earning more than their husbands has risen more than five-fold since 1970.


Child care in the news

· City of Windsor daycare supporters mobilize
[CA-ON] 27 Jan 10

· All-day kindergarten under threat?
[CA-ON] 26 Jan 10

· All-day kindergarten threatens daycares
[CA-ON] 26 Jan 10

· City of Windsor report recommends closing municipal daycares
[CA-ON] 22 Jan 10

· Australia- Childcare reformed in wake of ABC collapse
[AU] 20 Jan 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
sitesin 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:

12. 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:

January 29:
Kids Count Report - Wyoming
State Medicaid Programs
Severe Child Poverty - UK
Pensioners Living in Poverty - UK

January 28:
Hybrid Welfare System - Indiana
Kids Count Report - Missouri
Worldwide Unemployment and Job Losses
Low-income Students and Higher Education - England

January 27:
US Food Hardship Survey
Food Stamp Program Enrollment - California, Idaho
2009 Enrollment in Assistance Programs
Teenage Pregnancy and Sex Education

January 26:
Youth Joblessness - Illinois
Teenage Pregnancy and Sex Education
Unemployment and Poverty - Ohio
Report: Income Inequality - Oregon

January 25:
Paid Sick Leave - Washington, DC
Tax Refund Anticipation Loans
Healthy Families Program - California
Eligibility for a Public Defender - Wisconsin


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:

13. The Happy Planet Index : Is GDP An Obsolete Measure of Progress? - January 30
(New Economics Foundation - U.K.)

Happy Planet Index (HPI)
The HPI is an innovative measure that shows the ecological efficiency with which human well-being is delivered around the world. It is the first ever index to combine environmental impact with well-being to measure the environmental efficiency with which country by country, people live long and happy lives. The second compilation of the global HPI, published in July 2009, shows that we are still far from achieving sustainable well-being and puts forward a vision of what we need to do to get there.
- incl. links to: * Home * Learn * Explore * Engage * News

The Happy Planet Index 2.0:
Why good lives don’t have to cost the Earth
(PDF - 5.2MB, 64 pages)
July 2009
You'll have to download the report to see the ranking for all 143 countries included in the study (p. 61), but here's the short version.
Best to worst:
1. Costa Rica
2. Dominican Republic
3. Jamaica
89. Canada
114. USA
141. Botswana
142. Tanzania
143. Zimbabwe

HPI 2.0 Excel Datafile (336K)
July 2009
Complete data file containing overall scores for HPI 2.0, as well as component results and HPI data over time for selected countries.

Earlier HPI reports:

The European (un)Happy Planet Index:
An index of carbon efficiency and well-being in the EU
(PDF - 961K, 47 pages)
Published 2007

The (un)Happy Planet Index:
An index of human well-being and environmental impact
(PDF - 1.6MB, 59 pages)
Published 2006

Calculate your own HPI score
Take the online survey to measure your own life expectancy, life satisfaction and ecological footprint and calculate your personal HPI score.
Gilles says: According to this survey, my personal Happy Planet Index (HPI) is 63.4.
This is below the target of 83, "which represents a good life that doesn’t cost the Earth."
I wonder if I could get a good Internet connection in Costa Rica?
What's your HPI?

nef (New Economics Foundation)
Based in the U.K., nef is an independent think-and-do tank that inspires and demonstrates real economic well-being.

See also:

Social Policy
nef aims to find ways of achieving sustainable social justice: a fair and equitable distribution of natural, social and economic resources between people, countries and generations.
nef programme areas
* Well-being * Democracy and Participation * Social Policy * Business, Finance and Economics * Valuing What Matters * Climate Change and Energy * Connected Economies * Natural Economies


Related links:

Is GDP An Obsolete Measure of Progress?
By Judith D. Schwartz
January 30, 2010
Since last summer the nation's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has gone up — indeed, it grew at a surprising 5.7% rate in the 4th quarter — seeming to confirm what we've been hearing: the recession is officially over. But wait — foreclosure and unemployment rates remain high, and food banks are seeing record demand. Could it be that the GDP, that gold standard of economic data, might not be the best way to gauge a nation's relative prosperity?
One new calculation that's been attracting attention is the Happy Planet Index (HPI), which combines economic metrics with indicators of well-being, including subjective measures of life satisfaction, which have become quite sophisticated (HPI uses data from Gallup, World Values Survey, and Ecological Footprint). The HPI assesses social and economic well-being in the context of resources used, looking at the degree of human happiness generated per quantity of environment consumed.
Time Magazine (U.S.)

Happy Talk: The Economics of Happiness
By Carol Graham (Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy)
January 03, 2010
Last year was not a happy one. Economic crisis. Job losses. Wars. Yet, while we can quantify things such as gross domestic product or home foreclosures, it's harder to measure their impact on our collective happiness.
Brookings Institution

[ more Brookings links to articles
about Economics of Happiness


Report by the Commission on the
Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress
(PDF - 3.2MB, 292 pages)
By Joseph E. STIGLITZ, Amartya SEN and Jean-Paul FITOUSSI
September 2009
Commission on the measurement of economic performance and social progress
The Commission on the measurement of economic performance and social progress was created at the beginning of 2008 by the French government.


