This site is dedicated to the memory
of my dear mother Muriel Berthiaume,
who passed away on January 27, 2005.
Top Ten Reasons Why I Created
Updated May 24, 2012
[ Go to Canadian Social Research Links Home Page ]
To share my collection of bookmarks with others who were interested in the field of social programs. That's how it all came about, in the fall of 1997, when my collection of work bookmarks got too large to send out as an e-mail attachment to colleagues. The site started with about 20 pages and 1,600 links; now, in May 2012, you'll find over 115,000 links organized under 100+ themes, including links for every Canadian province and territory, along with 1000s of links to U.S and other international resources.
To create a resource for use by those who formulate public policy and those who study and critique it.
It's important to understand all sides of an issue - the truth is out there, somewhere between the views of the far right and the far left...
Levelling the playing field - too much Fraser Institute and Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, not enough Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and Campaign 2000...
[May 2012 update: The CCSD still has its own website - http://www.ccsd.ca/ - and Executive Director (Peggy Taillon). Not much more than that, though --- it was one of the NGO victims of federal de-funding over the course of many years. Hard to believe that in its heyday (esp. the 1970s), the CCSD actually had 44 people in full-time positions...]
Therapy. My wife and I are empty nesters - my only son and his charming wife are living in the Kootenays in BC since July 2011, and my Mom passed away early in 2005 after a journey of almost 10 years that started with a massive stroke in the fall of 1995. She experienced first-hand the effects of mid-to-late-nineties cuts to health and long-term care spending by the federal and Ontario governments. She's gone to a far better place than Mike Harris and Ernie Eves could ever offer her.
See : Ownership Matters: Lessons from Ontario's Long-Term Care Facilities
"On May 27, 2002, the Ontario Health Coalition released Ownership Matters: Lessons from Ontario's Long-Term Care Facilities. This is a report prepared for the Hospital Employees' Union of British Columbia by the OHC which examines the effect of the Ontario Tory government's privatization of Long Term Care on the quality of care and patients."
[But I digress...]
Canadian Social Research Links was part of my web authoring learning curve - my original home page was called Links, Musings and Silly Stuff. It's where I learned to flaunt my brilliance* for those who know less than I do and my ignorance for those who know more. Canadian Social Research Links was the part that took off (although this was no great surprise...)
*[this link is to an animated graphic that just *looks* like a virus - I promise.]
Late in 1997, I created a web page for my son Daniel (who was then studying at Concordia University in Montreal). Well, not really for him -- it was a page on my website that I controlled - to get him to visit my site regularly to see what embarrassing baby photos 'Pops' had uploaded to his site any given week. It kept me moving along the learning curve, and he says it helped sway him into web page design. Since then, he worked as a website manager and curricular technical support at a private girls' school, Miss Edgar's and Miss Cramp's School in Westmount (dontcha just love that name!), then he returned to university to finish off a B.A. in child studies and, in the summer of 2006, he completed his Master's degree in Human Systems Intervention, also at Concordia. He has since married, and the lovely couple are living at the Yasodahra Ashram yoga retreat and study centre on the East shore of Kootenay Lake, across from Nelson BC.
It beats jigsaw puzzles and model trains - as hobbies go, working on this site isn't even in the same league as collections, puzzles and model-building --- all of which I've dabbled with over the years. Sure, there's the therapy value (See #7), but you just don't get to share your matchbook (or whatever) collection with thousands of people each month. The detailed site statistics from my web hosting provider indicate that on a good month, there are almost 100,000 page views on my site. That's quite a few more than the audience for my last jigsaw puzzle (my wife and our cats) - I worked on that puzzle for 200+ hrs., and now it's stashed in a box in the basement.
Lots of people like to do something meaningful in their spare time, OK? The Internet is one of the most powerful media for information-sharing and communication since the dawn of humanity (cue the violins...), and I want to use it to help advance the cause of fair, responsible and progressive social policy in Canada.
May 2012 Update: "Spare time" is now *all* the time : I retired from Human Resources Development Canada in mid-October 2003 after nearly 30 years in the federal civil service, to work full-time on my site and newsletter --- and my REAL retirement plan is just on the verge of panning out, I know it!!
2. Once a public servant, always
a public servant.
The intrinsic satisfaction is invaluable...
Master of my own domain.
[No, really, it's self-actualization --- but I just couldn't resist the Seinfeld reference...]
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and maintained by :
Gilles Séguin (this link takes you to my personal page)