News and Announcements
Learn More About ESPC In The News, News Releases, And General News About The Organization.
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  • 79th Annual General Meeting

    79th Annual General Meeting

    Please join the Board and Staff of the Edmonton Social Planning Council to celebrate our accomplishments in the past year, and to hear about upcoming activities of the council! Your membership must be current in order to vote. Membership may be purchased or renewed at the door. When: May 23, 2019 Where: Edmonton Food Bank Annex - 11434-120 Street (The facility Read More
  • 2018 Vital Topics - The Arts

    2018 Vital Topics - The Arts

    Edmonton Vital Signs is an annual check-up conducted by Edmonton Community Foundation, in partnership with Edmonton Social Planning Council, to measure how the community is doing. This year we will also be focusing on individual issues, VITAL TOPICS, that are timely and important to Edmonton.  This edition focuses on The Arts. ARTS include a wide variety of creative disciplines including: Read More
  • 2018 Vital Topics - Senior Women in Edmonton

    2018 Vital Topics - Senior Women in Edmonton

    Edmonton Vital Signs is an annual check-up conducted by Edmonton Community Foundation, in partnership with Edmonton Social Planning Council, to measure how the community is doing. This year we will also be focusing on individual issues, VITAL TOPICS, that are timely and important to Edmonton. Watch for these in each issue of Legacy in Action, and in the full issue Read More
  • Edmonton Vital Signs 2018

    Edmonton Vital Signs 2018

    Edmonton Vital Signs is an annual check-up conducted by Edmonton Community Foundation, in partnership with Edmonton Social Planning Council, to measure how the community is doing. This year we will also be focusing on individual issues, Vital Topics, that are timely and important to Edmonton - specifically Women, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in Edmonton, Visible Minority Women, and Senior Women. Each of these topics appear in Read More
  • CBC News - Living wage in Edmonton is going up but that isn't good

    CBC News - Living wage in Edmonton is going up but that isn't good

    Radio Active with Adrienne Pan Interview with Sandra Ngo, Edmonton Social Planning Council. Click here to listen to the interview   Read More
  • Media Release: Edmonton Living Wage 2018 Update

    Media Release: Edmonton Living Wage 2018 Update

    June 21, 2018 For Immediate Release Edmonton Living Wage 2018 Update Contending with Costs For the first time in 2 years, the living wage for Edmonton has risen. For 2018, an income earner must make $16.48 per hour to support a family of four, an increase of $0.17 per hour from last year’s living wage. The living wage is intended Read More
  • 2018 Vital Topics - Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity

    2018 Vital Topics - Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity

    Edmonton Vital Signs is an annual check-up conducted by Edmonton Community Foundation, in partnership with Edmonton Social Planning Council, to measure how the community is doing. This year we will also be focusing on individual issues, VITAL TOPICS, that are timely and important to Edmonton. Watch for these in each issue of Legacy in Action, and in the full issue Read More
  • 2018 Vital Topics - Visible Minority Women in Edmonton

    2018 Vital Topics - Visible Minority Women in Edmonton

    Edmonton Vital Signs is an annual check-up conducted by Edmonton Community Foundation, in partnership with Edmonton Social Planning Council, to measure how the community is doing. This year we will also be focusing on individual issues, VITAL TOPICS, that are timely and important to Edmonton. Watch for these in each issue of Legacy in Action, and in the full issue Read More
  • More Alberta families worked part-time, or part year, as the province’s oil economy took a downturn, Statistics Canada study shows

    More Alberta families worked part-time, or part year, as the province’s oil economy took a downturn, Statistics Canada study shows

     By Catherine GriwkowskyStarMetro Edmonton Thu., May 17, 2018 Original Article - click here EDMONTON—Pipeline inspector and project manager turned stay-at-home dad Chad Miller is pinning his family’s future on the approval of the Kinder Morgan pipeline as he searches for work to pay off debt. “I’ve got more qualifications than I know what to do with and I can’t even get Read More
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ESPC's 2015 Annual Report contains information on our activities from 2015. Download it today to read up on our board, our new strategic framework, 2015 in review, our plans for the future, and much more!

As our outgoing president Anne Stevenson so elegantly writes, "One thing has stayed constant. Over the past year, the Edmonton Social Planning Council has continued to undertake rigorous research to analyze key trends influencing change in our community and formulate evidenced-based solutions to address the challenges we collectively face. As you will see in the following pages, 2015 was another busy and successful year for our organization."

