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Tag Archives: Alberta

Social assistance: Do higher benefit levels lead to higher caseloads?

As part of my PhD thesis, I did some statistical analysis in which I asked the question: “Do higher social assistance benefit levels lead to higher caseloads?” I have recently updated the data and had it published in a journal. Here’s a short summary of the journal article’s main findings. Nick Falvo is a Calgary-based research consultant with a PhD in Public Policy. He has academic affiliation at both Carleton University and Case Western Reserve University, and is...

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the 2020-21 Alberta budget

Thank you, as always for your succinct and cogent analysis. Consider that increased taxation to support provincial government spending, while entirely justified, is essentially a shift in spending, not an increase, and its stimulative effect will be small. Particularly with the collapse of oil revenues, Alberta must receive substantial federal support. The federal gov’t which owns a central bank with sovereign currency has the fiscal capacity to fight long wars, bail out the whole...

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Cost savings associated with Housing First

I’ve written a summary of a recent study I co-authored on savings to the health and justice sectors associated with Housing First (i.e., the immediate provision of subsidized housing, along with social work support, to persons experiencing long-term homelessness). The study, based on a large sample size from Calgary, finds that every $1 spent on Housing First is associated with more than $2 of savings to the public system (i.e., the health and justice sectors). The...

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income support for low-income households in Alberta

Next week, Jason Kenney’s UCP government will table its second budget. With that in mind, I’ve written a blog post titled “Ten things to know about income support for low-income households in Alberta.” Points raised in the blog post include the following: -Low income is associated with lower food expenditures, including fewer purchases of milk, fruits and vegetables. -Lone-parent families in Alberta experience very high rates of poverty. -Child poverty dropped...

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Ten things to know about subsidized rental housing in Alberta

In anticipation of next week’s Alberta budget, I’ve written a ‘top 10’ overview of subsidized rental housing in the province. Points raised in the blog post in include the following: -On a per capita basis, Alberta has far fewer subsidized housing units than the rest of Canada. -In 2017, BC’s provincial government funded more than 15 times as many housing units than Alberta, despite having a roughly similar overall population, and despite Alberta having an NDP...

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Ten things to know about the 2019-20 Alberta budget

I’ve just written a ‘top 10’ overview of the recent Alberta budget. Points raised in the post include the following: -The budget lays out a four-year strategy of spending cuts, letting population growth and inflation do much of the heavy lifting. -After one accounts for both population growth and inflation, annual provincial spending in Alberta by 2022 is projected to be 16.2% lower than it was last year. -Alberta remains Canada’s lowest-taxed province. It also...

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Ten things to know about poverty measurement in Canada

I’ve written a blog post providing an overview of poverty measurement in Canada. Points raised in the post include the following: -One’s choice of poverty measure has a major impact on whether poverty is seen to be increasing or decreasing over time. -Canada’s federal government recently chose the make the Market Basket Measure (MBM) its official poverty measure. -According to the MBM, Canada has seen a major decrease in poverty over the past decade. -Also...

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The use of homeless shelters by Indigenous peoples in Canada

I’ve written a blog post about the use of homeless shelters by Indigenous peoples in Canada. The post is inspired by recently-accessed, internal analysis done by staff at Employment and Social Development Canada. One point raised in the blog post is that there is no clear indication from the presentation of the analysis that Indigenous peoples or groups were engaged in any way in the analysis (aside from the fact that their data was used). Another is that Toronto had to be omitted from...

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My review of Eric Weissman’s book on intentional homeless communities

I’ve just reviewed Eric Weissman’s book on intentional homeless communities. Points made in the review include the following: -Intentional communities in general are communities built around specific goals. But in the case of this book, I mean small communities of housing sometimes made from discarded, donated and recycled material, and sometimes purpose-built, to address homelessness. -Intentional communities are not the same thing as tent cities or tiny home communities. The former...

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Alberta must find alternatives to cutting social spending

I have an opinion piece in today’s Edmonton Journal about Alberta’s current fiscal situation. Points raised in the blog post include the following: -The Jason Kenney government will almost certainly announce cuts to social spending in the near future. -Yet, more than 80% of Alberta’s kindergarten through Grade 3 classes currently exceed the provincial government’s own class-size targets. -Tuition fees as a share of university operating revenue have roughly tripled in Alberta...

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