Population Change and Lifecourse

2013 Cluster Event

2013 March 27-28 Event
Ottawa Marriott Hotel,
Victoria South Ballroom, 2nd Floor, 100 Kent Street, Ottawa

The event was organized around a meeting of the Leadership Group. As seen in the program, the first day consists of a conference on “Income, health, and social programs in an aging population”. In the morning of the second day, there are sessions on “Data and Collaboration,” a Consultation on LifePaths, Updates and Consultation involving the Executive Committee and Thematic Committee leaders, finishing with a Knowledge Mobilization Training.

Participation was by invitation, with an attendance of 106 persons over the two days. Participants included 45 from universities, 51 from partner agencies and 10 others. It is worth noting that participants from partner agencies included 15 Directors or Directors General, including 4 who made “Commentaries” at the conference, and 5 who presented in the “Data and Collaboration” and “LifePaths” sessions.

Day 1 - March 27, 2013 - Conference

Income, Health, & Social Programs in an Aging Population Conference

The four sessions of the conference were each 90 minutes, including two 20 minute presentations, a 10 minute commentary from someone in a policy position, 10 minutes of discussion at tables and 25 minutes of general discussion. People were systematically assigned to tables in order to have diversity at each table, with assigned chairs and note takers. The discussion was structured to focus on: (1) questions that need to be pursued and data that are needed, (2) implications and policy relevance, and (3) key issues for the Cluster to consider in the next year or two.

Speakers & Topics

Session 1 - Population Change and Inequality

Michael Smith, McGill University,
Issues in the Analysis of Inequality

About the Speaker
Michael Smith is James McGill Professor of Sociology at McGill University. He has been a visiting fellow at the Australian National University, Flinders University, the University of Cambridge, and the University of Montreal. He has published extensively on labour markets, employment, and the social bases of economic outcomes. Recent work with Heather Zhang and Nicole Denier examines the effects of job-loss on income, with Heather Zhang the effects of globalization on productivity and wages, with Magali Girard, Jean Renaud, and Yoko Yoshida the differences in labour market outcomes of immigrants and the native-born, with Marie-Eve Gagnon the effects of the Quebec training levy on the incidence of different kinds of training and the effects of different kinds of training on wages, and with Christine Doucet and Claire Durand the difference in pay of male and female faculty members at a major Canadian research university. To his continuing work on these issues he has recently added an interest in the recent financial crisis and its causes.

Michael Veall, McMaster University,
The Income Distribution of Canada's Seniors: The Top End and Everyone Else

About the Speaker
Michael Veall is a Professor of Economics at McMaster University. He earned his B.A. from McMaster, his M.A. from the University of Western Ontario and his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has also taught at the University of Western Ontario, the University of Mannheim, Australian National University and Queen’s University. He has been a von Humboldt fellow at the University of Munich, an honorary professor at the University of York and a visiting scholar at the University of Canterbury and the University of Western Australia. He has authored or co-authored articles in a number of journals including the American Economic Review, the Canadian Journal of Economics, Econometrica and the Journal of Public Economics. He is a co-winner of the Purvis Prize for a work of excellence relating to Canadian economic policy and of the Vanderkamp Prize for the best article in 2005 in the journal Canadian Public Policy. He was President of the Canadian Economics Association in 2011-12.

Commentary: Mark Hopkins, Director General, Economic Policy,
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Mark Hopkins is Director General of Economic Policy in Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) with responsibility for policy advice and analysis on a range of skill, learning and labour market issues. Prior to joining HRSDC, Mark has worked in a range of federal departments including; the Privy Council Office, Environment Canada, Agriculture Canada, and Industry Canada.

Session 2 - Labour Demand and Supply

Ana Ferrer, University of Calgary,
Canada’s Immigration Policy and Labour Shortages

About the Speaker
Ana Ferrer is a university professor at the University of Calgary, and associated researcher at the Canadian Labour and Skills Research Network (CLSRN) and at the Children Migration Network at Princeton University. She graduated from Boston University but her research career developed in Canada, and focused on labour markets, education and family economics. Her work on the economics of education includes research on different aspects of the premium attached to immigrant credentials and to the skills brought by immigrants to Canada as well as other aspects of the economic returns to education. This work has been published in journals such as the Canadian Journal of Economic, the Journal of Human Resources, and the Industrial and Labor Relations Review. Her current work on family economics has focused on different aspects of the fertility of Canadian immigrants and has been published in the Annals of the American Academy of Political Sciences, Population Studies and Canadian Immigration: Economic Evidence for a Dynamic Policy Environment.

Alain Bélanger, INRS,
The Impact of Canadian Immigrant Selection Policy on Future Imbalances in Labor Force Supply by Broad Skill Levels

About the Speaker
Alain Bélanger is professor of demography at the Quebec’s Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique (INRS-Urbanisation, culture et société). He graduated from the University of Montréal where he received his BA in History and MSc in Demography and from the University of Colorado where he received his PhD in Geography. Prior to his appointment with INRS, he worked 17 years at Statistics Canada where he held the positions of Coordinator of research and analysis in Demography Division and Assistant-director with the Census Subject Matter Program. He also worked as a researcher at the International Institute for Applied System Analysis (IIASA) and at the University of Colorado. Between 1999 and 2006, he was the Editor of Statistics Canada’s annual Report on the Demographic Situation in Canada. He is a former director of Cahiers québécois de démographie, the peer reviewed academic journal of the Association des démographes du Québec. His research interests include population projections and microsimulation, immigration and integration and demolinguistic

Commentary: Sandra Harder, Director General,
Strategic Policy and Planning, Citizenship and Immigration Canada

About the Speaker
Sandra Harder is Director General, Strategic Policy and Planning. A sociologist by training, Sandra has spent over twenty years working in broad public policy, including ten years in the political environment as a senior researcher at the Library of Parliament (LOP). During her time at the LOP, she worked on various House of Commons and Senate Standing Committees. Ms. Harder has been with Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) for over five years; most recently as the Director of Horizontal Policy, Acting Director General of Immigration branch and now as the Director General of Strategic Policy and Planning Branch. Her current responsibilities include the annual Immigration Levels Plan and the development of Ministerial Instructions to support changes to the immigration program. As well, Ms. Harder is the lead for re-invigorating the strategic policy capacity within CIC and linking future strategic directions work for the immigration system to broader Government of Canada priorities. Sandra holds a Masters Degree (M.A.) in sociology from Carleton University where she also completed 4 years of Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) studies. Her research interests included studies of the large scale economic transformation in the coal industry and their impacts on local households and communities in Nova Scotia, Canada.

Other relevant documents

Session 3 - Longevity and Retirement

Tammy Schirle, Wilfrid Laurier University,
Risky retirement & the role of public policy

About the Speaker
Tammy Schirle is an Associate Professor of Economics at Wilfrid Laurier University. She completed her Ph.D. at the University of British Columbia in 2006. She also completed degrees at Dalhousie University (M.A., 2000) and the University of Manitoba (B.A. Hons., 1999). She is currently co-director of the Canadian Labour Market and Skills Researcher Network's Retirement Research Program and a member of the C.D. Howe Institute Pension Policy Council. She has published articles in several academic journals, including the Journal of Labor Economics, Canadian Public Policy, Social Science and Medicine, the Review of Income and Wealth, and the Canadian Journal on Aging. Current research projects focus on understanding senior poverty, disability insurance and retirement planning, the effects of the business cycle on family structure, and the impact of the Universal Child Care Benefit on women's labour supply choices.

Michael Wolfson, University of Ottawa,
Longevity and Retirement: Thinking Outside the Box on Canada’s Retirement Income System

About the Speaker
Michael C. Wolfson, B.Sc., (Toronto - mathematics, computer science and economics 1971), Ph.D. (Cambridge – Economics 1977) retired as Assistant Chief Statistician, Analysis and Development, at Statistics Canada in 2009. He was awarded a Canada Research Chair in Population Health Modeling / Populomics in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ottawa in 2010. Dr. Wolfson’s areas of expertise include program review and evaluation, tax/transfer policy, pension policy, income distribution, design of health information systems, microsimulation modeling of socio-economic policy and health dynamics, and analysis of the determinants of health. He held positions in the Treasury Board Secretariat, the Department of Finance, the Privy Council Office, the House of Commons, and the Deputy Prime Minister’s Office prior to joining Statistics Canada. He was also a Fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research Program in Population Health (1988-2003). His numerous articles have addressed topics such as assessing the inter-generational equity of Canada’s pension and health care systems, the design of an appropriate system of health statistics, modeling disease determinants and treatments, income inequality and polarization trends, and income and income inequality as determinants of population health. Dr. Wolfson is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and an elected member of the International Statistical Institute.

Commentary: Siobhan Harty, Director General, Social Policy,
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

About the Speaker
Siobhan Harty was appointed Director General of Social Policy at Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) in March 2012. In this role, she provides policy leadership at the federal level on income security, retirement and aging, families and care, and social innovation. She has also held executive level positions at Public Safety Canada and the Privy Council Office. Prior to joining the federal public service, Siobhan was Lecturer (tenure-track) in Comparative European Politics in the Department of International Politics, University of Wales (Aberystwyth). She holds a PhD in Political Science from McGill University and has published books and articles on citizenship and nationalism.