Executive Director Susan Morrissey adds, "2015 saw staff continuing the course with our work on poverty issues. We analyzed the data and wrote the report, Tracking the Trends 13th Edition, prepared and disseminated the first ever Edmonton Poverty Profile, which was used by the End Poverty Edmonton Task Force (www.endpovertyedmonton.ca) to establish benchmarks, and ;calculated and established a living wage for Edmonton. As part of both the Research Roundtable and the Income Security Working group of the End Poverty Edmonton Task Force, staff were able to contribute to the important work to end poverty in Edmonton in a generation.

Download the ESPC 2015 Annual Report here!

In September 2015, the EndPovertyEdmonton Task Force released its Strategy with a bold goal of ending poverty within a generation. [The] Strategy was robustly tested with thousands of Edmontonians who told us our community is more than ready to join us in the epic work to end poverty in a generation.

KÎYÂNAW: FOR ALL OF US

What defines Edmonton’s approach to ending poverty? We believe that ending poverty is not a business, but a calling. This sacred work speaks directly to our human rights lens and our Treaty roots that are central to the actions in this Road Map. This five year Road Map reflects our best thinking about our first steps and our initial priorities for action. As a community plan, it highlights the direction ahead.

We're Proud to Contribute

Edmonton Social Planning Council is listed as a potential partner for Action #15, "Actively encourage local employers in all sectors to learn about and implement living wage policies."

The report lists us as one of their leverage partners, and we're proud to help them as they "build on strong research and evaluation partnerships ... [creating] a robust evaluation and measurement framework."

Click here to download the 2016 End Poverty in a Generation: A Road Map to Guide Our Journey.

Please join the Board and staff of the Edmonton Social Planning Council  on May 19th to celebrate our accomplishments of the past year and to hear about upcoming activities of the Council.

Our keynote speaker is Paula Simons, speaking on "The Elimination Round: Why Idealism Isn't Always Ideal."

Your membership must be in current order to vote. Membership may be purchased or renewed at the door or online at our Membership page.

Date: May 19, 2016

Place: Stanley Milner Library, Room 7 (6th Floor) - 7 Sir Winston Churchill Square, Edmonton, AB, Canada

5:00 pm: Light refreshments

5:30–6:15 pm: Business meeting

6:30 pm: Keynote speaker Paula Simons

For more information, call 780-423-2031 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The Edmonton Social Planning Council, a charitable, non-profit social research and advocacy agency founded in 1940, is seeking a

Research Assistant
Summer Position from June 13, 2016 to August 5, 2016 (with possible extension to August 19, 2016)

The ESPC is seeking a research assistant for an 8-week full-time temporary summer position (with a possible extension to 10-weeks). Main job duties will be to assist with social research projects including the 2016 edition of Vital Signs, and research focusing on affordable housing and updating a poverty profile for Edmonton. The successful applicant will also be expected to contribute to other ESPC research projects, newsletters and publications as directed.

Required Skills:

  • Knowledge of word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation software
  • Demonstrated ability to conduct research using a variety of sources and methods
  • Knowledge of data collection and statistical analysis
  • Superior job task planning and organizational skills
  • Exceptional verbal and written communication skills
  • Ability to carry out multiple tasks in a self-directed manner

Eligibility Requirement:
Must be legally entitled to work in Canada, be able to work out of our Edmonton office during regular office hours, and plan to return to full-time studies in the fall. The successful applicant cannot be in full-time studies or doing other full-time work from June 13, 2016 to August 5, 2016 (or to August 19, 2016 if position extended). Preference will be given to applicants with a relevant post-secondary background.

Salary: $17.00 per hour/35 hours per week

Please submit application letter and resume by electronic mail no later than May 13, 2016. We thank applicants in advance for their submissions, but we will only contact those people who will be interviewed for the position. Applications should be sent (preferably by email) to:

Edmonton Social Planning Council
Attn: John Kolkman, Research Coordinator
#37, 9912-106 Street
Edmonton, AB T5K 1C5
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

ESPC releases updated publication tracking trends - Click here to download - 2015 ESPC Tracking the Trends

The Edmonton Social Planning Council (ESPC) today released the 2015 edition of its flagship publication Tracking the Trends.   The 128-page publication provides a detailed analysis of social and economic trends in Edmonton.  Information is provided about population demographics, education and employment, living costs & housing, income & wealth, and poverty trends that together comprise the social health of Edmontonians.

Whether planning programs or developing policies, timely accurate information is critical to informed decision-making,” said John Kolkman, the ESPC’s Research Coordinator.  “Tracking the Trends is a one-stop resource for identifying and analyzing a broad range of social and economic trends impacting those with low and modest incomes in our community,” he added.

