Research, Reviews, & Updates

The ESPC provides research, reviews, and updates on a range of social issues

Alberta Provincial Shelter Data 2012-13

Alberta Provincial Shelter Data 2012-13. Written by Alberta Council of Women's Shelters. 2013.

The Alberta Provincial Shelter Data report for 2012-13 consists of data on women, men and children who visited emergency shelters between April 1, 2012 and March 31, 2013. Forty-two organizations within the Alberta Council of Women's Shelters provided data for this report. Of these, thirty-five were emergency shelters, ten were second-stage shelters, and two were seniors' shelters.

This report provides detailed information on the people served by and people turned away from shelters across Alberta. From April 1, 2012 through March 31, 2013 a total of 5,642 women, 4 men, and 5,480 children were admitted to emergency shelters. Second-stage shelters admitted 239 women and 367 children. Seniors' shelters, which serve women and men, admitted 65 women and 16 men. The primary cause for admittance into all three types of shelters is safety from abuse.

Read more: Alberta Provincial Shelter Data 2012-13

2013 Social Justice Internship Report

Exploring Early Cultural and Economic Adaptation Process of the Newcomers in Michener Park, Edmonton, Alberta


During the summer of 2013, our ESPC Social Justice Intern HM Ashraf Ali conducted a qualitative research project on social, economic and cultural barriers that are preventing newcomers in our city from realizing their full potential and living an enjoyable life in Canada. In this report, Mr. Ali discusses the findings of his research project, providing readers with detailed information about the challenges that these individuals face after arriving in Canada.

Abstract: Using ethnographic data, this study reports on the early sociocultural and economic experiences of the Bangladesh immigrant and non-immigrant families living in the Michener Park area in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Research findings show that newcomers experienced a wide range of social and economic constraints during their initial stage of sociocultural and economic adaptation to life in Edmonton. Lack of English language proficiency, Canadian job experience, or lack of Canadian education and training facilities, and nature of residency status in Canada led these newcomers to experience economic hardship in the earliest months of their new life in Canada. The aim of this research, therefore, was to examine: (a) why do these people come to Canada and what social and economic experiences have they had while living in Edmonton? (b) What barriers do they encounter that prevent them from obtaining their preferred job, how does this affect their household income and how do they manage to survive? This paper summarizes the responses of the newcomers who agreed to participate in this research project. The paper concludes with policy recommendations made by participants that could help newcomers overcome existing job barriers for the immigrant and non-immigrant families living in Edmonton. 

Imagine Canada’s Sector Monitor

David Larsby and Cathy Barr, Imagine Canada

In late April 2010, Imagine Canada released Volume 1, Number 1 of a new publication: the Sector Monitor. They state in the introduction that the goal of this report is to “provide relevant and timely information on the issues facing the charitable and nonprofit sector.

The report is based on feedback received in surveys from charities and nonprofits across Canada. Based on this information, Imagine Canada has created a baseline measurement for tracking trends identified across the sector. Some of the trends highlighted in this report include:

  • Almost half of Canada’s charities are having difficulty fulfilling their mission because of the economic downturn.
  • 22 percent of Canada’s charities admit that they are at risk of shutting down.
  • More than a quarter of leaders expect to have difficulty covering expenses within the next year.
  • Leaders of charities and nonprofits are optimistic that things will get better.

Read more: Imagine Canada’s Sector Monitor

Underemployment and Unemployment within ethno-cultural communities in Edmonton

Underemployment and Unemployment within ethno-cultural communities in Edmonton: an Environmental Scan and Database. Report by the Multicultural Health Brokers Coop, December 2009.

(not available online – contact the ESPC library or the MHBC to read this report)

This report takes a look at barriers to employment faced by immigrants to Edmonton. It does this through the eyes of these immigrants by providing their perspectives as gathered in focus groups and surveys.
This report is based on quantitative and qualitative data from Edmonton’s ethnic communities. The data identifies several key issues in this group:

  • Unemployment for immigrants is more than seven times the provincial rate.
  • Trained professionals have difficulty gaining employment.
  • Non-native English speakers have more difficulty finding work than native English speakers.
  • Information about employment prior to immigration is inadequate.

Despite all these barriers, attitudes towards employment in Canada, once it is attained, are mostly favourable.

Read more: Underemployment and Unemployment within ethno-cultural communities in Edmonton

Mending Canada's Frayed Social Safety Net: The Role of Municipal Government

Municipalities Step in to Fill the Gaps: a review of Mending Canada's Frayed Social Safety Net: The Role of Municipal Governments. Report from Federation of Canadian Municipalities, 2010.

More and more people are falling through the cracks in Canada’s traditional social safety net. According to Basil Stewart, President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), there are “more people on long waiting lists for affordable housing; making do with welfare payments that don’t cover all of their basic needs; and struggling to get work, find childcare or afford recreation programs.” This has lead to an increased homelessness and more working poor families.

The recent recession is to blame for this,combined with the federal and provincial retreat from social supports, which shift the social services burden to municipal governments. This is thoroughly discussed in a report released by the FCM further highlighting the limited municipal finances and resources to support the growing burden.

Read more: Mending Canada's Frayed Social Safety Net: The Role of Municipal Government