Book Search

  • Topic: Public Policy
  • About Canada: Childcare

    By Martha Friendly and Susan Prentice     May 2009

    In Canada, early childhood education and care includes childcare programs, kindergartens and nursery schools. When these programs are well-designed, they support children’s development and accommodate parents who work or study. About Canada: Childcare answers questions about early childhood education and childcare (ECEC) in Canada. Why doesn’t Canada have an ECEC system, even though other countries do? Why is ECEC so important? What is missing in Canada’s ECEC landscape and why? Can ECEC programs be designed as wonderful environments for young children or are they merely necessary but not particularly desirable places to keep children safe while mothers are at work? Is ECEC primarily a public good, a private family responsibility or an opportunity for profit-making? Early childhood education and childcare is a political issue, the authors argue, and Canada needs an integrated system of services. The absence of a universal publicly funded ECEC system is detrimental to families, women and children and Canada’s future.

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  • Terminal Damage

    The Politics of VLTs in Atlantic Canada

    By Peter McKenna     April 2008

    “This book is assuredly not an anti-gambling screed. What I’m against, and make no doubt about it, is the scourge of the video lottery terminal (VLT), and the fact that not all gambling is created equal. There is a reason why those in the know refer to those electronic devices as ‘killer machines’ and the ‘crack cocaine of gambling’.”–from the Introduction The Atlantic Lottery Corporation promotes its VLT product as a win-win for Atlantic Canada. “Even those who didn’t win a prize enjoyed a moment of fun with a chance to dream…” intones the corporation’s advertising. The truth is that financial stress, marriage break-up, physical and mental health issues, depression, alcohol dependency and suicide go hand-inhand with pathological gambling. In spite of this social scourge, governments turn a blind eye toward the social fallout from gambling. What they do have an eye for is the annual revenue figures derived from gambling. VLTs, by far the most addictive of all gambling activities, are also the biggest cash cow. This book examines why public policy action has been more symbolic than substantive and how VLTs have become increasingly politicized since the early 1990s. It is a clarion call to governments to take action.

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  • Liquid Gold

    Energy Privatization in British Columbia

    By John Calvert     January 2007

    Secure, affordable, reliable energy has been one of British columbia’s most important competitive advantages and a key contributor to the province’s prosperity. BC’s energy costs have been based on the actual cost of production. Under new government policy, future energy will not be generated by BC hydro, but will be purchased from private energy producers.

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  • Canadian Social Policy Renewal, 1994-2000

    By Ian Peach and William Warriner     January 2007

    This is a story of how a group of largely provincial civil servants and politicians came together in the face of neoliberal hegemony to advance the national child Benefit, national children’s Agenda and Social Union Framework Agreement. This study peers behind the ideology of media-speak to show how canadian federalism was made to work and where it failed to work. It peers deeply into the canadian political economy to understand the role of these social programs in the context of globalization. Students of social policy will find it most informative as they contemplate the structures and processes needed for implementing social programs in a federalist system.

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  • The Political Economy of Narcotics

    Production, Consumption and Global Markets

    By Julia Buxton     January 2006

    For nearly a century, regimes around the world have upheld a prohibitionist stance toward narcotics. The US has led this global consensus, enforcing recognition of international narcotics conventions and laws. Vast resources are pumped into the “war on drugs.” But in practice, prohibition has been an abject failure. Narcotics use continues to rise, while technology and globalization have made a whole new range of drugs available to a vast consumer market. Where wealth and demand exist, supply continues to follow. Prohibition has criminalized social groups, impeded research into alternative medicine and disease, promoted violence and gang warfare, and impacted negatively on the environment and ultimately has failed to stem consumption and production. The alternative is a humane policy framework that recognizes the incentives to produce, traffic and consume narcotics.

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  • Health Policy Reform–Driving the Wrong Way?

    A Critical Guide to the Global ‘Health Reform’ Industry

    By John Lister     January 2005

    John Lister has provided the definitive critique of market-oriented health care ‘reforms’ that the World Bank has been promoting at least since 1993. His book is a critical contribution to the struggle for equity-oriented, rights-based approaches to health systems in rich and poor countries alike.– Ronald Labonte, Canadian Research Chair and Ted Schrecker, Senior Policy Researcher, Institute of Population Health, University of Ottawa

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  • Telling Tales

    Living the Effects of Public Policy

    By Kate Bezanson and Sheila Neysmith     January 2005

    This book documents how the political, economic and social policy changes of the last decade of the twentieth century helped and harmed different segments of Canadian society. The chapters are grounded in the narratives of 40 households chosen for differences in income levels, sources of income, household structure and gender, as well as diversities based on race, ability, language, sexual orientation and Aboriginal status. Household members discussed their concerns as individuals, household members, employees, community members and citizens. This is not a book about social policy models, theories or practices; it is a book about how these come together to shape people’s lives on a daily basis.

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  • Possibilities and Limitations

    Multicultural Policies and Programs in Canada

    Edited by Carl James     January 2005

    In this work, contributors from a variety of academic disciplines write about the extent to which multicultural policies and programs facilitate cultural freedom and equality of opportunities for ethnic and racial minority group Canadians. Areas explored are: (a) the federal multicultural policy and its articulated discourse, intentions and outcomes in today’s Canada; (b) how ethnic, racial and religious minorities and immigrants have fared in a society with official multiculturalism; (c) the limits and possibilities of multicultural education; and (d) the capacity of employment equity to address discriminatory employment practices in today’s cultural context. Contributors demonstrate that instead of opening opportunities for full and effective participation in Canadian society, the current discourse of multiculturalism often operates to homogenize, essentialize, racialize and marginalize ethnic and racial minority group Canadians, and in the process negates individual and intra-cultural group differences as well as cultural variations and complexities of groups. In light of this situation, we observe that there is a need for a paradigm shift that would facilitate the development of policies, programs, curricula, practices, strategies and pedagogies that would bring about equitable conditions for minority group Canadians and immigrants.

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  • Social Inclusion

    Canadian Perspectives

    Edited by Ted Richmond and Anver Saloojee     January 2005

    How is the concept of social inclusion evolving in policy terms? Are we moving toward a common understanding or definition? What does social inclusion mean for issues like poverty and the growing racialization of poverty? What can we learn about social inclusion in theory and practice from the perspectives of the needs of children and their parents? What are the contributions of feminists and of the disability rights movement? What does social inclusion mean for Canada’s newcomers, for anti-racism and for the social citizenship of visible minority communities? What does it mean for Canada’s First Nations peoples? Are we moving in some way toward a coherent and policy relevant version of social inclusion “Made in Canada”? These are the issues explored in this volume of selected essays on social inclusion.

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  • Reflections

    55 Years in Public Service in Nova Scotia

    By Fred R. MacKinnon     January 2004

    “Fred MacKinnon has been hailed as the outstanding public servant of his generation in Nova Scotia. During a 55-year career in government, he was a key figure in the formulation and reform of social policy for the province. In particular, he was chiefly responsible for an emphasis on the important role of private agencies and volunteerism, the introduction of a modern system of social assistance, the extension of the child welfare service through the Children’s Aid Societies, the development of a human rights program that led to the Human Rights Commission, and the establishment of the Senior Citizens’ Secretariat.

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