Janine M. Brodie

Canada Research Chair in Citizenship and Social Governance

Tier 1 - 2004-07-01
Renewed: 2011-10-01
University of Alberta
Social Sciences and Humanities


Research involves

Examining the recent increase in provincial anti-poverty strategies, urban living wage campaigns, and anti-poverty activism.

Research relevance

This research will provide examples of best practices in social welfare policies and assess the importance of social policy innovations aimed at reducing poverty.

A Look at the Surge of Antipoverty Strategies in Canada

There has been a historical shift in Canada’s poverty and social policy landscape in the past decade, as six provinces have adopted anti-poverty strategies. Pressure is mounting on other provinces and territories to devise similar plans. There also has been a marked increase in anti-poverty activism, such as living wage campaigns, in many Canadian cities.

Dr. Janine Brodie, Canada Research Chair in Citizenship and Social Governance, is examining and assessing these anti-poverty initiatives.

She notes there are significant differences between the programs, and that they provide a remarkable living laboratory to study the reframing of social welfare policies in Canada. The programs emerge from an economy that is increasingly characterized by low-paying and often precarious service-sector employment. As well, there has been a notable absence of innovative policy leadership at the federal level, and responsibility for such programs has increasingly shifted to the provinces and municipalities.

Her research is focusing on the differences in design and budgets in the programs, their various definitions of poverty, the solutions they offer, and the political processes that have achieved these policy innovations.

Brodie’s research will not only assess the differences in the programs, but provide examples of best practices in social welfare policies and examine their importance in a changing economic and political environment.