Recent Publications

Social inclusion/exclusion: Parents and grandparents participating in community development in rural Alberta.

Dissertation
This critical ethnographic research explored the experiences of parents and grandparents participating with young children in a Family Centre in rural Alberta. Inclusion and exclusion were explored at multiple levels, following 10+ years of intersectoral collaboration and community-based efforts to address child poverty and social inclusion/exclusion in one community. This study provided support for an Integrated Framework for Social Justice (Yanicki, Kushner & Reutter, 2015) as a multilevel approach to enable all families (including low-income and Aboriginal families) to participate in community life.  Full reference: Yanicki, S. M. (2016). Social inclusion/exclusion: Parents and grandparents participating in community development in rural Alberta. (PhD Dissertation). University of Alberta. Edmonton, Canada. Spring. Retrieved from: https://era.library.ualberta.ca/files/crn301137q#.V2rFM032bct

Social inclusion/exclusion as matters of social justice: A call for nursing action

This theoretical article provides an Integrated Framework for Social Justice which incorporates multilevel actions to address social inclusion/exclusion as a matter of social justice. While this framework has been applied to nursing, this article will also be of interest to community developers and those seeking to collaborate to reduce poverty, address stigma and racism, and create inclusive communities. Full reference: Yanicki, S. M., Kushner, K. Reutter, L. (2015). Social inclusion/exclusion as matters of social justice: A call for nursing action. Nursing Inquiry. 22(2) 121-133. DOI: 10.1111/nin.12076. 

Case Study: Halton Poverty Roundtable

Located in southern Ontario and part of the Greater Toronto Area, Halton Region is known as an affluent community and desirable place to live. However, poverty in the area is significant, growing and largely hidden. Historically, an understanding of poverty and the lives of those who live in poverty in Halton has been limited. It was not until 2011 that the community coalesced around a coherent strategy led by the Halton Poverty Roundtable (HPRT) to combat systemic poverty, and while challenges remain, the community moves forward today with a deepening commitment and greater degree of collaboration.

Child Benefit Enhancements Making a Difference for Low Income Families

A report prepared by John Kolkman for the Edmonton Social Planning Council
New and Enhanced Child Benefits Are Poverty Game Changers Years of advocacy by many organizations at both the national and provincial levels finally resulted in meaningful change in 2016. Effective July 1, 2016, a new Alberta Child Benefit (ACB) was introduced by the provincial government, and an existing suite of poorly targeted federal child benefits was replaced with a new Canada Child Benefit (CCB). As a result of the child benefit changes, an Alberta family with two children making $30,000 annually will receive $4,300 more per year from the federal and provincial governments. These enhancements to child benefits will make the biggest di erence ever in reducing child poverty. The implementation of a new Alberta Child Benefit, and increases in federal child benefits, both on July 1, 2016, are child poverty game changers. These new benefits go some distance toward guaranteeing a basic income to all Alberta families with children. Download the Report   This report was prepared by John Kolkman and published by the Edmonton Social Planning Council. Learn more about initiatives led by the Edmonton Social Planning Council by visiting their website.

Ontario Needs a Raise: Who Benefits from a $15 Minimum Wage?

A paper examining who will benefit from Ontario's upcoming minimum wage increase
Ontario has committed to raise its minimum wage to $14 on January 1, 2018 then to $15 on January 1, 2019. It will be the second province to reach the $15 an hour threshold; Alberta’s will arrive three months earlier on October 1, 2018. With each increase in the provincial minimum wage, business groups regularly predict dire impacts, which fail to materialize. Recent empirical analysis  nds that potential job losses as a result of minimum wage increases remain very small and occur mostly for teenagers, who make up an increasingly small proportion of low-wage earners. The actual experience of minimum wage increases generally results in lower employee turnover, as it reduces the incentive for firms to operate a low-wage, high-turnover model. Because it increases wages for low-wage workers, a higher minimum wage can be an important tool in combating income inequality. This paper does not focus on the employment rate impact of a higher minimum wage in Ontario. Rather, it seeks to identify who would benefit most from such a change. Who would get a raise?   Read the Paper Authored by: David MacDonald
Published by: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives Ontario Office, July 2017

Cities Connect - July 2017

In July's edition of Cities Connect, you will find resources for meaningfully including people with lived experience in poverty reduction work, recommendations from Vibrant Communities Canada and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities on how we must end poverty together, a new tool for developing collective impact strategies, an overview of how we measure poverty in Canada, and more.  Meaningfully Engaging Context Experts - How we move away from tokenistic engagement towards meaningfully engaging various sectors around the table.  Guides for Engaging People with Lived Experience - Three resources from Cities Reducing Poverty members, on meaningfully including people with lived experience at the poverty reduction roundtable.  12 Things that Must Happen in a Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy - FCM starts with affordable housing as the foundation for strong communities and the key to poverty reduction. New event announcements ... and more! Access this month's Cities Connect here  Not yet receiving our monthly newsletter? Stay connected with our members by subscribing here

