Book review: Understanding spatial media

I’ve just reviewed a new book about spatial media (and have written it from the vantage point of somebody working in Canada’s homelessness sector). One point raised in the blog post is the fact that the language used when enumerating persons experiencing homelessness has an impact on policy discussions. One point raised in the book itself is the fact that […]

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Monitoring Program Performance in Calgary’s Homeless-Serving System of Care

I’ve just written a blog post discussing how program performance is monitored in Calgary’s Homeless-Serving System of Care. Points raised in the blog post include the following: -The Calgary Homeless Foundation (CHF) is the System Planner for Calgary’s Homeless-Serving System of Care (full disclosure: I work as CHF’s Director of Research and Data). As System Planner, CHF disburses approximately $42 […]

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Ten things to know about social assistance in Canada

I’ve just written a blog post about social assistance in Canada. Points raised in the blog post include the following: -Social assistance has two contradictory objectives: 1) to give people enough money to live on; and 2) to not give people enough money to live on. -Very few immigrants receive social assistance (relative to the general population). -Several Canadian provinces […]

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Program Evaluation

I’ve just blogged about program evaluation and the way it’s used where I work—namely, at the Calgary Homeless Foundation (CHF). The blog post serves as a primer on program evaluation. It also discusses how CHF measures performance by programs that it funds (CHF disburses $42 million annually to programs in Calgary’s homeless-serving sector). The blog post can be found at […]

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Enumerating Homeless Persons

Over at the web site of the Calgary Homeless Foundation, I’ve written a blog post titled “Ten things to know about Canadian attempts to count homeless persons through Point-in-Time Counts.” Points I raise in the post include the following: -Efforts to enumerate homeless persons in Canada often have mixed objectives.  In part, an attempt is made to capture an accurate […]

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Rising Homelessness

In 2010, I wrote a blog post in which I suggested that: a) the recession of 2008-2009 would bring on increased homelessness; and b) there would be a lag effect of roughly three to five years.  Indeed, I suggested that it would not be until 2014 until the full effect of the recession is seen in terms of homeless numbers. […]

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Rex Murphy’s Naive Take on the Quebec Student Protests

On CBC’s The National last night, Rex Murphy weighed in on Quebec’s student protests; the transcript can be found here,  and the three-minute video here.  He calls the protests “short sighted,” points out that Quebec already has the lowest tuition fees in Canada, and suggests the students’ actions are “crude attempts at precipitating a crisis.” He says they are the “actions […]

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Social Statistics: Ignorance Is Bliss

Pretty soon asking even the most basic social policy questions will require huge amounts of investment in primary research. Regularly published statistical reports and summaries are disappearing by the minute. The elimination of the National Council of Welfare in the Budget means that we will no longer be getting Welfare Incomes, a more or less annual publication which allowed one […]

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The Affordability of Post-Secondary Education

Carleton University’s Ted Jackson teaches a graduate seminar course on post-secondary education in Carleton’s School of Public Policy and Administration. Earlier this month, I was invited to give a guest presentation to Professor Jackson’s class. I focused the presentation on affordability challenges faced by students wanting to pursue post-secondary education. My slide presentation can be found here. Nick FalvoNick Falvo […]

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Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Strategy

December marked the three-year anniversary of Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Strategy. While I believe there is much to celebrate, much remains to be done. The Strategy surprised a lot of observers, especially in light of the fact that it was announced in December 2008, just as Ontario was entering a recession.  Its focus was almost exclusively child poverty, and at full […]

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Canada Doesn’t Deserve the Silver

It has been widely reported in the Globe and elsewhere that Canada ranks #2 in the just-released OECD Better Life Index, outstripped only by Australia. I am all for measures of objective and subjective social well-being that go beyond GDP as a measure of progress, and this OECD report offers up some useful information. But providing grounds for national chest […]

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Homelessness in Canada’s North

I’m the main researcher on a three-year SSHRC-funded research project looking at homelessness and affordable housing in the Northwest Territories (NWT).  Frances Abele (Carleton University) is Principal Investigator on the project, and Arlene Haché (Yellowknife Women’s Society) is Co-Investigator.  The project falls under the larger umbrella of the Social Economy Research Network of Northern Canada. Though several larger papers will come out […]

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Social Assistance in Ontario

Two weeks ago, the report of a government-appointed panel on Ontario’s social assistance system was made public.  The report, entitled “Recommendations for an Ontario Income Security Review,” was written by the 11-member Ontario Social Assistance Review Advisory Council, which had been struck in December 2009 by the McGuinty government.  The Council had been asked to make recommendations on the “scope and terms of […]

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Economic Well-Being in Canada

I’m posting this CSLS media release since the two studies look well worth reading. They can be found at http://www.csls.ca/ CSLS Releases New Estimates of Index of Economic Well-being for Canada and OECD Countries Ottawa, December 3, 2009 – On September 14, 2009 French President Nicolas Sarkozy released the report of the Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and […]

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What’s Happening at HRSDC?

Here’s a conundrum. Diane Finley was appointed as Minister of Human Resources and SKILLS Development, though the Minister she replaces was the Minister of Human Resources and SOCIAL Development. If you go to the web site for the Department of Human Resources and SOCIAL Development, you’ll find that the Minister is the Minister of Human Resources and SKILLS Development. http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/en/corporate/ministers/index.shtml […]

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Indicators of Well-Being in Canada

I’m really impressed by this web resource launched by Human Resources and Social Development Canada. It provides indicators across several domains – income, work, health, learning etc. to a total of perhaps 80 in all – charts major national trends, disggregates many indicators by gender and (bravely for the federal government) by province, and provides international comparisons within the OECD […]

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