Session 4 - Longevity, Health and Inequality

Amélie Quesnel-Vallée, McGill University,
Understanding the contribution of health policy to health inequalities: The way forward

About the Speaker
Amélie Quesnel-Vallée is Associate Professor at McGill University with a joint Appointment in the Departments of Sociology and Epidemiology. She holds a career award from the Fonds de recherche du Québec - Santé and is also the Director of the International Research Infrastructure on Social inequalities in health (IRIS) at McGill. With funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation and the Canadian Institutes for Health Research, she currently studies the impact of public coverage and private health insurance regulation on health inequalities in select OECD countries. Her work received numerous awards, including the 2005 American Sociological Association Dissertation Award, and appeared in a book she co-edited, Le privé dans la santé : Les discours et les faits (Presses de l’Université de Montréal, 2008), as well as in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, the American Journal of Epidemiology and Social Science and Medicine.

Patricia J. Martens, University of Manitoba,
Have we been successful? A policy-maker’s guide to the galaxy of measuring inequities over time

About the Speaker
Patricia J. Martens, PhD, is a Professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Manitoba, and Director of the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy - an internationally-acclaimed research centre using administrative data to explore population health, health and social services and public health questions. She received the prestigious 2005 CIHR KT Award for Regional Impact for her work with Manitoba’s RHAs, Manitoba Health and MCHP scientists (The Need To Know Team). She has spoken at over 300 national/international conferences, published over 200 articles, book chapters and abstracts, and holds over $35 million in grants as PI or co-PI. Her research interests include studies on health status, inequities, and healthcare use patterns of rural and northern residents, child health, and the health of Aboriginal people. She was awarded the 2010 YM/YWCA Woman of Distinction for Health & Wellness award, and currently holds a CIHR/PHAC Applied Public Health Chair.

Commentary: Gerry Gallagher, A/Director General,
Social Determinants and Science Integration, Public Health Agency of Canada

About the Speaker
Gerry Gallagher is the acting Director General of the Social Determinants and Science Integration Directorate at the Public Health Agency of Canada. As the Public Health Agency's Health Equity Champion, she plays a leadership role in supporting the integration of health equity and sex and gender based approaches in the Agency's work. Previously, Ms Gallagher served as Director of intergovernmental and stakeholder policy, where she led the Agency's initiatives to address equity for Canada's Aboriginal and northern communities. Ms Gallagher holds a Bachelor of Science, Masters of Business Administration, and a Masters of Public Administration. She has worked in the health sector for more than 20 years for both national and local governments.

Day 2 - March 28, 2013 - Business Meeting

Session 1 - 8:30 - 10:30 am

  • Chair: Céline Le Bourdais
8:30 – 9:00 Summary of Conference & Expectations for the day
9:00 – 10:00 Data and Collaboration
10:00 – 10:30 Consultation on LifePaths – Chantal Hicks

Session 2 - 11:00am - 12:30pm

  • Chair: Kevin McQuillan
11:00 – 11:30 Updates and consultation on Cluster activities – Executive Committee, with presentations by Rod Beaujot and Zenaida Ravanera
11:30 – 12:00 Updates and consultation on Thematic Committees
  • Aging and paid work – Ellie Berger
  • Caregiving and social participation – Janet Fast
  • Health over the lifecourse – Amélie Quesnel-Vallée
  • Families – Zheng Wu
  • Immigrants and migrants – Barry Edmonston
  • Aging, lifelong learning and lifecourse flexibility – Paul Bélanger
12:00 – 12:30 Discussion on Cluster Plans

Day 2 - March 28, 2013 - Training

Write for the Reader: Research Brief

The Write for the Reader training introduced the principles and techniques of clear language and design. It showed participants how to apply clear language for diverse audiences using a range of communication tools.

Participants benefited from group discussions of writing and design habits and styles. In addition to the product developed, the overall objective was for participants to emerge as better communicators for their intended audiences.

Speakers & Topics

Matthew Shulman, Peel-Halton-Dufferin Adult Learning Network
Principles and Techniques of Clear Language and Design

Matthew Shulman trains professionals and students in the principles of clear language and design. He has developed a particular interest and skill in the area of academic research translation for general audiences. His Write for the Reader training series has helped to improve the communication techniques of many academic, government and community organizations. Matthew has been the Executive Director of Peel-Halton-Dufferin Adult Learning Network since 2004. PHDALN champions the importance of literacy and lifelong learning in all facets of its work, which includes support and coordination of 12 Literacy & Basic Skills agencies.