CCSD BOARD OF DIRECTORS
CCSD's activities are directed by a voluntary board of directors, elected by and from the membership. Board members serve a three-year term and may serve a maximum of three terms. In addition to bringing their experience and expertise to the CCSD decision-making process, board members represent and promote the Council in their respective regions.
Charles Birchall, Toronto
Maureen Baker, Montréal
(Vice President, Quebec)
Les Batterson, Windsor
Claire Chamberland, Montréal
Peter Crichton, Newmarket
Patrick Flanagan, Fredericton
Catherine Francis, St. David's
(Vice President, Ontario)
David I. Hay, Vancouver
Shirley Hoy, Toronto
Diana Hodson, Calgary
(Vice President, Prairies/NWT)
Eric Keating, Fredericton
Sharon Manson Singer*, Vancouver
(Past President & Vice President, BC/Yukon)
Elizabeth McKenna, Halifax
Jan Mears, Vancouver
Brian Mitchell, Edmonton
Marcia Nozick, Winnipeg
Hector Ouellet, Ste. Foy
Cathy Wright, Saint John
(Vice President, Atlantic)
*resigned February 1997
David Ross, Executive Director
Susan Carter, Associate Director
Laura Buckland, Executive Assistant
Debbie Hennig*, Membership Coordinator
Centre for International Statistics
Clarence Lochhead, Director
Grant Schellenberg, Assistant Director
Gail Fawcett, Research Associate
Angela Gibson-Kierstead, Research Assistant
Mark Kelly*, Research Associate
Kevin Lee, Research Assistant
Susan Scruton, Research Associate
Vivian Shalla, Research Associate
Richard Shillington*, Research Associate
Spyridoula Tsoukalas, Research Assistant
Chris Clark, Analyst
Katherine Scott, Analyst
Ellen Adelberg, Director
Nancy Colborne Perkins, Coordinator
Doreen Lint, Desktop Publishing
Arlette Sinquin, Translation
Finance and Administration
Penelope Feather, Director
Fatema Chhil, Accounting
Louise Clarke, Membership and Publications Services
Maria Gordon, Receptionist
Rachel Green**, Receptionist
*resigned during 1996-97
**on maternity leave
I am pleased and honoured to present my second report as President of the CCSD.
I must confess that I have had the benefit of reading the Executive Director's report before preparing mine. In his usual crisp writing style, David Ross has succinctly and accurately described the business of the CCSD for this fiscal year. His report bears careful reading as it contains nuggets on all of the relevant financial and research information required to understand what we have been doing this year. As a result, I have the pleasant task of simply highlighting two or three key points that I think account for our success this year.
First, no one should underestimate the significance of the CCSD's continued progress towards financial self-sufficiency. The staff and board of directors are working very hard to find better ways of raising our revenues through research contracts, sales of publications and memberships, and fundraising activities. We are close to finalizing a comprehensive three-year business plan that should lead to a considerable improvement in our bottom line. These efforts will ensure that the CCSD will continue to be a healthy "business" and can focus on our mission of developing and promoting progressive social policies.
At the same time as we are making financial progress, the Council is also managing to produce work that is timely, relevant and well-received. It is no coincidence that following the release of our reports, Child Poverty: What are the Consequences? and The Progress of Canada's Children 1996, the issue of child poverty resurfaced on the national agenda and our governments began to collaborate on the implementation of a child tax credit. The CCSD will continue to focus on this critical issue with future reports detailing the well-being of Canada's children.
In my view, the primary reason for our current presence and success is due to the people who support the CCSD. It starts with our executive director who has assembled a staff that is enthusiastic, dedicated, hard-working, and just plain smart. He has ensured that the right people are doing the best work in research, communications, memberships, fundraising, and finance and administration. Both David and Susan Carter, our Associate Director, deserve credit for recognizing that the voice of the Council is strengthened when the people who prepare the reports are given the opportunity to deliver our messages to the public.
The volunteer national board of directors has also spent many hours providing assistance and support to the CCSD staff. Board members deserve much of the credit for encouraging the development of a business plan to put the Council in a more stable financial position, without compromising our mission. Directors will be meeting more often this year so that they can better meet their obligations to the CCSD and keep pace with the rapidly changing events and issues of the day. The board is also planning to take this additional time to explore new opportunities for effectively governing and supporting the Council.
I also want to record that the board saw the departure of one of its major contributors this year, when Past President Sharon Manson Singer resigned to become a Deputy Minister with the Government of British Columbia. Sharon worked tirelessly for the Council for over eight years and was responsible for leading us into a new era. On a personal note, I will miss her sage advice, humour and friendship. On behalf of the board and all members of the CCSD, I wish Sharon every success in her new endeavours.
