Population Change and Lifecourse

2012 Archives - Cluster members in the media

July - September

Summer 2012 - Transition
2012 Mirabelli-Glossop Award for Distinguished Contribution

"This year’s recipients, Dr. Janet Fast from the University of Alberta and Dr. Donna Lero, from the University of Guelph are awarded this distinction for their sustained contributions over the years as authors, members, and donors, and for their outstanding leadership on the current Caregiving & Work Project: a collaboration between the Universities of Guelph and Alberta, as well as the Université du Quebec á Montreal and the Vanier Institute. Through a series of interviews, roundtable discussions, and a national survey of senior HR executives, the Caregiving & Work Project is engaging employers and managers across private, public, and nonprofit/ voluntary sectors to identify best workplace practices and support further innovations that will benefit employers, colleagues/coworkers, customers/clients, employed caregivers and their families and the community. ..."

September 19 , 2012 - Global News
Meet the boomerang kids: 40% of young adults living with their parents

By: Rebecca Lindell and Leslie Young

"...Just over 40 per cent of adults aged 20 to 29-years-old live with their parents—a number that has held steady over the past ten years, according to newly released Statistics Canada data on families and dwellings from the 2011 census. Still, the number is well above the 32 per cent reported in 1991 and the 27 per cent in 1981. ... Among the reasons listed by Statistics Canada for the spike are cultural differences, longer schooling, older marriage ages, cost of housing and unemployment. But the economy tops the list of reasons why young Canadians delay leaving nest, according to Barbara Mitchell, a professor of sociology at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, B.C. “The labour market has not been that kind to young people,” Mitchell said. ... Adult children are more likely to live at home at the beginning of their 20s, with 59 per cent choosing to stay with mom and dad. As 30 inches closer, the number of children living at home drops to a quarter. Demographer Kevin McQuillan said the number sheds light on how much family has stepped up to help each other – an enduring characteristic of families themselves. “For all of the changes we’ve seen and they have been profound in terms of family arrangements, for a tremendous amount of people in our society there is this sense that if I get in a tough spot, I look to my family for support,” said the University of Calgary professor."

September 19 , 2012 - the star.com
Census finds more than 40% of young adults living with their parents

By: Steve Rennie

"...Canada’s nests aren’t quite as empty as they’re supposed to be, data from the 2011 census shows. Some 42.3 per cent of young adults aged 20-29 are living with their parents, down slightly from 42.5 per cent in 2006 — but still well above the level of 26.9 per cent in 1981. ..."Social attitudes toward young adults living with their parents are changing dramatically", said Rod Beaujot, a demography professor at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ont. “There’s the greater acceptability of living with parents when you’re older — on the part of the parents, on the part of young people,” Beaujot said. “In the past, parents — when their children were at home or when they could control them — living at home was quite constraining on children, because they had to live under their parents’ supervision. I think parents are much more open to children having their own life, including of course their own love lives, even if they’re living at home.” "

September 19 , 2012 - The Globe and Mail
Daily grind of blended families a growing challenge: census

By: Michelle McQuigge

"...Stepfamilies, counted in the census for the first time in 2011, comprised 12.6 per cent of Canada’s 3.7 million families with children, the agency reported. Those families are home to nearly 558,000 children aged 14 and under, about 10 per cent of all those living in a private household. ...The numbers reflect one of the most significant shifts in Canada’s population in the past 40 years, said Roderic Beaujot, a family demographer at Western University in London, Ont. The stereotypical “Brady Bunch” family unit began evolving as early as the 1970s, Mr. Beaujot said. New laws, such as the Divorce Act in 1968, loosened societal restrictions on the family unit and how relationships and child-rearing ought to evolve. “We have more diversity of relationships, including an orientation that it’s good to have diverse potential relationships over the life course,” Mr. Beaujot said. “People can make their own choices in this regard.”"

