Canadian Social Research Newsletter
December 31, 2012
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.
This week's issue of the newsletter is going out to 2,600 subscribers.
All the best to you and yours in 2013...
IN THIS ISSUE OF THE
CANADIAN SOCIAL RESEARCH NEWSLETTER:
NOTE: I almost took a pass on this week's newsletter because of family time and other commitments, in addition to the fact that many organizations close their doors during the holidays for a well-deserved break. There were, however, a few noteworthy offerings from the Toronto Star, the Tyee, the Mowat Centre for Policy Innovation and StatCan that I couldn't wait to share with you...
1. Why the 99 per cent still matter in Canadian
politics (Hugh Mackenzie in the Toronto Star) - December 30
2. Time for a CBC Right to Food Day (Graham Riches in The Tyee) - December 28
3. Ed Broadbent on rising inequality and the threat to the Canadian dream (Toronto Star) - December 26
4. Back to Basics: The Future of the Fiscal Arrangements (Mowat Centre for Policy Innovation) - December 2012
5. What's New in The Daily [Statistics Canada]:
--- Canada Year Book 2012 - December 24
No Childcare Resource and Research Unit this week
No international content this week.
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Go to the home page of the
Canadian Social Research Links website:
Why the 99 per cent still matter in Canadian politics
- December 30
Why the 99 per cent
still matter in Canadian politics
December 30, 2012
By Hugh Mackenzie
A year after the Occupy movement focused public attention on the income, wealth and opportunity gap between the top 1 per cent and the 99 per cent, the issue is attracting the attention of conservatives in Canada. Quite simply, they want the problem to go away. So theyre intent on a simple message: chill out, Canada, inequality isnt the problem.
Two reports one by the Fraser Institute [ http://goo.gl/VXbf2 ], the other by TD Economics [ (PDF) http://goo.gl/yNCBM ] illustrate the attempt to spin the issues as nothing to worry about. They also have another thing in common. Their results dont support the headlines they gave their own reports. The Fraser Institute study purported to demonstrate that economic mobility is still strong in Canada. In reality, it only demonstrated mobility at the bottom end of the income scale. People tend to move back and forth between poverty and the middle class, but less so at the top end of the income scale where the Horatio Alger myth resides.
TD got a lot of mileage from its claim that income inequality in Canada hadnt changed since 1998. In fact, the report showed income inequality remained steady in the 2000s, but that it had continued to widen at the bottom and the top of the income distribution precisely the concern of the Occupy protests. The TD results contrasted sharply with the more balanced view of the Conference Board, which gave Canada a C for income inequality among OECD countries, making the point that Canada looks good only in comparison with the United States, which displays among the most extreme inequality in the OECD.
It would be unwise for those who are benefiting from growing inequality to adopt the complacency encouraged by reports like those of the TD Bank and the Fraser Institute. If we have learned anything from the Arab Spring and the European responses to deadening austerity, it is that the consequences of a breakdown of social cohesion can be unpredictable. And that can create widespread social unrest that no one can escape not even the gated 1 per cent.
Author Hugh Mackenzie
is an economist with the
Growing Gap project
[ http://www.policyalternatives.ca/projects/growing-gap/ ]
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
[ http://www.policyalternatives.ca/ ]
- Go to the Income
and Wealth Inequality Links page:
Time for a CBC Right to Food Day
- December 28
Time for a CBC Right
to Food Day
Public broadcaster should launch it instead of pushing the failed food bank charity model.
By Graham Riches
December 28, 2012
Now that this year's CBC's Food Bank Day in B.C. is over surely it's time to rethink this annual event stretching back more than 25 years. In light of persistent and growing hunger in our affluent province, there's a compelling argument to reconsider our national broadcaster's decades long public support for charitable food banks. This year the CBC raised a record setting $567,085 to be distributed to food banks across the province. In appreciation, CBC studios in Vancouver, Victoria, Kelowna, Kamloops and Prince George opened their doors to donors, of whom 5,000 in Vancouver met national and local broadcasting personalities, billed as stars, including Peter Mansbridge and George Stroumboloupoulos, the first Canadian Ambassador Against Hunger for the United Nations World Food Program. A fun time to be sure, not bad for the ratings and all for a very good cause. What's not to like?
The problem is that food banks have become the publicly accepted way of meeting this basic human need, with the CBC over the years fostering this widely held perception. How has this come about when food poverty remains deeply entrenched and widening income inequality, grossly inadequate welfare benefits and social program cutbacks highlight the continuing failure of public policy and government accountability for addressing domestic hunger?
If overcoming food poverty is the goal, hungry people require adequate purchasing power to go into a store like anyone else and buy the foods of their choice. Why not income security, a rebuilt social safety net and a Poverty Reduction Plan for B.C as the focus of next year's CBC Right to Food Day?
