Triage: The top three reads of the week

A lot of policy-related literature crosses my desk at the Library of Parliament, both literally and electronically.  At home, it’s almost all electronic, but there is still an embarrassment of riches, in terms of things to read, and  a dearth of time to read it.  On Fridays, I will try to give you the top three things that I’ve uncovered in the week, that I’d recommend for your weekend (or some other time) reading.

This week, I’d point you toward the two reports being submitted to the United Nations, on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the Beijing conference dedicated to developing an action plan to advance the status of women in member countries.  The Government of Canada’s submission points to successes in public policy and more general economic and social advances for women; the submission by civil-society organizations, notably labour and some of the few remaining women’s organizations is a litany of the failure of public programs and policies.  It’s hard to believe that both reports are addressing the state of women’s world in the same country. (And these two are being counted as one, for the purposes of this entry.)

From the Maytree Foundation comes a veritable goldmine of material, all wrapped up in one report. Entitled From Insecurity to Prosperity: Practical Ideas for a Stronger Canada, and taglined “Policy Insights,’ the report includes policy prescriptions for a full range of social policy questions, from a wide range of voices.  Contributors include Caledon Institute mainstays Battle, Mendelson and Torjman (in alphabetical order); Tamarack’s advice on poverty reduction, immigration policy ideas from Naomi Alboim, economic integration proposals from the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Centre, and advice with respect to the refugee “system” from Peter Showler, who has been working in this field as practioner and policy wonk for some time.  If you don’t know these people or institutions or their ideas, this volume offers a great overview.

Finally, the Chamber of Commerce is reminding anyone who reads its latest policy brief (entited “Downturn, Recovery and the Future Evolution of the Labour Market”) that while we are worried now about unemployment, we will soon be more concerned with a shortage of workers.  Its prescription is one that many governments and policy organizations across Canada and across the political spectrum share: develop and employ underutilized resources, including immigrants (whose credentials are too often not recognized), people with disabilities, older workers and Aboriginal peoples. If repetition and widespread support can result in the implementation of a policy prescription, in the words of Jean-Luc Picard, “Make it so!”

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    • Lina Asfour
    • February 26th, 2010

    Thanks, these are great references!

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