September 19 , 2012 - The National Post
The rise of the single dad and 10 other takeaways from the Census’ family and households figures

By: Sarah Boesveld

"...Since the 2006 Census, the rate of common-law climbed 13.9%, while marriages increased by only 3.1%. Common-law has seen a rise across generations, said Susan McDaniel, the Canada Research Chair in Global Population and Life Course based at the University of Lethbridge. “Now a lot of people are seeing common-law as a permanent relationship,” she said. “You have children, you have grandchildren, you continue on your life common-law.” Common-law families also inched past single-families to become the second-most common family arrangement, accounting for 16.7% of the census family pie compared to 16.3% attributed to single parents. “For a lot of young people…they don’t necessarily see the need for a piece of paper to legitimize their relationship,” said Barbara Mitchell, a professor of sociology and gerontology at Simon Fraser University. “I think that’s partly why we’re seeing a bit of an erosion in legal marriage.” ...While eight in 10 lone-family households are headed up by women, the growth in single-households led by males was more than twice as strong between 2006 and 2011. ... “I think we still see that group as an anomaly,” said Janice Keefe, professor of family studies and gerontology at Mount St. Vincent University. “It’s not a huge proportion, but it’s moving up to 3.5% [of all census families].” Women, by comparison, account for 13% overall. "

September 10 , 2012 - Calgary Herald
Calgary agencies call for return of long-form census

By: Jason Van Rassel

"... A leading demographer from the University of Lethbridge is among the voices urging Statistics Canada to reinstate the long-form census in time for 2016, but the federal government so far has no plans to do so. "A census is a major undertaking and you really have to gear up. It's a huge effort," said Susan McDaniel, a researcher and director of the Prentice Institute for Global Population and Economy at the University of Lethbridge."The sooner the decision is made, the better." Prior to the 2011 count, the federal Conservative government decided to eliminate the long-form census, a supplementary survey sent to 20 per cent of households that was mandatory for recipients to complete. Its replacement, called the National Household Survey, went to 30 per cent of house-holds and contained many of the same detailed questions about housing, employment, income and education - but it was voluntary. StatsCan said only 69.3 per cent of recipients responded to the NHS, much lower than the 93.5 per cent response rate for the last mandatory long-form census in 2006. "There are all kinds of issues with this missing data," McDaniel said. ..."

September 18 , 2012 - The Globe and Mail
Census will offer a glimpse into Canada’s changing family structure

By: John Ibbitson

" How many Mom and Dad and the kids are there? And how many Mom and Dad and the kids from one marriage, the kids from the other marriage, and their own kids as well? How many Mom and Mom and the kids can be found across the land, or Dad and the kid, or Mom and Dad and the kids and the grandparents? And what is in between? ... Statscan has measured such exotic creations as “skip-generation families,” “complex step families” and other alternatives to “the traditional, or what you might now call archaic” family – as Janice Keefe of Mount St. Vincent University in Halifax puts it – that make up the social fabric of contemporary Canada. ..."

September 7 , 2012 - Radio-Canada.ca
Social Participation in Canada

Stéphanie Gaudet, Sociology professor at the University of Ottawa, was interviewed in Le monde selon Matthieu: Les chercheurs regarding her study, “La participation sociale des Canadiens : une analyse selon l’approche des parcours de vie” published in Canadian Public Policy Journal.

August 22, 2012 - University Affairs/Affaires universitaires
Marsden pens book on women’s fight for equality in Canada

By: Harriet Eisenkraft

Former York president still active in academe

"Lorna Marsden could have rested on her many laurels when she finished a 10-year term as president of York University in 2007. Instead, she went back into the classroom and got busy writing a book on social change, which is one of her main interests, both academically and as an activist. With decades of scholarly and administrative work at several postsecondary institutions, including presidencies of two universities, and an Order of Canada among her myriad awards, the sociologist and former senator (yes, that too, appointed by Pierre Trudeau) says she was inspired by the needs of her “very bright students” to provide context on the subject of feminism. The result: Canadian Women and the Struggle for Equality (Oxford University Press), released this past May. “This is not a book of history, [it’s] about how the forces that emerged from our history affect the social dilemmas faced by equality seekers,” says Dr. Marsden. ..."