An overarching message in this year’s Tracking the Trends is that – following several years of strong employment and income growth - Edmonton is entering a period of increased uncertainty due to a collapse in oil and natural gas prices.  The impact of this change is starting to show up in some of the trends we follow,” noted Kolkman.

Kolkman highlighted several key Edmonton trends reflecting this uncertainty:

  • Job growth has leveled off so far in 2015, following several years of strong growth (p. 21);
  • The number of people receiving Employment Insurance regular benefits is up 55.1% in the first eight months of 2015, compared to the level in 2014 (p. 79);
  • A 9.1% increase in the number of Edmonton households receiving Alberta Works (social assistance) benefits in the first nine months of 2015, compared to the 2014 average (p. 77);
  • 14,794 individuals were served by Edmonton’s Food Bank in March 2015, up 15.4% compared to a year earlier (p. 37);
  • At 4.2% in October 2015, the rental vacancy rate is up significantly, meaning increased availability.  Rents are still up 2.2% from a year earlier to $1,259 per month for a two-bedroom unit (p. 32).

Tracking the Trends 2015 also identifies a number of concerning trends:

  • 128,810 people in metro Edmonton lived in poverty in 2013, 10.5% of the population. 41,640 were children and youth under 18, 15.2% of all children and youth (pp. 72, 74);
  • While median family incomes are up overall, much of this increase has gone to the highest income earners.  Since 1982, the top 1% of Edmonton taxfilers have seen their after-tax incomes, after accounting for inflation, go up by 53.4% compared to only a 5.9% increase for the bottom 50% of taxfilers (p. 52);
  • There continues to be a significant income gap based on gender. In 2013, female taxfilers median total income was $31,460 compared to $55,060 for male taxfilers (p. 46).
  • In 2011, 59.2% of poor children lived in families where at least one parent works full-time for the full-year. A job is not necessarily a ticket out of poverty (p. 70); and
  • There was a 6.2% increase in homelessness between October 2012 and October 2014. There is also a trend toward an increased number of youth experiencing homelessness (p. 36). The number of homeless people is still down 25.1% from its October 2008 peak.

Kolkman said the report also finds many positive trends:

  • The steady improvement in educational attainment as measured by high school completion and post-secondary attainment continues. However, almost one in five young adults fails to complete high school within five years showing room for further improvement (p. 27);
  • Compared to other Canadian urban centres, Edmonton has a relatively young population with a median age of 35.9 (p. 4). This sets the stage for more people making an economic contribution in the future;
  • Government income transfers lifted 53,960 Alberta children and youth above the poverty line in 2013 (p. 67);
  • Aboriginals 15 years and older earn a slightly higher percentage of their income from employment (82%) compared to the total Edmonton population (81%) (p. 50); and
  • Reductions in the number of Edmonton children in government care due to a focus on supporting children in their birth families (p. 94); and
  • Employment earnings provide the main source of income for all family types including lone parents (p. 48).

Tracking the Trends 2015 combines 22 key indicators grouped into 5 categories into a Social Health Index (pp. 106-111).  Categories where Edmonton does well are financial security and personal & family stability.  Edmonton is doing more poorly on population health and participation & environmental indicators.

The bottom line is a 20.1% improvement in Edmonton’s social health since the year 2000. During this time period, Edmonton’s social health improved at a more rapid rate than the 14.5% growth in Alberta GDP per person,” Kolkman concluded.

  • Donations

    Your donation helps us do our work. It keeps our social research current and comprehensive. It allows us to take on bigger projects and make a greater impact in the community. It strengthens our voice—your voice, and the voices of those who lack the opportunity to speak for themselves. All donations are tax deductible, a tax reciept will be issued upon receipt of your donation. (Charitable Tax # 10729 31 95 RP 001)

    Donate Now
  • Membership

    The strength of our voice is dependent upon the support of people and organizations concerned about social issues—people like you. By getting involved with the Edmonton Social Planning Council, you add your voice to our message of positive social development and policy change.

    Become a Member
  • Volunteer

    To inquire directly about volunteer opportunities with the Edmonton Social Planning Council, please contact johnk@edmontonsocialplanning.ca or call 780-423-2031 ext. 356. Thank you for your interest in the Edmonton Social Planning Council

    Volunteer!
  • Become a Board Member

    If you are passionate about equitable social policy and making a difference in your community, consider supporting the Edmonton Social Planning Council by joining our team as a volunteer member of our Board of Directors.

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