The ultimate support for the CCSD, of course, is provided by our members. We are a national membership-based organization. Our membership is growing and that provides a sound basis for our business plan projections. But the members are more than that; they provide the advice and input that staff rely on when drafting CCSD reports and policy briefs. And in the year ahead, we will continue to look for opportunities to ensure that our members' views are heard and are reflected in the work of the Council.
Thank you for supporting the CCSD this year. Together, we will continue to do more.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR'S REPORT
1996-97 was a year of high productivity for the CCSD. We issued several important reports which received unprecedented media coverage, including A Statistical Profile of Urban Poverty, The Progress of Canada's Children 1996, Living with Disability in Canada, and Left Poor by the Market. In addition, the Council developed policy briefs and critiques of major federal legislation including revisions to Unemployment Insurance, the Canada Pension Plan, disability benefits, child tax benefits and the federal budget. We also hosted an international symposium on social indicators and a national seminar on research and policy development in a culturally diverse society.
These accomplishments are all the more remarkable as the Council continues its extensive transformation process from being an organization that was supported by annual government sustaining grants, into a hybrid "business" that is self-financing yet still committed to our social goals. Now, every dollar of our revenue is earned through research contracts, sales of publications and memberships, and fundraising activities. Each day begins anew with the realization -- shared by many other non-profit organizations -- that financial support is hard earned. Fortunately, the special dedication and enthusiasm of the staff, Board and our members is helping to transform the Council, slowly but steadily, into a financially viable and socially responsible organization.
Although the CCSD experienced an operating deficit again this year, the deficit has been sharply reduced from last year and represents a small fraction of our total revenues. And because we are still in a growth process, the shortfall can properly be seen as an "investment" in staff, state-of-the-art equipment and databases that will reap returns in subsequent years.
Other encouraging news is that we will start the new fiscal year with 60 per cent of our required revenues from research already committed through multi-year contracts. And our investment fund -- established two years ago from the sale of the Council's old premises at 55 Parkdale -- grew by a healthy 30 per cent last year and is now more than $700,000.
To provide greater revenue stability, Board and staff are putting the finishing touches on a three-year business plan that will focus our revenue-generating efforts more effectively. Research contracts will remain the dominant source of revenue -- providing 80 per cent of revenues -- and to improve our bottom line, there will be increased emphasis on fundraising revenues, particularly from corporations, publication sales and promotion of organizational memberships.
Last year, I identified the revitalization of our membership base as a top priority. I am pleased to report that new memberships are up 145 per cent over the year and fundraising revenues are up 167 per cent. These positive trends provide a sound basis for our business plan projections.
Again this year, the CCSD continued to serve as an important source of information. In 1996/97, we answered over 400 queries from the public, with each inquiry taking an average of 30 minutes of staff time -- all at no charge to the public. And we are justifiably proud of our award-winning website! It has become a very popular location for thousands of people searching for a variety of social information. Since its inception, we have had 16,585 "visitors" to our site, with a current rate of 1,440 "hits" each month, and it is growing rapidly.
In closing, I would like to express my appreciation for the support and selfless assistance I receive from the CCSD's Board of Directors. Our national board members are the face of the Council in the provinces and their local communities. Their efforts have been superb. I would particularly like to thank our president, Charles Birchall, who has gone far beyond the normal boundaries of a "volunteer" and his work is always spiced with good humour. I am delighted that his term as President has been extended for another year; I promise him it will be his best yet.
David P. Ross
The program activities of the CCSD fall into four broad categories:
- INFORMATION AND PUBLIC EDUCATION
Several research projects were completed this year and the results published in various formats. These included:
- a 206-page book, entitled Living with Disability in Canada: An Economic Portrait, produced for the Office for Disability Issues at Human Resources Development Canada;
- a study on the well-being and development of children, widely distributed in a magazine-style publication entitled The Progress of Canada's Children 1996;
- an overview of children in Canada that was published as the opening chapter in Statistics Canada's monograph Growing Up in Canada;
- Left Poor by the Market: A look at family poverty and earnings, the second paper in the Social Research Series which examined the capacity of the labour market to provide adequate incomes to families;
- a demographic profile of poverty in 25 urban centres in Canada, entitled A Statistical Profile of Urban Poverty;
- a study of the financial well-being and retirement patterns of older workers, published by Fernwood Press as a chapter in the book Remaking Canadian Social Policy: Social Security in the Late 1990s;
- a study of the impacts of taxation on Canadians at different income levels, also published as a chapter in Remaking Canadian Social Policy: Social Security in the Late 1990s;
- a study of changes in the income distribution of Canadian families, published in CCSD's quarterly periodical Perception.