April - June

June 28, 2012 - NPR
Common-Law Marriage Suit Could Alter Canadian Law

By: Sarah Harris

"A Canadian Supreme Court case has the potential to change marriage across the country. In the province of Quebec, partners in a common-law marriage have no legal obligation to support each other if they separate. But that law's validity came into question when the long time de-facto spouse of a Canadian billionaire demanded alimony payments. ...Benoît Laplante, a demographer and sociologist at the University of Quebec in Montreal, says common-law partners use existing legal structures like deeds and wills to give them protection the law doesn't provide. "There is a strong support in Quebec, not always very conscious, but for a kind of set of rules in which having a relationship with someone is not creating a dependency or a liability" said Laplante. ... "

June 15 , 2012 - National Post
Fathers more deeply engaged in child-rearing amid a mini baby boom

By: Sarah Boesveld

"... There is a major demographic explanation for this: Far more Canadians of childbearing age now, arriving at a time in their lives when starting a family makes sense. But other, more social reasons, have a big impact, Mr. Beaujot and others point out, and the recent rise of the deeply involved father has changed the way this generation of couples approach parenting and even the decision to start a family. “We’ve moved away from the time when it was sort of left up to the woman who was going to decide [on having children] because it was her life that was going to change and his wouldn’t,” said Gillian Ranson, a professor of sociology at the University of Calgary... Ms. Ranson’s research, and the work of others, has found mothers’ employment experience to be one of the biggest factors accounting for greater paternity-leave uptake on the part of fathers. ...According to Susan McDaniel, the Canada Research Chair in Global Population and Life Course based at the University of Lethbridge, the “intensity of parenting has increased dramatically,” in some ways make the decision to have children all the more complicated. “There are much greater expectations of investment in that child, right from the word go, making sure you’ve got the right Mozart playing before the kid’s born, you’ve got to put them in all the right schools,” she said. ..."

June 4 , 2012 - University Affairs
Long-form census remains hot topic for Canadian researchers - Panel at Congress argues for a broader mandatory census in 2016

By: Rosanna Tamburri

"On the same day that national media were parsing newly released data from the 2011 census, a panel of researchers at this year’s Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences renewed their call for a return of the mandatory long-form census. “Why do we still need a census? Let me count the ways,” said Susan McDaniel, Canada Research Chair in Global Population and Life Course and a sociology professor at the University of Lethbridge. Dr. McDaniel called into question the data collected from the 2011 voluntary household survey because of the survey’s low response rate. ..."

"But panelist Rod Beaujot, sociology professor at Western University, said privacy concerns shouldn’t be ignored. In addition to the 30 percent of households that declined to respond to the voluntary survey, 17.6 percent of Canadians declined to give the government authority to make their personal information public 92 years after its collection (by checking a box on the 2011 census form), said Dr. Beaujot; 18.4 percent were unwilling to give the agency permission to collect their income data from Revenue Canada. “The privacy concerns are real, and we need both better data on this very question and better discussion of the matter with the public and political leaders,” he said ...."

May 29, 2012 - The Globe and Mail
Canada needs to improve care for seniors as life expectancy soars

By: Carys Mills

"There were 5,825 Canadians aged 100 or older last year, a population on the rise and one that’s expected to grow even more into the next decades as life expectancy continues to soar. Ten years before, 3,795 Canadians made up the centenarian population. There could be close to 80,000 by 2061, according to population projections released Tuesday by Statistics Canada, along with data from the 2011 census. “People are living longer and living longer free of disability, until very late in their life,” said Andrew Wister, the chair of gerontology at Simon Fraser University, who pegs the increase to health-care improvements and more health-conscious lifestyles. ... "

May 27, 2012 - The Globe and Mail
Canada's demographic 'golden age' coming to an end

By: Joe Friesen

"... But the release of new 2011 census numbers this week will show that the period of “peak people” is about to end. Canada’s demographics are at an inflection point, as the number of people of retirement age begins to grow at a faster rate than any other group in the next few years. This country is still in much better demographic shape than nearly any other in the G8, with only about 14 per cent of its population over 65, compared with more than 20 per cent in Japan, Germany and Italy. And with nearly 70 per cent in the working ages of 15 to 64, Canada ranks ahead of all of those nations except Russia. But much of its current advantage is explained by the relatively large size of the baby boom in Canada, according to Western University demographer Rod Beaujot. That advantage is about to erode. As the baby boom retires, the ratio of the employed to the not-employed will fall, possibly for a very long time. “It’s inconceivable that in the future we will see anything but a decline in employment rates,” said Prof. Beaujot. ... "

