Caledon owes its success to a top-notch, tireless and devoted staff. In addition to staff members, Caledon draws on a group of distinguished consultants and policy associates.

Ken Battle

Ken Battle is President of the Caledon Institute of Social Policy.  Before founding Caledon in 1992, he was Director of the National Council of Welfare, a citizens’ advisory body to the Minister of National Health and Welfare.


Educated at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario and Oxford University in the UK, Ken is one of Canada’s leading social policy thinkers.  He has played a key role both inside and outside government in the reform of social policy, including the development of the new National Child Benefit and the proposed Seniors Benefit.  He served as a member of the Ministerial Task Force on Social Security Reform in 1994 and as policy advisor on child benefit reform to the Minister of Human Resources Development in 1996 and 1997. 


Ken has published widely on social policy, including income security programs, taxation, medicare, social services, poverty and income inequality, social spending and the politics of social policy.  He wrote the influential Relentless Incrementalism: Deconstructing and Reconstructing Canadian Income Security Policy, Social Policy by Stealth, Limits to Social Policy and Thinking the Unthinkable: A Targeted, Not Universal, Old Age Pension.  He is the author of the pioneering study Minimum Wages in Canada: A Statistical Portrait With Policy Implications, as well as A Bigger and Better Child Benefit: A $5,000 Canada Child Tax Benefit, The Incredible Shrinking $1,200 Child Care Allowance: How to Fix It, Child Tax Deception: The Proposed Child Tax DeductionNo Taxation Without Indexation and The National Child Benefit: Best Thing Since Medicare or New Poor Law? and numerous other Caledon reports.  Ken is co-author of Caledon's Benefits for Children: A Four Country Study, How Finance Re-formed Social Policy, Opening the Books on Social Spending, Lest We Forget: Why Canada Needs Strong Social Programs and Child Benefit Reform in Canada: an Evaluative Framework and Future Directions and Old Age Insecurity.
Ken has taught at Queen’s University and Carleton University.  In 2000, he was awarded the Order of Canada (social sciences category) for his work on the National Child Benefit and reform of social policy: “His contributions have helped to forge and to shape Canadian social policy.”  In 2004, Premier Lorne Calvert of Saskatchewan named Ken Battle a recipient of the Saskatchewan Distinguished Service Award.  In 2012 Ken was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Sherri Torjman

Sherri Torjman is Vice-President of the Caledon Institute of Social Policy.  Educated at McGill University, she has written in the areas of welfare reform, disability income and supports, caregivers, long-term care, employment policy and community-based poverty reduction. Sherri is the author of the book Shared Space: The Communities Agenda.  She has also written numerous Caledon reports including Reclaiming our Humanity; Financing Long-Term Care: More Money in the Mix; Caring for the Caregivers; Student Aid Meets Social Assistance; Proposal for a National Personal Supports Fund; Survival-of-the-Fittest Employment Policy; The Canada Pension Plan Disability Benefit; Five-Point Plan for Reforming Disability Supports; The Disability Income System in Canada: Options for Reform; Social Return on Investment: Strengths and Challenges; Reintegrating the Unemployed through Customized Training; Workfare: A Poor Law; Culture and Recreation: Links to Well-Being; What is Policy?; From Trade-Off to Trade-Up; and Are Outcomes the Best Outcome?


Sherri is co-author of Caledon’s A Proposal to Strengthen the Canada Pension Plan: The 1.5 Option; Enhancing the Working Income Tax Benefit; Inequality Is Not Inevitable; The Welfare Wall: Reforming the Welfare and Tax Systems; A Basic Income Plan for Canadians with Severe Disabilities; How Finance Re-formed Social Policy; Opening the Books on Social Spending; Federal Social Programs: Setting the Record Straight; Lest We Forget: Why Canada Needs Strong Social Programs; Caregivers and Dementia; and The Social Role of Local Government.


Sherri wrote the vision paper In Unison: A Canadian Approach to Disability Issues for the Federal/Provincial/Territorial Ministers Responsible for Social Services.  She has authored four books on disability policy: Income Insecurity, Poor Places, Nothing Personal and Direct Dollars.  Sherri wrote the welfare series of reports for the National Council of Welfare, including Welfare in Canada: The Tangled Safety Net; Welfare Reform; and Welfare Incomes 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993 and 1994.


Sherri was co-Chair of the Technical Advisory Committee on Tax Measures for Persons with Disabilities that reported to the Minister of Finance and the Minister of National Revenue in December 2004.  The Committee produced the report Disability Tax Fairness.  She worked for the House of Commons Committee on the Disabled and the Handicapped, the House of Commons Special Committee on Child Care and the Royal Commission on New Reproductive Technologies.