Many other projects were also underway in 1996-97, with the results scheduled for publication in 1997-98. These include:
- a comprehensive review of federal, provincial and territorial welfare-to-work programs, to be published as an inventory;
- a study on the changing distribution of earnings in Canada, called Women, Men and Labour Market Restructuring (working title), the third report in the Social Research Series;
- an analysis of the changing characteristics of part-time employment, Part-time Employment in the 1990s (working title), which will be the fourth report in the Social Research Series;
- an analysis of the demographic and mobility characteristics of low-wage workers to be published by Fernwood Press as a chapter in the book Child and Family Policies: Struggles, Strategies and Options;
- an analysis of the relationship between literacy and poverty, to be published in a forthcoming monograph by Statistics Canada.
In 1996-97, the Gender Research Unit was established within the CCSD to undertake research and policy analysis with a particular focus on gender relations. Within the Unit, the following work was undertaken:
- a study on the impact of the Canada Health and Social Transfer on women receiving social assistance;
- a demographic profile of visible minority women living in poverty.
The Gender Research Unit also began work this year on:
- women with disabilities;
- women and literacy;
- the aforementioned report on women and men's labour market earnings;
- case studies of selected communities to determine factors that contribute to successful welfare-to-work strategies for lone-parent families.
The following were research clients of the CCSD in 1996-97:
- Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada
- British Columbia Ministry for Children and Families
- Campaign 2000
- Canadian Labour Market and Productivity Centre
- Department of Canadian Heritage, Multiculturalism Program
- Health Canada
- Human Resources Development Canada
- - Applied Research
- - Employability and Social Partnerships
- - Learning and Literacy
- - Office for Disability Issues (formerly the Status of Disabled Persons Secretariat)
- Justice Canada
- Laidlaw Foundation
- National Association of Friendship Centres
- National Organization of Immigrant and Visible Minority Women of Canada
- One Voice Seniors Network
- Public Works and Government Services Canada
- Status of Women Canada
- Statistics Canada
- Trillium Foundation
- United Way of Metro Toronto
- Vanier Institute of the Family
Information and Public Education
In addition to the documents listed above, several other publications were produced over the year. These included:
- 75 Years of Community Service to Canada: Canadian Council on Social Development 1920 -- 1995
- Measuring Well-being: Proceedings from a Symposium on Social Indicators
- four issues of the Council's periodical Perception
- a new publications catalogue, a new brochure highlighting the Centre for International Statistics' research services, a French-language version of our popular chartbook Child Poverty: What are the Consequences?, and numerous position papers and news releases on issues of the day.
1996 was the first full year of operation for the CCSD's website that was launched in October 1995. During the year, we hosted 12,000 visitors to our site, responded to over 3,000 e-mail messages, and won two prestigious website awards -- the Magellan 4-Star Site Award and the CharityVillage Award that is given to "top Canadian non-profit websites and to sites that make a particularly valuable contribution to the Canadian non-profit sector."
The site was expanded tremendously in 1996-97 to meet our objective of making as much information as possible available to the general public free of charge. Visitors to the site can read the Council's policy briefs, news releases, executive summaries of CCSD reports and highlights of our books, issues of Perception, and back issues of our newsletters Insight and Vis-à-vis. They can learn more about the CCSD, become members of the organization, order our publications, sign the guest book, find out about upcoming social policy conferences and workshops, or use the launchpad to access hundreds of other social policy sites on the Internet. One of the most popular features is our Statistics and Information section which provides tables of some of the more frequently requested data such as information about poverty lines, poverty rates and income distributions.
A new sub-site was also established in 1996 -- the Social Indicators Site -- to provide a central information source for participants of our Social Indicators Symposium and others interested in measures of well-being. The CCSD was also a founding member of Child and Family Canada, a website partnership of 32 national organizations concerned about a variety of child and family issues.
Also this year, we simplified our website address to make it easier to find the Council online. Our e-mail address is email@example.com and our new website address is www.ccsd.ca.
Web development plans for 1997 include establishing a sub-site to provide information about the Council's Gender Research Unit, and a special "hub" for social planning councils across Canada which will allow them to share their information via the Internet.
