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Social Policy and Social Justice

The NDP Government in Saskatchewan during the Blakeney Years

Edited by Jim Harding
Subjects Social Science, Sociology, Political Science
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Paperback : 9780889202405, 496 pages, November 1995

Table of contents

Table of Contents for Social Policy and Social Justice: The NDP Government in Saskatchewan during the Blakeney Years, edited by Jim Harding
List of Tables
Part I - Establishing a Context
1. Process and Product | Jim Harding
Part II - Critical Case Studies
2. The Continuing Struggle for Universal Day Care | Judith Martin
3. The Work Environment Board and the Limits of Social Democracy | Robert Sass
4. The Welfare State as a Therapeutic State | Jim Harding
5. The Shift to Joint Ventures in Social Services | Graham Riches and George Maslany
6. Income Inequality 1971–1982 | Gordon Ternowetsky
7. Legal Aid in Saskatchewan | Jennie Abell
8. Public and Private Policing | Ron Schriml
9. Economic Growth and Social Spending in Saskatchewan 1971–1982 | Graham Riches and Jim Harding
10. The Two Faces of Public Ownership | Bill Harding
Part III - Critical Policy Analysis |
11. Social Democracy and Underdevelopment | Ken Collier
12. The Burdens and Benefits of Growth | Jim Harding
13. Social Policy and Social Justice | Jim Harding and Bonnie Jeffery
Part IV - Policy Praxis
14. Putting Social Policy Analysis in Its Political Context | Jim Harding
15. Historical Synopsis | Mary Gianoli
Contributors’ Bios
Jim Harding: Jim was born in Swift Current, Saskatchewan, in 1941. He was active in the CCF-NDP in the 1950–60s, acting as president of the Saskatchewan CCF Youth while in high school, and running as a federal NDP candidate in 1964 while at university in Saskatoon. He has also served on the Federal Council of the NDP. Jim was active in the extra-parliamentary “new left” in the 1960s and remains active in environmental and community politics; he was recently elected to the Regina City Council. He did his M.A. work in social psychology and his Ph.D. in the sociology of knowledge. He has taught at several universities across Canada, in psychology, sociology, environmental studies, social work, and human justice. He has published in various books and journals on such issues as poverty, education, social change, the peace movement, environmental health, alcohol and drugs, women and pharmaceutics, uranium mining, and aboriginal justice. He is past director of research for the Saskatchewan Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission and of Prairie Justice Research and past director of the School of Human Justice, University of Regina. He is currently a professor at the University of Regina. Jim is married to Jan Stoody and has three sons, Reece, Joel, and Dagan.
Judith Martin: Judith was born in rural Saskatchewan in 1947. She holds an M.A. in Sociology and an M.A. in Community Development. From 1970 to 1979 she taught at Brandon University, the University of Alberta, and the University of Saskatchewan, and worked as policy consultant in equal opportunity projects with the Government of Manitoba. From 1979 to 1986 she was director of the Community Development Program, Saskatoon Regional Community College. She is founding chairperson of Action Child Care, Saskatoon, founding chairperson of the Canadian Day Care Advocacy Association, and was a member of the Saskatchewan Government Day Care Advisory Council between 1981 and 1983. From 1986 to 1992 she was executive director of the Saskatoon Community Clinic. In 1992 she was appointed regional director of Social Services for Saskatoon.
Bob Sass: Bob’s academic background is in industrial relations. He sat on a provincial NDP Labour Policy Committee which held hearings throughout the province after the NDP’s defeat in 1982. He is a past executive director of the Saskatchewan Occupational Health and Safety Branch and past associate deputy minister of Labour, Government of Saskatchewan. He continues to do extensive consulting and workshops on occupational health and safety with trade union locals. He is currently a professor in the College of Commerce, University of Saskatchewan.
Graham Riches: Graham is currently a professor of social work at the new University of Northern British Columbia in Prince George. Before that he was head of the Department of Social Work and Community Welfare at James Cook University, North Queensland, Australia. Formerly he was professor of social work at the University of Regina and director of its Social Administration Research Unit. He is author of Food Banks and the Welfare Crisis (Ottawa: CCSD, 1986) and with Gordon Ternowetsky co-edited Unemployment and Welfare: Social Policy and the Work of Social Work (Toronto: Garamond Press, 1990). He has written many articles on hunger, poverty, and unemployment and was cofounder and joint editor of the Canadian Review of Social Policy/ Revue canadienne de politique sociale.
George Maslany: George is currently a professor of social work and associate dean, Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research, at the University of Regina. He has taught a broad range of courses from research methods to practices, as well as engaging in a variety of research activities related to this field. He had previously served as the founding director of the Social Administration Research Unit, University of Regina. His own academic studies were undertaken at the University of Saskatchewan, Regina Campus, and at the University of Calgary, where he obtained his Ph.D. in educational psychology. Prior to that time he was employed by the Saskatchewan Department of Social Services in the Corrections and child care field.