Similar initiatives in Canada
and elsewhere in the world:

The Canadian Index of Wellbeing - from Roy Romanow's Institute of Wellbeing

The Index of Economic Well-being - from the Centre for the Study of Living Standards (CSLS) - Canada

Indicators of Well-being in Canada - from Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Genuine Progress Index (GPI) for Atlantic Canada

Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) Alberta ( from the Pembina Institute)

Genuine Progress Index (GPI) Pacific

2009 Prosperity Index - from the Legatum Institute

Gross National Happiness - from The Centre for Bhutan Studies

World Values Survey

Social Indicators Links - from the Canadian Council on Social Development


Related links:
- Go to the Poverty Measures - Canadian Resources page:
- Go to the Poverty Measures - International Resources page:

14. Australian Policy Online - recent content

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.


Recent additions to the APO website:

Estimates of poverty and social exclusion in Australia: a multidimensional approach
19 January, 2010
By Weiping Kostenko, Roger Wilkins, Rosanna Scutella
Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research
This paper compares poverty against measures of social exclusion using data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey.


Child protection Australia 2008-09
25 January, 2010
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
This report contains comprehensive information relating to state and territory child protection and support services, and the characteristics of Australian children within the child protection system.


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:

(Child Rights Information Network - CRIN)

From the Child Rights Information Network (CRIN)

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

28 January 2010 - CRINMAIL 1143
* BELGIUM: Detention of Chechen children unlawful [news]
* GLOBAL: State of the world's indigenous people [publication]
* ROMANIA: Roma families forcibly evicted [news]
* CANADA: Are We Doing Enough? A status report on Canadian public policy and child and youth health [publication]
* SWITZERLAND: Support for young “sans papiers” grows [news]
* EMPLOYMENT: Save the Children International

26 January 2010 - CRINMAIL 1142
* AFRICAN COMMITTEE: Elections 2010 – Information for NGOs [news]
* CAMBODIA: "Skin on the Cable" - The illegal arrest, arbitrary detention and torture of people who use drugs [publication]
* HAITI: International community call for use of International Guidelines [news]
* SAUDI ARABIA: Flogging of teenage girl must be prevented [news]
* UNITED STATES: Call for Iowa court to reverse life without parole sentence [news]
* EVENTS: Scottish Law Centre and UNICEF call for papers
* EMPLOYMENT: UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights


Links to Issues of CRINMAIL
- links to 200+ weekly issues, many of which are special editions focusing on special themes, such as the 45th Session of the Committee on the Rights of the Child, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the launch of the EURONET Website.

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:
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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.




25 Rules for Writing Good


Whatever you think of these slightly cracked nuggets
of rhetorical wisdom, just remember that all generalizations are bad.

1.   Each pronoun should agree with their antecedent.

2.   Between you and I, pronoun case is important.

3.   A writer must be sure to avoid using sexist pronouns in his writing.

4.   Verbs has to agree with their subjects.

5.   Don't be a person whom people realize confuses who and whom.

6.   Never use no double negatives.

7.   Never use a preposition to end a sentence with.  That is something up with which your readers will not put.

8.   When writing, participles must not be dangled.

9.   Be careful to never, under any circumstances, split infinitives.

10.  Hopefully, you won't float your adverbs.

11.  A writer must not shift your point of view.

12.  Lay down and die before using a transitive verb without an object.

13.  Join clauses good, like a conjunction should.

14.  The passive voice should be avoided.

15.  About sentence fragments.

16.  Don't verb nouns.

17.  In letters themes reports and ad copy use commas to separate items in a series.

18.  Don't use commas, that aren't necessary.

19.  “Don't overuse ‘quotation marks.’”

20.  Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are (if the truth be told) superfluous.

21.  Contractions won't, don't, and can't help your writing voice.

22.  Don't write run-on sentences they are hard to read.

23.  Don't forget to use end punctuation

24.  Its important to use apostrophe's in the right places.

25.  Don't abbrev.


[HINT: Click the link for 25 more rules.]


Space Junk

Jeez, it's a wonder we can see the sky, let alone any stars, with all of the junk that's floating around up there.
Click the source link below to see exactly how much each country has contributed to that mess (only totals for Canada, the U.S. and Russia appear below)

Orbiting functional satellites:
Canada:      11
U.S.:       453
Russia:      86


Orbiting dysfunctional satellites:
Canada:      14
U.S.:       683
Russia:    1310


Orbiting space debris (>10cm in diameter):
Canada:      2
U.S.:     3258 
Russia:   2690




And, in closing...


Are you a right-brain person or a left-brain person?
I've posted a link to this optical illusion before, but the above four-minute video helps you to determine which you are  (left- or right-brain) and what that means.
The link  below takes you to an animation that helped me to understand how the spinning silhouette messes up the brain:


The best review of Apple's new iPad (video):