4 Toolkits to Help Your Neighbourhood Strategy off the Ground

By: Deepening Communities
In this resource, you will find 4 tool kits from various neighbourhood strategies across Canada. 
Thomas Homer Dixon

The Cost Of Poverty In Toronto

2016 Report
This report was originally published on the Toronto Social Planning Council website by Alexa Briggs, Celia Lee, and John Stapleton on Novemebr 28, 2016 and is re-posted here with permission. This report estimates the price of inaction. Regardless of the strategy used to address poverty, it asks, “What does it cost us to allow poverty to persist in Toronto?” It estimates how much more we may be spending in the health care and justice systems simply because poverty exists, and how much we lose in tax revenue, simply because poverty exists. This preliminary analysis conservatively estimates that the overall cost of poverty in Toronto ranges from $4.4 to $5.5 billion per year. This estimate is largely comparable, with the exception of intergenerational costs, with estimates of the cost of poverty in Ontario at $32 to $38 billion and for Canada at $72 to $85 billion. There is no definitive measure of the full economic impact of poverty. However there is a body of work in Canada that provides estimates of the cost of poverty in the key areas of health and justice. These estimates also measure in dollars the lost economic opportunity for current and future generations who live in poverty. Until now, these estimates have been national and provincial. With this report, Toronto leads the way in estimating the cost of poverty for a Canadian city. It would be far too simple to say that a large investment in eradicating poverty would result in saving governments and taxpayers five or six billion dollars a year. Nevertheless, this exercise provides an estimate of the scale of lost opportunity – the opportunity to spend limited funds differently, with more productive results. Success metrics in poverty reduction tend to focus on social returns, to the exclusion of monetary ones. It is true that dollar impacts are challenging and sometimes unpopular to quantify. Yet when return on investment is unaccounted for in dollar values, decision -makers are left with only one side of the balance sheet to consider. Spending on poverty reduction is viewed as a “sunk” cost. Social and economic returns are both critical. City halls, provincial legislatures, and Canada’s parliament are guided by both their social purpose and their budgets. How we measure outcomes shapes budgetary allocations. While fiscal return is not the primary indicator of success in poverty reduction, it is useful to have a notion of potential gains when determining what we can afford to spend. Access the Report

Moncton Social Inclusion Plan

A Quality of Life for ALL Monctonians
It's a fact that social inclusion is an important determinant of health, and we all know that with barriers to such determinants, like experiencing social exclusion, people are more likely to experience poor health, physically, mentally, and spiritually. So I begin with the question of what is social inclusion? Social inclusion is your right to be useful, respected, accepted, and equal regardless of age, ability, gender, culture, or religion. Social Inclusion means we are all equal, we all have the same rights- to take responsiblity for our lives. On the other hand, social exclusion is the process whereby certain groups are pushed to the margins of society and prevented from participating fully by virtue of their poverty, low education or inadequate life skills. In our community, many individuals suffer with difficulty in Moncton and its surrounding area because basic needs are not being met. These individuals are typically of low socioeconomic status. Because individuals of low socioeconomic status are not given the same opportunities as their peers, they are often mislabeled and socially excluded from participation within our community. Many times, however, these individuals are simply not havinf their basiv needs met. Many of these individuals may be too worried about when their next meal is or where they are going to sleep that night to even worry about what they need to look like, what their role within the community is, or how to be motivated to achieve an improved quality of life. They are surviving, not living to their full potential. The City of Moncton's Social Inclusion Plan's vision that " All citizens of Moncton enjoy a great quality of life available in the city", along with our mission " The City of Moncton will work strategically with community and government partners to improve the quality of life of its most vulnerable citizens." Reflects itself within the goals, objectives and actions presented in our plan. Our social inclusion plan articulates around five elements, similar to the hierachy of needs coined by theorist and psychologist Abraham Maslow. Each pillar of our plan corresponds to our pyramid for social inclusion. There isn't necessarily an order of importance; however, we have determined which steps are the most inclusive and sustainable to deliver long term results. As Psychologist Abraham Maslow mentions, without the bottom layer of the hierachy met, individuals cannot reach the next level. Each level, once met, allows individuals the ability and motivation to keep moving forward, contribute, and be an active citizen within their community. It's clear that with safe, quality, and affordable housing, we have better opportunities for the other pillars identified, thus, in turn; we have better opportunities for quality of life and inclusion. Another important aspect of this plan is its components of inclusion and diversity, this is essential to the health of our citizens. This involves diversity in who are represented and included at all levels and the development of cultural competence ( the attitudes, knowledge, skills, behaviours and policies) required to meet the needs of our citizens. As a city, capacity-building must be inclusive, allowing a wide range of people- not just traditional community leaders- to participate in finding solutions and creating new initiatives. We all have important knowledge to contribute about the realities of our own lives and experiences. In addition to this, participation is necessary to the democratic process and to a health public system. A great city will recognize each individual's strengths and help them to excel in those areas providing them with a sense of worth. Inclusive city values diversity, promotes respect, equal treatment and opportunties. The work of building an inclusive city is not easy; results will not occur overnight. It takes time, patience, perseverance, and courage, because this work is about transforming attitudes, behaviours, and polivies. It requires strategies that operate at multiple levels, including the individual, group, and institutional levels. We continue to look forward to our ongoing work with the community in addressing the various objectives and goals, identified in our social inclusion plan. This plan has given our city the opportunieis to implement actions that can ensure everyone has a choice in order for them to progress to higher levels of development, achievement, and innocation. But most importantly a bette quality of life, for all. I encourage you all to view our Social Inclusion Plan @ https://www.moncton.ca/Assets/Residents+English/Social+Inclusion/Social+Inclusion+Plan_ENG.pdf  
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Moncton Social Inclusion Plan