May 25, 2012 - Financial Post
This nest is feathered with cash

By: Julia Johnson

". . . On top of the added grocery and utility costs of having another person in the dwelling, parents are chipping in with the children’s cell-phone bills, car expenses, and debt, according to Barbara Mitchell, a professor of sociology and gerontology at Vancouver’s Simon Fraser University. “Especially with middle-class type parents, there is sort of this mentality that to be a good parent you need to care for every need of your child,” Ms. Mitchell said. Ms. Mitchell conducted a recent study of roughly 500 families in the Vancouver area who had children aged 18-35 living at home. Eighty-five per cent were living at home for economic reasons and one quarter of those were in “dire” debt situations, Ms. Mitchell said, with which parents feel obligated to help. It is also a characteristic of the boomer generation to feel the need to keep up with their neighbours, said Ms. Mitchell. “We are raising children within a society, whereby there are certain standards that we see in other families that everyone is trying to keep up with the Jones’ kind of thing.” The willingness to continue support can come at personal financial cost. ... "

May 17, 2012 - CTV News
Minorities now majority in U.S.

" Rod Beaujot, sociology professor from Western University, discusses the results from the 2011 U.S. census that showed racial and ethnic minorities make up more than half of all children born in America, and discusses how these numbers compare to those in Canada."

May 8, 2012 - The Globe and Mail
Kids really are bundles of joy

By:Zosia Bielski

" Sleep deprived and miserable in their marriages – that’s what many of the voluntarily childless see as the parent’s lot. But they may be off the mark, according to two new studies that suggest parents may be happier than their childfree counterparts today. ... “We find no evidence that parental well-being decreases after a child is born to levels preceding the children, but we find strong evidence that well-being is elevated when people are planning and waiting for the child, and in the year when the child is born,” note the study authors. The European study, which was co-authored by Rachel Margolis of the University of Western Ontario, also suggests that age shapes the experience, with younger parents suffering a "downward happiness trend." Postponing parenthood was correlated with more bliss after the birth -- although the study authors insist they aren't encouraging women to wait to "very high ages" to have their first child. ..."

11 avril 2012 - 24 H Montréal
De plus en plus de parents nés à l'étranger (French Only)

By: Jean-François Villeneuve

"Il n'y a jamais eu autant d'enfants nés au Québec de parents provenant tous deux de l'étranger, selon des données publiées mardi par l'Institut de la statistique du Québec (ISQ), dans son bulletin Coup d'œil sociodémographique. ...Si on tient compte de Montréal seulement, plus de la moitié des nouveaux-nés sont désormais issus de mères immigrantes, selon les plus récentes données disponibles auprès de l'ISQ à ce sujet (2009). Une situation qui ne surprend pas Benoît Laplante, professeur au Centre Urbanisation Culture Société de l'Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS). «Au Canada, les immigrants s'installent généralement dans les grandes villes, dit-il. On essaie d'attirer les immigrants qui ont une formation postsecondaire et la plupart des emplois spécialisés se trouvent dans les grands centres urbains ». La concentration d'immigrants déjà présents dans ces villes incite aussi les nouveaux arrivants à s'y installer, selon M. Laplante. Rappelons que 28 % des Montréalais seraient nés hors du Canada, d'après le ministère de l'Immigration du Québec. ..."

April 6 , 2012 - The Globe and Mail
The rise of the Jesus Year

By: Chris Koentges and Shelley Youngblut

"... So, what exactly is a Jesus Year? The term cropped up periodically on early blogs and Myspace pages, but only now appears to be gaining traction among those trying to make the increasingly difficult transition from adolescence to adulthood. ... A recent study by British social-networking site Friends United asserts that the year is the happiest time of our lives. ... This interpretation doesn't, however, take into account the frustrations faced by today's thirtysomethings. “The basic milestones that young people of previous generations could expect to complete by the age of 30 – graduating school, leaving home, becoming financial independent and forming their own families – aren't necessarily occurring in that standard fashion,” says Barbara Mitchell, who teaches sociology at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. ... According to Prof. Mitchell, the Jesus Year phenomenon demonstrates how so-called emerging adults are trying to connect their own experience to something transcendental and more profound than mundane daily life. “They are trying to anchor themselves in something bigger than themselves.” So, the Jesus Year has become a meme for dealing with, not a mid-life crisis but rather a stalled-life crisis. ..."