In 2012, Sherri was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for her policy work on caregivers.  She received the Champion of Human Services Award from the Ontario Municipal Social Services Association in 2011 and the Top 25 Canadians Award from the Canadian Association of Retired Persons in 2010.  Sherri taught a course in social policy at McGill University and is a former Board Member of the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

Michael Mendelson

Michael Mendelson is Senior Scholar at the Caledon Institute of Social Policy.  Prior to his appointment to the Caledon Institute, he was the Deputy Secretary (Deputy Minister) of Cabinet Office in Ontario.  He has served as an Assistant Deputy Minister in Ontario’s Ministries of Finance, Community Services and Health.  In Manitoba, he was Secretary to Treasury Board and Deputy Minister of Social Services.

Mr. Mendelson has been an active participant in several of Canada’s major developments in federal-provincial relations, finance and social policy in the last decades.  He led Ontario’s delegation on ‘division of powers’ in the Charlottetown Constitutional negotiations.  In the federal government’s Privy Council's Ministry of State for Social Development, he played a critical role in the development of the Canada Health Act.  He was a consultant for the Parliamentary Task Force on Federal-Provincial Fiscal Relations. He has also been a Visiting Professor at the University of Toronto School of Social Work.

Mr. Mendelson has published many articles on social and fiscal policy, as well as a book on the issue of universality.  Some of his recent articles include: Improving Education on Reserves: A First Nations Education Authority Act (published by the Caledon Institute of Social Policy); Asset-Based Social Programs: A Critical Analysis of Current Initiatives (published by the OECD); Financing the Canada and Quebec Pension Plans (published by the American Association of Retired Persons); Building Assets through Housing (published by Canadian Housing and Renewal Association); Measuring Child Benefits: Measuring Child Poverty (published by the Caledon Institute of Social Policy) and Aboriginal People in Canada’s Labour Market: Work and Unemployment, Today and Tomorrow  (also published by the Caledon Institute of Social Policy).

Melanie Burston

Melanie Burston is Office Manager at the Caledon Institute.  Before joining Caledon in 2006, Melanie worked for several research institutes including the Centre for Trade Policy and Law affiliated with the Norman Patterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University.  Melanie has also worked in an administrative capacity with the Parliamentary Centre and the Institute for Research on Public Policy.  She is an experienced community fundraiser and an active volunteer with a number of nonprofit organizations that engage children and youth to improve their knowledge and awareness of sexual health.


Anne Makhoul

Anne Makhoul is Principal Project Officer for the Caledon Institute.  In addition to research and writing duties, Anne manages the content curation of Caledon’s Canada Social Report initiative.  This includes the production of monthly federal and provincial/territorial Policy Monitors and a thrice-annual Municipal Monitor which track social policy-related initiatives across the country.  Anne also prepares the Social Assistance Summaries and Poverty Reduction Strategies series for publication to the Canada Social Report.


Between 2003 and 2011, Anne was the lead writer and coordinator of Caledon’s ‘community stories’ series – accounts of social policy in action which highlight innovative community initiatives.  She wrote extensively in support of Vibrant Communities (VC), the pan-Canadian community revitalization and poverty reduction initiative which Caledon helped found in 2002. 

Anne has co-authored several Caledon reports including: Disability Supports and Employment Policy (2016), Knowledge Exchange for Mental Health (2013), Assessing the Benefits of Community Human Services (2012), Social Inclusion in the City of Hamilton (2011) and Caregivers and Dementia (2008).  She coordinated the 2009 publication of Collaboration on Policy, a manual for community and government collaborators striving to make systemic and policy change.  In 2007, she was the principal writer of ANC Sketches: Building a Neighbourhood Renewal Process which documented the change process undertaken throughout the two-year action research project, Action for Neighbourhood Change.
Joining Caledon in 2000, Anne previously had worked as a freelance writer, a project manager and writer/researcher for an environmentally-focused consulting company, and an educator.

Julie Jai

Julie Jai is an Associate Fellow with the Caledon Institute.  Julie is a recognized expert on public policy and the law, with special interests in Aboriginal law and human rights law.  She is an experienced lawyer, negotiator, mediator, policy advisor, director and mentor who believes in working collaboratively with others to bring about positive change.

