To our members: By the end of February, and will be integrated into the Tamarack website at This is a more accessible platform, where you will easily find more engaging content and resources on poverty reduction and community change.

Questions? Send us a note at

Recent Publications

Provincial/Territorial Monitor

October 2015
Lots of activity this month.  Highlights: Newfoundland and Labrador - a focus on caregiving, Ontario announces its ten-year homelessness plan, Manitoba reports progress on its mental health strategy and Alberta's new NDP government tables its first Budget. Five provinces announce Minimum Wage increases: Newfoundland/Labrador, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.

Federal Policy Monitor

October 2015
A quiet month as we waited for the election outcome, but Statistics Canada reports included the results of a Canadian demographic study, the impact of mental illness on family members, outcomes of the Pan-Canadian Education Indicators program and details of youth labour force participation.

Provincial/Territorial Monitor

August 2015
August was an active policy month, particularly in Ontario and Manitoba.  Ontario's historic Political Accord with First Nations and a report from the province's Community Hub Frameword Advisory Group are highlights, as are disability announcements from Manitoba, Quebec and Ontario.  The long-awaited Saskatchewan Poverty Reduction Strategy took a step closer to its unveiling, with the presentation of the recommendations of the Advisory Group on Poverty Reduction.

Federal Policy Monitor

August 2015
August was quieter, policy-wise, as the election approaches.  Interesting postings from Statistics Canada and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

Calgary's Poverty Reduction Strategy

Enough for All
Vibrant Communities Calgary, the City of Calgary, the local United Way, and Momentum jointly created the city-wide Calgary Poverty Reduction Initiative in 2011 with the support of Mayor Naheed Nenshi. The management of the poverty reduction initiative is now based within Vibrant Communities Calgary, which houses the main poverty reduction documents: the strategy, the approach, the community engagement reports, and implementation plan. The Strategy sets out four main pillars: All Calgary communities are strong, supportive and inclusive Everyone in Calgary has the income and assets to thrive Everyone in Calgary can easily access the right supports, services and resources All Aboriginal people are equal participants in Calgary's prosperous future. The 3 key outcomes of the Strategy are: By 2023, 95% of all Calgarians live at or above the Low-Income Cut-Off Line. By 2023, 90% of all Calgarians live at or above 125% of Low-Income Cut-Off rates. By 2018, poverty reduction is considered a high priority by Calgarians The implementation plan is based on 5 strategies: Increase the understanding of poverty Do business differently Emphasizing community self-sufficiency Reduce the disparity of Aboriginal income and poverty Increase awareness about the urban Aboriginal experience Find the Strategy and relevant background documents attached below.

A Profile of Poverty in Edmonton

A Report for End Poverty Edmonton, the Mayor's Taskforce to Eliminate Poverty
The Edmonton Social Planning Council was commissioned to create a profile of poverty in Edmonton, AB that presents baseline data and trend analysis to inform the goals and activities of the municipality's End Poverty Edmonton initiative.  The goal of the initiative is to present a Poverty Elimination Strategy to city council by September 2015 and create a long-term 10-year implementation plan with the community. The report concludes that more investment and policy change is required from other levels of government.  However, it is important for the municipality to understand which investments will have the most impact.  Key themes from the report include: An increasingly expanding, diverse population experiencing income inequality  A strong economy but significant numbers of working poor households The highest rates of poverty occurring for children 6 years old and under Read the full report attached below

Getting to Impact: Planning for Poverty Reduction

With Thunder Bay, ON and Revelstoke, BC
August 2015's Getting to Impact: Planning for Poverty Reduction community of practice call hears from Bonnie Krysowaty of Thunder Bay's Lakehead Social Planning Council, and Jill Zachiarias of Revelstoke's Community Social Development Commitee.  Our poverty reduction representatives walk us through their cases for poverty reduction, the structure and process used to set up their collaborative initiatives, explain how they've established their priorities, the progress they've been making, and share some very insightful aha! moments.Our discussion period further explores establishing main priorities using a cost of living analysis, gaining buy-in from the municipality, inviting and sustaining partnerships with people of lived experience of poverty, and successes and unexpected challenges along the way.Watch the presentations and find related resources below.

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