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Caledon Institute - Speaking Out Project Reports

1) Speaking Out Project Description, Research Strategy

The Speaking Out Project was established in January 1997 to document the effects this transformation is having on ordinary people in Ontario, especially those with low incomes. The project is a unique longitudinal study of 40 Ontario households, which will be intensively interviewed at six-month intervals over the next three years.

Speaking Out is a project of the Caledon Institute of Social Policy, a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to social policy research. The Caledon Institute seeks to inform and influence public opinion

while developing and promoting concrete practical proposals for social policy reform.

The project team has seven members. The two principal co-investigators - Michael Mendelson, and Sheila Neysmith- provide direction on methodology and policy analysis. The research associates - Kate Bezanson, Louise Noce, Anne O'Connell and Fraser Valentine - are conducting the interviews, carrying out research, analyzing policy and writing. Project manager Susan McMurray also does policy analysis and writing, represents the project and carries out tasks on a day-to-day basis.

This report describes their methodology, the household template, the interview process and analysis structure. It is a very useful report for other groups looking at action research.

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2) "Take It or Leave It": Ont. Government Approach to Job Insecurity

by Louise Noce and Anne O'Connell. January 1998

What is really happening in Ontario today? In spite of all the brave talk about economic recovery, getting, keeping and having a job is actually becoming more and more difficult for a substantial part of

Ontario's population. Why is this happening?

The 62 participants interviewed shed some light on these questions in two parts.

First, about individual experiences of work and job insecurity among our project participants. The report draws on labour market research to see how far participants' experiences of the changing nature of work are shared by other Ontarians. The evidence shows that job insecurity is on the rise in Ontario. Opportunities for full-time, secure and well-paid employment are becoming increasingly scarce.

Second, the authors turn to the reasons for the deteriorating work situation in Ontario.

The entire report is available on the Internet (takes a while to download) or directly from the Speaking Out Project. Very worthwhile to get for the thorough research and review.

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3) "Act in Haste: The Style, Scope & Speed of Change in Ontario"

by Kate Bezanson and Fraser Valentine

Ordinarily, most people do not spend much time thinking about what is going on at Queen's Park and not about the manner in which the provincial government goes about doing its business. The Speaking Out participants were asked about broad concerns that they have in their daily lives, especially relating to policy changes implemented by the current government.

The project team found that no matter what their income level or geographic location - the pace and manner of change were recurring themes. In a majority of the interviews, individuals expressed anxiety

over the speed of policy change and the lack of consultation by the government on central pieces of legislation. This report looks at what was said about the speed of change, and provides another examination of how policy change is happening in Ontario.

All three reports provide a welcome look at the impacts of social policies on people across the province.

For more information contact:

Caledon's Speaking Out Project (at the YMCA)

42 Charles St. E., 4th floor

Toronto, ON M4Y 1T4

Tel: (416) 928-3362 ext 4205 Fax 416-928-3325

Email: Internet: