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  • Lunch and Learn - October 17, 2018

    October 17, 2018  12:00 Noon - 1:00 PM Program Room - Stanley Milner Library (Enterprise Square Branch) 10212 Jasper Avenue Topic: VITAL SIGNS 2018 Vital Signs is an annual check-up conducted by the Edmonton Community Foundation, in partnership with the Edmonton Social Planning Council, to measure how the community is doing. This year, we have focused on individual topics, called Vital Topics which Read More
  • 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

    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

    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

    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

    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

     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
  • 78TH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

    DATE: THURSDAY, MAY 24TH, 2018 TIME: 5:30 TO 6:15 P.M. The ANNEX-Edmonton Food Bank 11434 – 120th Street Edmonton, Alberta Please join the Board and staff of the Edmonton Social Planning Council to celebrate our accomplishments of the past year, and to hear about upcoming activities of the Council. Your membership must be current in order to vote. Membership may Read More
  • Tracking the Trends 2018

    The Edmonton Social Planning Council (ESPC) today released the 2018 edition of its flagship publication Tracking the Trends. The 131-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, poverty & government transfers, and key indicators of Edmonton’s social health. Download: Read More
  • Media Release - Edmonton a Diverse and Youthful City, Despite Tough Economy

    ESPC releases updated publication tracking latest social and economic trends The Edmonton Social Planning Council (ESPC) today released the 2018 edition of its flagship publication Tracking the Trends. The 131-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, poverty & Read More
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BY KAREN KLEISS, EDMONTON JOURNAL OCTOBER 4, 2014

EDMONTON - The number of Alberta families dependent on monthly welfare cheques peaked at 40,000 in 2010 and has yet to return to pre-recession levels, new provincial figures show.

A Journal analysis of newly released provincial data shows monthly caseloads stabilized around 33,000 in early 2014, significantly higher than the roughly 25,000 monthly caseloads before the 2008 financial crash.

The figures also show single people and lone-parent families make up the bulk of households receiving income support, while more than half of all welfare recipients are those not expected to work because they have “barriers to employment” — the only category of recipients that is on the rise.

David Schneider, executive director of program policy for the Human Services department, said the steady increase in that group is mainly made up of older Albertans no longer able to do the work they did when they were younger.

“We see people who are getting older, who maybe when they were in their 30s were able to work manual, physical jobs, and be self-sufficient,” he said.

“They’ve had lots of hard work, and their bodies aren’t in the same shape.”

Schneider said the number of Albertans receiving welfare hasn’t returned to pre-recession levels in part because more people have moved to Alberta, and the figures don’t reflect that population growth. Further, welfare caseloads typically mirror the unemployment rate, but with a six-month delay.

He said most welfare cheques go to single people and lone-parent families because the province measures total household income to determine if a family qualifies for support, and Albertans in a relationship who hit hard times are more likely to be supported by their partners.

The ministry does not measure how many people apply for welfare but are turned away, Schneider said.

The Income Support Program, popularly known as welfare, is a branch of the Alberta Works program. Alberta invests just over $388 million annually to help Albertans in crisis.

Typically, a single person who is expected to work receives $627 per month in support, while a single person with barriers to employment gets $731.

A single parent with two children who is expected to work — say a single mother who has left a violent relationship — receives $1,130.

Albertans on welfare can earn up to $230 a month by working, after which additional benefits are clawed back at a rate of 75 per cent.

John Kolkman of the Edmonton Social Planning Council said the number of welfare recipients with barriers to employment is increasing because front-line caseworkers are under pressure to reduce the number of Albertans receiving Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH).

This is partly because a single person on AISH receives $1,588 per month — more than double the welfare rate — and demand has increased since Alison Redford boosted rates by $400 in 2012.

“People in the front-line agencies will say a lot of those people (who receive income supports) have profiles not dissimilar to people who are in the AISH program, and that some of them should be on AISH,” he said. “It’s really hard to live on income support benefits — they are among the lowest in the country.”

Bill Moore-Kilgannon of Public Interest Alberta said caseloads haven’t returned to pre-recession levels because the government has cut job training programs for people on welfare.

“Unless we are supporting people to get the training they need to get a job, we will continue to see people stuck in the poverty cycle,” he said.

Further, he said “these numbers only represent those who got onto the system. … Who is excluded from support? There is no shortage of people who are in crisis and unable to get help.”

Fundamentally, he said the problem is that the Tories haven’t kept their 2012 election promise to introduce a comprehensive poverty reduction strategy.

“We have to support people before they fall into poverty,” he said.