April 3 , 2012 - NUGGET
Budget necessitates policy changes for older Canadian workforce

"Changes to Canada’s Old Age Security Pensions (OAS) announced in the 2012 Federal Budget, combined with the country’s aging population and recent economic uncertainty, make the need for key policies on ageism in the workforce a national priority, says Nipissing University Sociology professor Dr. Ellie Berger, who has just published a new policy brief.... “While the government feels that these changes are necessary to offset the financial needs of the baby boom generation approaching retirement age, it is not this straightforward,” said Berger. “The budget changes will be hardest for low-income Canadians and those in poor health who anticipated retiring and receiving benefits at age 65. Another concern relates to imposing a new age norm for retirement at 67, when many are already retiring at this age anyway. Stereotypes exist about older workers' abilities and employers worry about the costs of hiring and retaining them. Forcing older workers to remain in the labour force longer may only serve to heighten the discrimination that they already face.”"

January - March

March 27, 2012 - Toronto Star
OAS savings could turn out to be costly

By: Michael Wolfson

"... But what would have happened if the proposed government changes to OAS had been fully implemented in 2011? That is, what if OAS would not have been paid at all to 65 and 66 year olds last year, assuming the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS — the income tested benefit that is part of OAS legislation) remained unchanged? ... Since the federal government is short on details, I have used Statistics Canada’s Social Policy Simulation Database and Model, and my own assumptions to create the calculations and interpretation of the results. If OAS had been denied to all 65 and 66 year olds in 2011, the overall costs of OAS would have dropped by about $4 billion. But because OAS is included in taxable income, there would also have been a drop of roughly $500 million in federal income taxes and a $300 million decline in provincial income taxes. Further, because these seniors (the 65 and 66 year olds) would have lower disposable incomes and hence less money to spend, there would be over a $100 million drop in federal GST and almost a $200 million drop in provincial sales and other commodity taxes and health premiums. The bottom line: the net fiscal impact of such a cut to OAS, in 2011 terms, would be a fiscal savings for the federal government of about $3.5 billion, but combined with a $500 million loss in tax revenue for the provinces. ... "

February 9, 2012 - Leader-Post
Immigrants key driver behind population growth

Tobi Cohen, Postmedia News

"Canada is on its way toward becoming a nation of immigrants - figuratively and literally. While it's no secret that immigrants have helped build this country and Canada has long celebrated its rich multicultural history, 2011 census figures released Wednesday by Statistics Canada indicate two-thirds of overall population growth is being fuelled by newcomers. ... "Our immigration levels of 250,000 per year means that ... we have a million new people in the country in less than five years," said Western (formerly the University of Western Ontario) sociology professor Rod Beaujot. "The integration of this new population is a continuous challenge." ... Saskatchewan recently reported some of the highest job vacancy rates in all of Canada and, according to the latest census figures, newcomers are flocking there like never before. ... "Immigrants are moving, like Canadians are moving, West because Saskatchewan and Alberta have lower unemployment rates," said Susan McDaniel, a University of Lethbridge, Alta., sociology professor and director of the Prentice Institute for Global Population and Economy."

February 9, 2012 - London Free Press (online: lfpress.com)
2011 CENSUS: London and much of the region aren't growing as fast as other parts of Ontario or Canada – and in some places not growing at all

By: Chip Martin

"We're No. 11. In another blow to London's fragile psyche, the city officially lost on Wednesday its coveted status as Canada 10th largest urban centre to a pesky nemesis: Kitchener-Waterloo. ... Population growth in London and Southwestern Ontario is well below the provincial and national rates, Statistics Canada confirmed Wednesday in releasing the first results from the 2011 census. ...A demographer at Western University said he understands why some places suffer from envy about growth, but he doesn't view it as a good thing in itself. "I think, in the long term, we have to arrive at a population of stability rather than growth," sociology professor Rod Beaujot said. "At the world level we would like growth to stop, to go easy on the environment." Beaujot said immigrants have begun to bypass the traditional entry cities of Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver for Western Canadian cities because of the availability of jobs there. "Ontario hasn't had to work to bring immigrants here" in the past, he noted. Some provinces like Manitoba use a "provincial nominee" program to woo newcomers with trades to Canada. A native of Saskatchewan, long known as an exporter of wheat and people, Beaujot noted how the tables have turned.... "