A Quality of Life for ALL Monctonians
It's a fact that social inclusion is an important determinant of health, and we all know that with barriers to such determinants, like experiencing social exclusion, people are more likely to experience poor health, physically, mentally, and spiritually. So I begin with the question of what is social inclusion? Social inclusion is your right to be useful, respected, accepted, and equal regardless of age, ability, gender, culture, or religion. Social Inclusion means we are all equal, we all have the same rights- to take responsiblity for our lives. On the other hand, social exclusion is the process whereby certain groups are pushed to the margins of society and prevented from participating fully by virtue of their poverty, low education or inadequate life skills. In our community, many individuals suffer with difficulty in Moncton and its surrounding area because basic needs are not being met. These individuals are typically of low socioeconomic status. Because individuals of low socioeconomic status are not given the same opportunities as their peers, they are often mislabeled and socially excluded from participation within our community. Many times, however, these individuals are simply not havinf their basiv needs met. Many of these individuals may be too worried about when their next meal is or where they are going to sleep that night to even worry about what they need to look like, what their role within the community is, or how to be motivated to achieve an improved quality of life. They are surviving, not living to their full potential. The City of Moncton's Social Inclusion Plan's vision that " All citizens of Moncton enjoy a great quality of life available in the city", along with our mission " The City of Moncton will work strategically with community and government partners to improve the quality of life of its most vulnerable citizens." Reflects itself within the goals, objectives and actions presented in our plan. Our social inclusion plan articulates around five elements, similar to the hierachy of needs coined by theorist and psychologist Abraham Maslow. Each pillar of our plan corresponds to our pyramid for social inclusion. There isn't necessarily an order of importance; however, we have determined which steps are the most inclusive and sustainable to deliver long term results. As Psychologist Abraham Maslow mentions, without the bottom layer of the hierachy met, individuals cannot reach the next level. Each level, once met, allows individuals the ability and motivation to keep moving forward, contribute, and be an active citizen within their community. It's clear that with safe, quality, and affordable housing, we have better opportunities for the other pillars identified, thus, in turn; we have better opportunities for quality of life and inclusion. Another important aspect of this plan is its components of inclusion and diversity, this is essential to the health of our citizens. This involves diversity in who are represented and included at all levels and the development of cultural competence ( the attitudes, knowledge, skills, behaviours and policies) required to meet the needs of our citizens. As a city, capacity-building must be inclusive, allowing a wide range of people- not just traditional community leaders- to participate in finding solutions and creating new initiatives. We all have important knowledge to contribute about the realities of our own lives and experiences. In addition to this, participation is necessary to the democratic process and to a health public system. A great city will recognize each individual's strengths and help them to excel in those areas providing them with a sense of worth. Inclusive city values diversity, promotes respect, equal treatment and opportunties. The work of building an inclusive city is not easy; results will not occur overnight. It takes time, patience, perseverance, and courage, because this work is about transforming attitudes, behaviours, and polivies. It requires strategies that operate at multiple levels, including the individual, group, and institutional levels. We continue to look forward to our ongoing work with the community in addressing the various objectives and goals, identified in our social inclusion plan. This plan has given our city the opportunieis to implement actions that can ensure everyone has a choice in order for them to progress to higher levels of development, achievement, and innocation. But most importantly a bette quality of life, for all. I encourage you all to view our Social Inclusion Plan.