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

Social Assistance Summaries 2014

The informative Social Assistance Statistics Report, published by the federal and provincial/territorial governments, was last released in 2010 and presented 2008 data.  In its place, the Caledon Institute will publish a Social Assistance Summaries series as part of its web-based Canada Social Report, which will be operational in spring 2015.  In the interim, this publication offers an advance viewing of 12 of Canada’s 13 provincial and territorial Social Assistance programs.  Material from Nunavut was not available in time to be included in this paper. A summary was prepared for each province and territory with input and feedback from government representatives in every jurisdiction.  All reports include program descriptions and data on the number of social assistance cases and recipients dating, in most jurisdictions, from 1997 to 2014.  The summaries will be updated annually.

Provincial/Territorial Monitor

February 2015
British Columbia released its 2015 Budget.  See highlights in this month's Monitor, as well as details of many new initiatives in Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.  Search previous issues on the Caledon website.

Federal Policy Monitor

February 2015
February brought cold weather and lots of announcements in the areas of caregiving, governance and income security.  Read and search older issues at Caledon's website.

January 2015

Caledon Institute Federal Policy Monitor
January's low oil prices and their impact on federal spending is the focus of a report by the Parliamentary Budget Officer.  Two other PBO reports - the Fiscal Monitor and the Expenditure Monitor - provide details of government revenues and expenditures.   Previous issues of the Federal Monitor (2013, 2014) are searchable on the Caledon website

January 2015

Caledon Institute Provincial/Territorial Policy Monitor
Given January's focus on mental health, it is perhaps not surprising that two provinces - New Brunswick and Ontario - announced measures to improve access to care.  This month's Monitor also features several disability programming measures announced by Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan and Yukon Territory. Provincial/Territorial Monitors are searchable by jurisdiction and subject area on the Caledon website. They ofer a very powerful way to review and compare progress on social policy initiatives across the country.

Poverty Costs 2.5: Investing in Albertans

A Blueprint for Reducing Poverty in Alberta
Action to End Poverty in Alberta and Vibrant Communities Calgary have jointly released the follow-up 2.5 report to the 2.0 version of Poverty Costs Alberta.The report contains an updated profile of poverty in Alberta, using LIM-AT measures, and includes 60+
 poverty reduction policy recommendations that best reflect the current state of the province's socioeconomic environment.What does poverty in Alberta look like?Despite being the richest Canadian province, Alberta also experiences the largest income gap, with the top 1% of earners taking home 18 times that of the bottom 90% Albertans in poverty are often employed or permanently outside of the workforce.  Those who are on social assistance are receiving rates far below current poverty measures.An annual minimum wage salary in Alberta brings a single individual almost $2,000 below the Low Income Measure-After Tax77% of low-income earners in Alberta are over 20 years, and over 50% of minimum wage earners work the equivalent of full-time hours.As of March 31, 2012 1,445 Albertans graduated from the Housing First program, finding stable, long-term housing.  However, there is still 5,300 households waiting on housing in Calgary and EdmontonHighlighted recommendations to end poverty in AlbertaIncreasing social assistance rates to within 10% of the poverty line for all types of familiesProviding monthly supplementary food allowanceIncreasing asset exemptions Providing free public transportation and recreation to low-income householdsIncreasing the minimum wageEnsuring employees of all sectors receive at least a standard minimum wage.The creation of a provincial rent bank to act as an emergency fund for tenants at-risk of losing their housingFully-funded, universal, full-day kindergartenDeveloping a 'single point of entry' system for all income support programs to avoid inefficiencyWorking with financial institutions to limit the need for payday loan businesses and fringe lendersRead the full report and recommendations here

December 2014 Provincial/Territorial Policy Monitor

Caledon Institute social policy roundup
December saw lots of announcements from New Brunswick (including Throne Speech details) and Quebec (including Budget updates), and notable pieces from Saskatchewan (the appointment of a Poverty Reduction Advisory Group) and British Columbia (details of an innovation mental health facility).  

December 2014 Federal Policy Monitor

Caledon Institute social policy roundup
December's Federal Policy Monitor features several pieces related to mental health and corrections and mental health.  Look also for details of CPP and OAS rates.

L’itinérance au Québec: Premier portrait

The Health and Social Service Ministry of Quebec has just released the first comprehensive report on homelessness for the province.  The study is based on data from 41 homeless shelters across Quebec from 2012-13, including women and youth. View the report online.

November 2014 Provincial/Territorial Monitor

Monthly roundup of social-policy related announcements by the provinces and territories
Lots of activity reported in Ontario this month - Budget, Aboriginal Healing and Wellness, health, transportation and more.  The new Community Transportation Pilot Grant Program offers an innovative way to encourage community-based transportation solutions for seniors, youth, people with disabilities and others. Previous issues of this resource are available and searchable on the Caledon Institute website.