February 8, 2012 - The Globe and Mail
Ontario cedes centre stage to a thriving West, census shows

By: Joe Friesen and Josh Wingrove

"From Manitoba to the Pacific, the 2011 census shows a confident West assuming the mantle of leadership. Alberta tops the country in population growth. British Columbia is right behind. Saskatchewan has reversed a decade of population decline with impressive gains. And Manitoba is growing twice as quickly as it was before. Ontario, still the largest partner in the federation, has ceded centre stage. Its rate of growth dropped below the national average for the first time in 25 years. ....At the moment, immigration accounts for about two-thirds of Canada’s population gains, while the other third is due to natural increase. Another aspect of the West’s momentum is that the Prairie provinces have the highest fertility rates in the country. Manitoba and Saskatchewan are close to two births per woman, and Alberta is at 1.9, all much higher than the national average of 1.67. As University of Western Ontario demographer Rod Beaujot put it, births are where the jobs are. ... "

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  • Upon the release of the population counts from the 2011 Census, Rod Beaujot also appeared on TV and was cited in other print media.

February 8, 2012 - The Globe and Mail
Two-child families becoming the norm in Canada

By: Sheryl Ubelacker

"...Canada’s birth rate is currently hovering around 1.67 children per woman, well below the minimum of 2.0 needed for natural population replacement. So why are Canadians having so few children? Ever since the postwar baby boom, there’s been a drift towards smaller families, said Susan McDaniel, Canada Research Chair in Global Population and Life Course at the University of Lethbridge. “And there’s all kinds of reasons for that, but one of the major ones would be that we expect higher-quality children; we invest more time in them than we used to.” That often means taking children to extracurricular activities and being involved in their school and homework, Ms. McDaniel said. “So there’s a lot of intensive parenting. And if you have a lot of kids, the intensity of the parenting cannot be as big, of course.” With many women working full-time while raising young children, the issue of child care also comes into play, she said. “Because if you have to spend everything you earn to put the child in daycare or if you can’t find a quality daycare and you’re on a waiting list, it’s going to make you think about having another child.”..."

February 3, 2012 - MacLeans.ca
Back to work, grandma: Why the retirement age needs to change

By: Macleans' editors

"What explains the mystique of age 65? There was no particular logic at work in 1966 when Canada settled on 65 as the normal age of retirement for the Canada Pension Plan (CPP). We were simply copying the “minimum retirement age” the United States chose for itself back in 1934. Since then, the notion of 65 as the proper age at which to stop working and start enjoying oneself has come to be seen as a sacred right. It’s not. And it needs to change...More years of leisure and comparatively fewer for work, partly paid for by government, sounds like a great deal. Yet such a scenario is unsustainable over the long run. According to a recent article in Canadian Public Policy by McMaster University economists Frank Denton and Byron Spencer, the ratio of Canadian workers per retiree will drop from 4:1 to 2:1 over the next two decades. If retirement programs are kept at current levels, this will inevitably require a doubling of the public cost of retirement—a massive burden to place upon future generations. The obvious solution is to adjust the age of retirement. ... "

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  • This editorial generated several comments from readers.

January 30, 2012 - Hamilton Spectator (the spec.com)
Experts question severity of Harper’s public pension sustainability problem

By: Heather Scoffield

"OTTAWA To hear the prime minister and his cabinet talk, Canada’s public pension system is unsustainable and needs major repair — likely in the form of a higher eligibility age for Old Age Security payments. But number-crunching and projections by many economists and by the federal government’s chief actuary suggest the sustainability problem is not severe. ...The government points to the chief actuary’s latest report that shows the combined cost of OAS and the Guaranteed Income Supplement rising to $108 billion in 2030 from $41 billion this year. But since the economy is growing at the same time, the same report shows that those programs cost about 2.41 per cent of gross domestic product this year and will rise to about 3.14 per cent in 2030. That’s the peak. After 2030, the costs — measured as a share of the total economy — slide back slowly to reach today’s levels again by about 2055. “I don’t think there’s the problem that some people think,” said Byron Spencer, a demographics economist at McMaster University in Hamilton. He and his colleague Frank Denton have dissected the numbers and projections and found that, if Ottawa made no changes to any retirement benefits, taxpayers’ contributions would have to increase to ensure other programs weren’t cut..."

