Recent Publications

Central Alberta Poverty Reduction Alliance-A Living Wage

The Central Alliance for Poverty Reduction in Alberta has calculated their living wage for singles, couple families with two children, and single parents with one child, for both the City of Red Deer and major Central Alberta communities, respecting local realities.  The summary reports break down the calculations for each demographic, while the full report gives an overview of Central Alberta's population, income and employment levels, and family expenditures by category. The calculations reveal that couple families with two children require the highest wage in every community but Red Deer, and that in the City, it is single adults with one child who require the highest wages.  Wages for single adults were also higher in the rural communities due to housing prices and their inability to rely on public transportation. Policy Recommendations include: Employers to consider how paying a living wage will positively impact their businesses and employees School systems using the living wage reports to teach the cost of living to students Residents to consider the information in these reports when determining a community to live and work in. Click on the links below to read more about the living wage calculations in Red Deer and Central Alberta.

The Cost of Food Security to the Health Care System

A new research study
A new study from the University of Toronto's Department of Nutritional Sciences has found that people in Ontario who struggle with food insecurity- a symptom of financial difficulties- incur greater health care costs for themselves and the public system; up to twice as much as those who are food secure. Find the scope of food insecure Canadians and research correlations in the research article attached from the Canadian Medical Association Journal.


An Environmental Scan of Programs and Services Serving Aboriginal People in Saskatoon
This publication from 2013-2014 includes a scan of programs and services that exist in Saskatoon to serve Aboriginal people, and programs/services often used by Aboriginal people. The report's findings begin with statistics that show the age of Aboriginal people is much younger than the average, that homelessness disproportionately affects Aboriginal populations, as well as higher unemployment rates.  The scan reports that there are over 1,000 services and programs for Aboriginal people in Saskatoon, and sums up the top 5 popular resources that are accessed by Saskatoon's aboriginal people by category (services for individuals, families, communities, religious resources, resources for children, elders, etc.). The report's recommendations include: Better efforts to address Aboriginal employment and building cultural competencies within organizations An Aboriginal-led housing initiative  Tailored voting information More programs and services for Aboriginal Elders and seniors

We are All Disabled

Commentary on the changing (dis)ability of Canadians
Disability is an impairment in mental, neurological, motor, sensory or expressive function. The impairment often has an effect on movement, communication or thought.” This commentary from the Caledon Institute of Social Policy tells us that over our lifetime, most Canadians will experience some sort of mental or physical disability, or have a family member experience it in thier lifetime.  Disability is now a likelihood rather than a possibility, and we need to change the way we think about and approach it.  We need to understand ability existing on a spectrum, and to reframe the conversation as 'diverse-ability' rather than 'disability'.  We need to rethink the design of homes, workplaces and communities, to enable us- our partners, parents, grandparents, friends and children- to participate in society. Download the full discussion below.

Poverty in Charlotte County Infographic

Created July 2015
Infographic Poverty Created by Vibrant Communities Charlotte County July 2015. Click here to download the high-resolution PDF version of this infographic.

Provincial/Territorial Monitor

June 2015
June was a blockbuster month for announcements about funding and programming for disabiliites.  BC is pledging to be the most progressive province in the country for people with disabilities, Saskatchewan releases a new disabililities strategy, Newfoundland and Labrador announces a new action plan to further the efforts of its existing strategy, and lots of other jurisdictions strengthen their commitments to improving accessibility.  Don't miss a new NB report: Together: The Impact of the New Brunswick 2009-2014 Economic and Social Inclusion Plan.  See and search this and older Federal and Provincial/Territorial Monitor editions on the newly-lauched Canada Social Report website.

Federal Policy Monitor

June 2015
With Parliament winding down for the summer, Statistics Canada is still busily producing lots of interesting reports, including Volunteering In Canada 2004-13, demographic, employment and family income summaries. See details and search older issues of the Federal and Provincial/Territorial Monitors at the new Canada Social Report site. 

Provincial/Territorial Monitor

April 2015
The April edition contains provincial and territorial Budget highlights from Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Manitoba and Yukon. Previous editions of the Provincial/Territorial Monitor are searchable on the Caledon site.

Caledon Institute Federal Policy Monitor

April 2015
April 2015 saw the release of the federal Budget, as well as a response paper written by Caledon's Ken Battle, Sherri Torjman and Michael Mendelson (see "The 2015 Deficit-of-Ideas Budget").  See also details of the Auditor General's Spring report and several papers released by the Parliamentary Budget Officer. Previous editions of the Federal Policy Monitor are searchable on the Caledon site.

The Economy is not Working for the Majority

Analysis about our economy tends to focus on indicators that have, at best, questionable relevance to a large proportion of our population. In other words, I suspect that those who are most vocal about the robustness of our economy are actually a minority of people who benefit the most from the economy. For access to more articles and white papers I have written, please visit Follow me on Twitter @mjholmgren