[ Author Graham Riches is director of the UBC School of Social Work and Family Studies with an interest in food security, welfare policy and human rights. ]
This is the eighth of The Tyee's Inspiring Ideas
for 2013 series:
[Click the link above to access all of the following ideas.]
Idea #1: 'MOOC': Saviour of Higher Ed?
Idea #2: Turn Complex Problems into Games
Idea #3: Want to Defeat Harper? Force Cooperation
Idea #4: Teach Teachers How to Be Advocates
Idea #5: 'You Are Not a Loan'
Idea #6: Assess the Public Health Impact of New Laws
Idea #7: Make 'Affordable' the New 'Livable'
Idea #8: Time for a CBC Right to Food Day
- Go to the Food
Banks and Hunger Links page:
- Go to the Non-Governmental
Sites in British Columbia (D-W) page:
Ed Broadbent on rising inequality and the threat
to the Canadian dream
- December 26
Ed Broadbent on
rising inequality and the threat to the Canadian dream
December 26, 2012
(...) The political decisions and investments we made decades ago not only in public education but in health care, pensions, employment insurance and progressive income taxes made all the difference. By reducing real inequalities in life we laid the foundations for a society with genuine equality of opportunity one where it didnt matter that much on which side of the tracks you were born. But we have recently been moving in the opposite direction, toward a less equal society.
Canadian values demand that we do something about rising inequality before we turn into a winner-take-all society with a permanent underclass. We are in this together, and that means we must once again care and share.
NOTE : this article includes links to recent discussion papers and commentaries by the Broadbent Institute, the Fraser Institute, Miles Corak (University of Ottawa) and Michael Veall (past president of the Canadian Economics Association)
- Go to the Income
and Wealth Inequality Links page:
Back to Basics: The Future of the Fiscal Arrangements
- December 2012
Back to Basics:
The Future of the Fiscal Arrangements (PDF -
1.6MB, 32 pages)
By Matthew Mendelsohn
In the fifth paper in the Fiscal Transfers Series, Matthew Mendelsohn argues that Canadas system of fiscal arrangements is misaligned with current economic realities. In particular, the system transfers funds from Ontario for redistribution at a time when Ontarios fiscal capacity is below the national average. This is not sustainable for Ontario and violates the most basic understandings of equity built into the system. The paper documents how this situation arose and makes recommendations to fix it.
Mowat Centre Fiscal
Every year, the federal government transfers over $50 billion to the provinces and territories. These funds help provinces and territories deliver the services Canadians count on. The major agreements that underpin these transfers are set to be renewed by 2014. There is broad consensus that the transfer system could improve.
The Mowat Centre has released a series of research papers outlining options for reform of the fiscal transfer systemreforms that offer a more principled approach to federal redistribution and reflect a dynamic, evolving federation.
titles in the Fiscal Transfers Series:
[Click the link above to access all of these reports.]
* Expenditure Need: Equalizations
Other Half by Peter Gusen
* Equalization at Arms Length by Daniel Béland & André Lecours
* Alberta and Equalization: Separating Fact from Fiction by Melville L. McMillan
* Fiscal Problems, Taxation Solutions: Options for Reforming Canadas Tax and Transfer System by Jean-François Tremblay
Mowat Centre for Policy Innovation
The Mowat Centre for Policy Innovation is an independent, non-partisan public policy think tank. We were established in 2009 with seed money from the Ontario government. We undertake applied public policy research and engage in public dialogue on federal issues important to the prosperity and quality of life of Ontario and Canada.
- Go to the Canada
Assistance Plan / Canada Health and Social Transfer
/ Canada Social Transfer Resources page:
New in The Daily [Statistics Canada]:
- Go to the Federal
Government Department Links (Fisheries and Oceans to Veterans
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Happy New Year
New year is the time to bid farewell to the
Year and welcome the coming year.
It is the time to forget and get past memories
That are no longer useful or worth pondering upon.
Let us Forget and forgive.
"Let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic.
And well change the world."
Canadian Social Research Links
And, in closing...
The Funniest Moments in Canadian Politics, 2012 edition
By Sonya Bell & Jessie Willms
December 24, 2012
If you like a good helping of humour in your federal politics, it doesnt get much better than 2012, the year of the boxing match, a naked painting of the prime minister and a top-secret operative called Pierre Poutine.
Saxophone vs. Violin, with Pedro Eustache and Sayaka Katsuki
(video, duration 2:44)
In the Land of Northern Lights (video, duration 4:28)
25 Hottest Urban Legends
This page compiles the 25 urban legends currently circulating most widely, as determined by frequency of access, user searches, reader e-mail, and media coverage.