Julie has held senior legal positions in the Government of Canada, the Government of Ontario and the Yukon Territorial Government.  She has been General Counsel with the Department of Justice Canada, Executive Coordinator for Justice Policy in the Ontario Cabinet Office, and Director of Legal Services for what is now the Ontario Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs.  Julie was the Chief Negotiator for the Yukon government on negotiations leading to the ground-breaking Teslin Tlingit Council Administration of Justice Agreement which created a First Nation-run justice system.  Julie has also undertaken acting assignments as Director-General for Aboriginal Law and Strategic Policy with the Department of Justice Canada and as Director of the Yukon Human Rights Commission.  She is bilingual and served as the Ministry of the Attorney-General's French Language Services Coordinator.

Julie holds an LLB from Osgoode Hall Law School and an LLM from the University of Toronto.  She is an active member of the Ontario Bar Association, where she chairs the Aboriginal Law Section.  Julie is a frequent speaker at conferences and has published in the areas of constitutional law, human rights and Aboriginal law.  She is actively engaged in her community and is a Director at St. Joseph's Health Centre.

Her publications include: The Interpretation of Modern Treaties and the Honour of the Crown, National Journal of Constitutional Law, Vol. 26, No. 1 (2009), The Invisibility of Race in Section 15:  Why Section 15 of the Charter has not done more to Promote Racial Equality, with Joseph Cheng, Journal of Law and Equality, 5:1 (2006), Policy, Politics and Law: Changing Relationships in Light of the Charter, National Journal of Constitutional Law, Vol. 9 (1998), International Philanthropy in Action: Human Rights, The Philanthropist, 12:4 (1995).

Warren McGillivray

Warren McGillivray is a Policy Associate with the Caledon Institute.  He was Chief of the Studies and Operations Branch of the International Social Security Association (ISSA) from 1993 to 2004.  He joined the ISSA after serving the International Labour Office as Senior Actuary and Head of the Actuarial Section of the Social Security Department (1976-79 and 1985-89), Social Security Regional Adviser for Asia and the Pacific (1980-85) and Director of the ILO Office for the South Pacific (1989-93). Previously, he had been Lecturer in Statistics at the University of Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), and Senior Lecturer in Actuarial Science at the University of Lagos.


Warren has undertaken numerous social security advisory missions and participated in projects involving financial studies, actuarial valuations and various aspects of social security policy and planning.  He has written extensively on social security financing and actuarial topics, and lectured on pensions and pension reform.Warren received his B.A. and M.A. from the University of Saskatchewan.  He is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries.

Edward Tamagno

Edward Tamagno is a Policy Associate with the Caledon Institute of Social Policy.  Prior to his affiliation with Caledon, Ed was a senior official in Departments of National Health and Welfare, Human Resources Development, and Social Development.  For more than 20 years, he was responsible for the negotiation of social security agreements on behalf of the Government of Canada.  These agreements coordinate Canada’s public pension system – the Old Age Security program and Canada Pension Plan – with the pension programs of other countries.  Under Ed’s leadership, Canada concluded 46 bilateral social security agreements.  This work provided him with the opportunity to study different models of social protection programs in countries around the world.


Ed held a number of other positions in the Government of Canada, including those of Policy Advisor to the Minister of National Health and Welfare and Director of the National Council of Welfare.


During has career in government, Ed had a long association with the International Social Security Association (ISSA), an international organization that brings together government departments, agencies and institutions administering social security programs in more than 140 countries around the world.  From 1998 to 2004 he served as the elected Treasurer of the ISSA.  Ed has presented papers at numerous ISSA meetings, as well as at meetings of other international organizations such as the Inter-American Conference on Social Security, at which he was the Canadian representative for almost 15 years.  He also represented Canada in international forums on social security organized by the Council of Europe.


-A Renewed Voice for Social Canada -It's time to tear down the "welfare wall" for persons with disabilities -Why core housing need is a poor metric to measure outcomes of Canada's national housing strategy -National Child Data Strategy: Results of a Feasibility Study -Dismantling the Welfare Wall for Persons with Disabilities -The 2017 Farewell Budget -Poverty Reduction and Disability Income -Welfare in Canada 2015 -May 19, 2016: Michael Mendelson Addresses the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology on changes to the Employment Insurance program in the 2016 federal Budget -Video - Data Rescue -Video - Sherri Torjman: Five Good Ideas about Policy -Video - Sherri Torjman: Canada@150 address -Video - Sherri Torjman: Shared Space & Community Recreation -

Welfare in Canada 2015

Anne Tweddle, Ken Battle and Sherri Torjman, November 22, 2016

This report focuses on the incomes of four different households living on social assistance, commonly known as “welfare.”  It is a continuation of the welfare incomes series published regularly by

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