January 27, 2012 - THE TIMES OF INDIA
Parent's education affects kids' mental health

"The socio-economic status of parents could have an effect on their children's mental health issues as grown-ups, latest research has suggested. The new study, led by Amelie Quesnel-Vallee, a medical sociologist from McGill University and co-author Miles Taylor, an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at Florida State University, drew 29 years of data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979. Their team looked at pathways between a parent's education level and their children's education level, household income and depressive symptoms and found that more parental education meant fewer mental health issues for their adult children. "However, we also found much of that association may be due to the fact that parents with more education tend to have children with more education and better paying jobs themselves," Quesnel-Vallee said. "What this means is that the whole process of climbing up the social ladder that is rooted in a parent's education is a crucial pathway for the mental health of adult children," she added."

January 26 , 2012 - Hamilton Spectator (the spec.com)
Raise pension age to 70: Mac study

By: Joan Walters

"A pair of McMaster University economists wants to see the age of eligibility for the Canada Pension Plan raised to 70 to help reduce costs for future generations. “The major factor is the aging of the baby boom generation,” says economics professor Byron Spencer, co-author of a study published in Canadian Public Policy. If Canadians continue to retire at the same age they do today, there will be only two people in the workforce for each person over the age of 65 by the year 2035, down from a four-to-one ratio today. The study says that dynamic would require the contribution rate for CPP to double, from 6.4 per cent today to about 12.3 per cent by 2035. By that date, all baby boomers will have reached 65, the current age at which full CPP benefits can begin. Spencer and co-author Frank Denton propose gradually raising the eligible age to 70 by 2035, a move they say would cut projected costs by half. “There would be some resistance from the general public,” Spencer acknowledged, but said the gradual imposition of the change would give Canadians 25 years to plan."

Published January 24, 2012 - Transition Magazine
Combining Caregiving and Work: Achievable or Not?

By: Norah Spinks and Donna Lero

...Careging is, and always has been, at the heart of family life. It is estimated that family/friend caregivers provide 70-80% of care to individuals with a chronic health condition or disability. Employed caregivers providing support to an aging family member or friend are well acquainted with the challenges that come with navigating the complex systems of health care, home care, respite care, and pallliative care...

Dr. Janet Fast, Director of Research on Aging Policies and Practice at the University of Alberta, estimates that the costs to the economy of lost work time due to caregiving is the equivalent of 157,000 full time employees annually. In this context, the development of workplace policies and programs that acknowledge and support working caregives makes sense from both an employee and employer perspective.” ...

January 15, 2012 - The Globe and Mail
In Canada, unlike the U.S., the American dream lives on

By: Barrie McKenna

"We know the gap between rich and poor in Canada is large and growing. One need look no further than Attawapiskat and other northern communities for evidence that not all Canadians are living the dream. But income disparity shouldn’t be confused with equality of opportunity. ...Yes, the U.S. is richer, but it’s also significantly more unequal, and a lot less mobile. Inequality is inherited, much like hair and eye colour. The conclusion is based partly on the work of University of Ottawa professor Miles Corak, a social policy economist and former director of family and labour research at Statistics Canada. Prof. Corak has quantified the opportunity divide between the two countries and his conclusions are startling. Canadians are up to three times more economically mobile than Americans, and it’s almost entirely due to the conditions faced by those living at the very top and bottom of society, according to a new study he co-authored: Economic Mobility, Family Background, and the Well-Being of Children in the United States and Canada."

January 12 , 2012 - The Gazette
Concordia study links fruit, veggie consumption to level of education

By: Karen Seidman

Most poeple still not eating five daily servings

"A New Year's resolution to eat healthier is probably one of the most common every January- but it's just not being kept, according to a new study from Concordia University that shows most Canadians still aren't eating enough fruits and vegetables every day. Despite lots of compelling evidence that fruit and vegetables prevent disease and obesity, most Canadians still don't eat the recommended amount of five servings a day, according to the study, which was published in Nutrition Journal. ... And while people from lower socioeconomic backgrounds consumed fewer fruits and vegetables, lower education levels seemed to have an even greater impact than lower income on the consumption of fresh produce, the study found. ... "People with less education were not as knowledgeable about the health benefits of fruits and vegetables," said co-author Sunday Azagba, a PhD candidate in Concordia's department of economics who specializes in health economics. ... He and Mesbah Sharaf, another PhD candidate specializing in health economics, analyzed data collected from almost 94,000 people aged 18 to 69, culled from the Canadian Community Health Survey.