Conferences and Seminars
CCSD staff attended numerous conferences over the year, both as participants and presenters. Among these were:
- Alternative Budget Economic Roundtable, sponsored by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
- Annual Consultation of Social Service Administrators
- Bridging the Gap: People with Disabilities and Employability, sponsored by the Canadian Association of Independent Living Centres;
- Canada's Children...Canada's Future, sponsored by the Child Welfare League of Canada
- Canadian Association of Social Worker's Social Policy Forum
- a series of meetings on such issues as the social union, family networks, and social policies and programs, sponsored by the Canadian Policy Research Network
- Community Access to the Information Highway, sponsored by InfoLink Consultants
- Creating a Children's Agenda, sponsored by the Metro Task Force on Services to Children and Families
- Crime Prevention: Money Well Spent? sponsored by the National Crime Prevention Council
- Healthy Public Policy, sponsored by Canadian Public Health Association
- Of Mutual Benefit: Intergenerational Renewal and Engagement, sponsored by the Vanier Institute of the Family
- Pensions for Canadians, sponsored by the Canadian Pensions and Benefits Institute, the Canadian Institute of Actuaries, and the Canadian Association of Pension Supervisory Authorities
- United Way of Canada Issues Reference Group.
The CCSD spoke out on a number of policy issues and initiatives over the past year:
Child poverty and the national child benefit
In January 1997, the CCSD released a backgrounder which outlined the severity of the problem of child poverty and the need for immediate and concrete action. Stressing that a single child benefit cannot adequately address the problem, the Council called upon the federal and provincial governments to establish a comprehensive multi-year plan. As part of this plan, the CCSD emphasized job creation, accessible social services and labour market supports -- including child care -- as necessary components to address the problem of child poverty in Canada.
Canada Pension Plan (CPP)
The CCSD issued an analysis of the federal/provincial information paper on CPP which outlined options for reform. The Council's paper was presented to the travelling federal/provincial commission in the spring of 1996, and later, to a committee focussing on the impact of the proposed changes on younger workers. When federal/provincial agreement on CPP was reached in February 1997, the CCSD participated in a national debate to defend the CPP against advocates of a privatized retirement scheme.
The 1997 federal budget
During pre-budget consultations in the fall of 1996, the CCSD urged the federal government to move beyond the traditional economic indicators of GDP, interest rates and inflation rates when setting priorities for the 1997 budget. Alternative measures of progress -- social indicators -- provide a more accurate picture of the health and well-being of Canadians and should play a more prominent role in guiding the decision-making and priority-setting process.
The Council received prominent media coverage following the release of the budget and issued a detailed response soon after. Because the federal government is ahead of its deficit-reduction targets, the CCSD urged Finance Minister Paul Martin to go further in addressing Canada's most pressing social problems, including unemployment, child poverty and growing gaps in health care and social services.
Consultation and Collaboration
As in past years, the CCSD continued to work with our social partners on a range of issues important to Canadians:
Social Service Administrators
With the Government of British Columbia as the co-host, the CCSD organized the annual consultation of social service administrators in Vancouver in October.
Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA)
The CCSD participated in the CPHA's Working Group on Health Impacts of Social and Economic Policies which released a discussion paper in January.
Campaign 2000 and the Children's Alliance
Again this year, the Council helped develop the Child Poverty Report Card for the Campaign 2000 coalition. The CCSD also participated in a new coalition called the Children's Alliance which was established as a forum to exchange information on policy, research and services related to children and to focus public attention on children's issues.
Alternative Federal Budget
The CCSD joined a coalition of labour and social partners participating in the annual Alternative Federal Budget, and in an Economist's Roundtable to discuss the issue of job creation.
Voluntary Sector Roundtable
The Council continued its participation in the Voluntary Sector Roundtable -- a coalition of national voluntary organizations -- to push for reforms that will assist the voluntary sector to deal with increased demands for their services in the face of government cut-backs.
In 1996-97, the Council implemented a membership recruitment campaign aimed at increasing the number of CCSD members, particularly those in the organizational categories. The goals set for membership revenues were met this year, thanks to the recruitment campaign and to strong membership renewal rates. This positive development is undoubtedly the result of the time and attention spent providing CCSD members with new information about Council activities and research, and the growing public awareness of the CCSD's work through our media activities.
This year, we also conducted a comprehensive review of our membership and fundraising activities and developed a detailed three-year plan to increase the Council's revenues in both these areas.
If you wish to see receive a copy of CCSD's financial statements for the fiscal year 1996/97, please contact us, and we'll be happy to send them to you.
The Canadian Council on Social Development gratefully acknowledges the contributions of the individual members and donors whose support of the Council enables us to continue our work on behalf of the well-being of all Canadians.We also wish to recognize the following organizations that supported the Council's work through their membership and contributions.