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Home Policy Articles: Children & Family: Standard of Living


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A Life-Course Approach to Social Policy Analysis: A Proposed Framework popular

This discussion paper provides a framework for social policy based on a hypothetical person ('Olivia') whose life experience are typical of many Canadians. This new framework would consist of social policy focused on individuals rather than groups of individuals. The paper explains that this required a recognition of social capital and its impacts on life, the realities of the market for different individuals and the importance of agencies that effect Canadian's lives. It is suggested that such a framework be used to inform social policy.

Assessing Family Policy in Canada: A New Deal for Families and Children popular

Lefebvre and Merrigan begin their report by pointing out that most children in Canada are emotionally, physically, and socially healthy, yet they suggest there are some disturbing trends relating to children in Canada. Recent reports have revealed that child abuse and neglect have increased, juvenile crime is rising, children are consuming more alcohol and drugs than previous generations, and suicide rates are rising.

Quality of Life of Aboriginal People in Canada: An Analysis of Current Research popular

Daniel Salée explores the current state of knowledge regarding the broad issues affecting Aboriginal people in Canada.

Assessing the CAPC/CPNP Joint Management Infrastructure as a Model for FPT Collaboration: Looking Back and Moving Forward

This report by David Hay, Brian Bell, Judi Varga-Toth, and Tatyaba Teplova aims to describe and review the federal/provincial/territorial joint management infrastructure (JMI) that oversees the Community Action Program for Children (CAPC) and the Canada Parental Nutrition Program (CPNP). The authors also seek to determine the broader potential of multi-level governance and how it may be used to advance the goals of the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC). The report includes an analysis of the strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities affecting the infrastructure of the CAPC and the CPNP as well as suggestions for new research and steps towards the most effective structure possible.

BC Solutions Budget 2006: Budgeting for Women's Equality

Despite a strong economy in British Columbia, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives argues that women have been largely excluded from its benefits.

Child Tax Deception: the Proposed Child Tax Deduction

Ken Battle considers the federal Conservative Party’s child tax deduction proposal to be “retrograde and regressive.”

Community Action in Saint John: Making a Difference in the Lives of Young People

The Business Community Anti-Poverty Initiative (BCAPI) in Saint John is a Vibrant Communities convenor agency concerned with the welfare of teenagers who are pregnant or have children. Anne Makhoul explains that BCAPI began in 1997 in response to the high rate of poverty in Saint John.

Family Values: Choosing a “Made in Canada” Family Policy

This article by Stephen Vail analyzes Canadian policy pertaining to the family in relation to that of seven other leading industrialized countries (the United States, Sweden, Norway, Germany, Australia, and Japan). Vail’s main conclusion is that “Canada can choose its own course in social policy – illustrated by its approach to supporting families with children, despite increased global and North American economic integration.” Though Canada’s federal and provincial governments have increased spending on family policies and considered it a greater priority, suggests Vail, additional evidence of “the effectiveness of publicly funded family programs will be needed to maintain or secure additional funding when governments are faced with competing public priorities.” In the article Vail cites early childhood learning and its later effects on graduation rates as an example of family policy.

Poverty Profile 2001

This in-depth report examines poverty as it existed in Canada in 2001. The report provides information on poverty trends, the depth and persistence of poverty in Canada, and what contributes to poverty. Also, the report examines how work, education, area of residence, and income inequality affect poverty rates.

Quality of Life in Canada: A Citizen’s Report Card

This report, authored by Sandra Zagon, attempts to identify the standards Canadians associate with quality of life to then evaluate how Canada measures up to this standard. Following numerous dialogue sessions with Canadians “from all walks of life” Zagon identified 40 indicators of quality of life, which she has grouped under 9 main themes. These include health, democratic rights and participation, education and the environment. It is difficult, Zagon argues, to generally state whether Canada has made progress in the last ten years in regards to quality of life; certain indicators show progress, some are stagnant, and others have deteriorated. Still, the study identifies several data gaps which need to be addressed prior to any declaration on progress or regression of quality of life.

Quebec’s Relative Poverty

In this economic note, Norma Kozhaya discusses Quebec’s relative poverty compared to other Canadian provinces and US states.

Quebec’s Tax and Regulatory Burden

Newly elected Premier Jean Charest stated that his government must lower taxes because the current load is hindering Quebec’s development. In this Economic Note the authors assess the size of the province’s tax burden and present a clear picture of the challenge awaiting the new government.

Supporting Communities Partnership Initiative: What We Heard

In December 1999 the federal government created the National Homelessness Initiative (NHI), a $753 million program aimed at helping communities confront the problem of homelessness in Canada. The cornerstone of the NHI is the Supporting Communities Partnership Initiative (SCPI), designed to provide targeted funding to community organizations to help them alleviate homelessness at the local level.

The Great Social Transformation: Implications for the Social Role of Government in Ontario

This paper was commissioned in the Spring of 2002 by the Panel on the Role of Government, chaired by Ron Daniels of the University of Toronto Law School. It provides a broad survey of the way in which the patterns of family, work, and community life, for the people of Ontario, have been transformed in recent decades. Author Judith Maxwell argues that social policy principles developed in the 1960s and 1970s no longer provide adequately for the needs of Ontario citizens. She argues, however, that new ideas have begun to emerge.

The Living Wage Learning Initiative

As Anne Makhoul explains, Vibrant Communities established a pan-Canadian Living Wage Learning Initiative, which consisted of a series of tele-learning seminars in 2004-05. This Initiative examined lessons from the US movement and how they could be applied in Canada.

The Well-being of Children: Are There “Neighbourhood Effects”?

In this report, Beauvais and Jenson explore the idea that the area in which children live has an impact on their developmental outcomes. They point out that current research suggests that a child’s individual circumstances are not solely accountable for his/her developmental achievement and life successes; neighbourhoods, in terms of their composition and condition, also have an impact. Beauvais and Jenson seek to provide more concise information about the relationship between neighbourhoods and child outcomes.

Where to Work in Canada? An Examination of Regional Differences in Work Life Practices

This publication is a full-length research report from the CPRN. In this paper, the authors address the issue of work-life balance. Using data from a 2001 work-life survey, the authors create a “report card” on work-life and employment practices for each of the five regions of Canada: BC, the Prairies, Ontario, Quebec, and the Maritimes. An important objective of this paper is to help employees determine where they want to live and work in Canada.

Youth Realizing Their Unlimited Potential – Destination: UP

Although they typically have little input in their choice of care, Anne Makhoul explains how youth in care fare better when they have a choice.