January 8 , 2012 - The New York Times
A Great Nation if You're Born Rich

By: Miles Corak

"... Most American and Canadian children of middle class parents don’t have their life chances noticeably determined by their family background. But averages conceal as much as they reveal. ... A rich kid does well in the U.S., but a poor kid does not.... If I were born to parents in the bottom 10 percent, I would rather they were raising me in Canada. Being in the bottom 10 percent would mean less hardship: my family income would be greater; I would be more likely to be living with both of my biological parents; I would be visiting a doctor regularly; and I would spend more time with my parents, particularly my mother during my infancy as she would have almost one year of paid parental leave. ..."

January 7 , 2012 - TVO
Allan Gregg in Conversation: Jeffrey Reitz on Immigration

About the video:

"Immigration expert Jeffrey Reitz talks about several aspects of immigration; that immigrants are still settling in the large cities and often form ethnic enclaves which may result in residents not fully integrating into Canadian life and feeling isolated; the pluses and minuses of the "points" system is assessing immigrants and the legalities of temporary workers; that immigrants still feel a sense of discrimination; that Canada's multicultural policies have been successful in integrating newcomers."

January 6 , 2012 - The Globe and Mail
Job creation flounders as cuts loom

By: Bill Curry and Sean Silcoff

"...Statistics Canada reported on Friday that full-time employment dropped by 26,000. The new numbers come at a time when Ottawa and the provinces can no longer afford stimulus programs such as the tens of billions they spent to boost employment during the global recession. ... “It’s a knife’s edge right now,” said Miles Corak, a University of Ottawa economics professor, adding that governments must square the circle of trying to cut deficits while boosting employment. “The greater the emphasis on deficit cutting, there’s going to be some short-term costs to be paid for that.” ... Prof. Corak noted that Canada’s employment numbers for 2011 show the job hunt is much harder for some groups, particularly youth and immigrants. “The groups that are sort of the outsiders, the ones trying to get a foothold in the labour market, are shouldering the burden,” he said."

January 5 , 2012 - EWS
Western helping numbers add up

By: Jason Winders

"To Ivan Fellegi, the numbers simply don’t work out. And if anyone knows numbers, it’s Ivan Fellegi. For a quarter of a century, Fellegi served as chief statistician for Statistics Canada. Now retired, he is drawing attention to the desperate need within the public service ranks for a unique-but-important skill set, longitudinal statisticians. He simply sees “far too few” in the field right now. “The limitation is not so much the labour market as it is the available skill sets,” he says. “There is an acute shortage of well-qualified – or even reasonably qualified – candidates.”

One of the few post-secondary institutions looking to fill that need is The University of Western Ontario. This summer, the university will roll out its Western Summer School in Longitudinal Data Analysis through the Faculty of Social Science. A certificate program can be taken over two weeks, three and a half hours a day. This stream targets current professionals, inside and outside academia, who want to improve their abilities in targeted areas of analyzing data sets. This program begins in Summer 2012. ... "

January 4 , 2012 - The New York Times
Harder for Americans to Rise From Lower Rungs

By: Jason DeParle

"...But many researchers have reached a conclusion that turns conventional wisdom on its head: Americans enjoy less economic mobility than their peers in Canada and much of Western Europe. The mobility gap has been widely discussed in academic circles, but a sour season of mass unemployment and street protests has moved the discussion toward center stage. ... While Europe differs from the United States in culture and demographics, a more telling comparison may be with Canada, a neighbor with significant ethnic diversity. Miles Corak, an economist at the University of Ottawa, found that just 16 percent of Canadian men raised in the bottom tenth of incomes stayed there as adults, compared with 22 percent of Americans. Similarly, 26 percent of American men raised at the top tenth stayed there, but just 18 percent of Canadians. “Family background plays more of a role in the U.S. than in most comparable countries,” Professor Corak said in an interview.