Gordon Temowetsky: Gordon was born in Winkler, Manitoba, and completed an Honours B.A. at the University of Winnipeg in 1970. He took his M.A. in Sociology at the University of Calgary and finished his Ph.D. in 1979 at La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia. Gordon is past chair of Social Work at the new University of Northern British Columbia. Until 1994 he was a professor in the Social Administration Research Unit, Faculty of Social Work, at the University of Regina. He assumed this position in 1983 after teaching for twelve years in the Department of Sociology at La Trobe University. His research and teaching interests are in the areas of poverty, inequality, social policy, the welfare state, and quantitative research methods. Gordon has published several articles on income inequality in Australia, Canada, and Saskatchewan. He is the founding editor of Australian- Canadian Studies: A Journal for the Humanities and Social Sciences and a former editor of Canadian Review of Social Policy/Revue canadienne de politique sociale. He is married to Carroll Temowetsky and has two children, Alexander and Joey.
Jennie Abell: Jennie Abell was trained as a lawyer at the University of Saskatchewan and completed an LL.M. at Osgoode Hall Law School. She has done extensive work in community development and legal advocacy. She worked as a legal aid lawyer in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, from 1978–82 and has worked as an assistant professor in the School of Human Justice, University of Regina. She is currently an associate professor in the Faculty of Law, Common Law Section, University of Ottawa, where she teaches and does research in the areas of law, poverty, social change, feminist theory, and criminal law and procedure.
Ron Schriml: Ron was born and raised in Saskatchewan. He holds an M.A. in social work from Carleton University. He has been involved in a number of community-related activities such as the Prince Albert Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, of which he is past president. He has acted as president of the Saskatchewan Criminology and Corrections Association, served many years on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Criminal Justice Association and is also past director of the Prince Albert Correctional Centre. Professor Schriml is a past director of the University of Regina’s Community Education Centre, Prince Albert, and is currently director of Prairie Justice Research, and an associate professor in the School of Human Justice, University of Regina.
Bill Harding: Born and raised in Saskatchewan, Bill Harding was engaged in many pioneering activities in agriculture, adult education, social and economic affairs, and community development during his more than eighty years. After acting as secretary of the Saskatchewan Royal Commission on Rural Life and the Centre for Community Studies, Bill spent thirteen years as a director with the United Nations Development Programme, where he became one of a small handful of Canadians selected to be a resident representative, responsible for the entire United Nations programme in his assigned country. After his retirement in 1975, Bill taught, wrote, and lectured on various crucial issues and was an outspoken opponent of uranium mining, nuclear energy, and all of the ills of a centralized corporate society. He was an active proponent of alternative energy and a revitalized participatory democracy. Bill Harding died in 1993 before this book was published.
Ken Collier: Ken is a professor of the Social Work at the University of Regina. He has lived in northern Saskatchewan where he has worked as a health planner for the Department of Northern Saskatchewan, and as director of the University of Regina’s Community Education Centre at La Ronge. His studies have focused on rural social and economic development and he has recently completed doctoral studies in these areas at the University of Swansea in Wales. His book, Social Work with Rural Peoples: Theory and Practice (Vancouver: New Star, 2d ed., 1994) is used in classes on rural social welfare across North America.
Bonnie Jeffery: Bonnie was born in Eston, Saskatchewan in 1953. She holds an M.A. in social work from the University of Toronto. From 1975 to 1976 she worked as a rural social worker out of the Weyburn Psychiatric Centre and since 1979 has been employed by the Faculty of Social Work, University of Regina. She is past director of the Faculty’s Community Education Centre in both Saskatoon and Prince Albert, the director of the Social Administration Research Unit, and assistant dean of Social Work at the University of Regina. She has acted as a consultant to many local social service agencies in the area of program development and research. Currently an associate professor of Social Work, she in on leave doing doctoral work in Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of British Columbia.
Mary Gianoli: Mary was born in Regina, Saskatchewan, and has a B.Ed, and Certificate in Business Administration from the University of Regina. During the preparation of this manuscript she worked as the co-ordinator of Prairie Justice Research, University of Regina. She has also worked in school libraries and was employed by the Planning and Policy Development Branch, Saskatchewan Health. In 1991 she worked with Statistics Canada, managing the field components of the 1991 censuses of population and agriculture in the northwest Saskatoon and west central Saskatchewan census areas. Mary is now working in an educational capacity with the Financial Management Board Secretariat, Government of the Northwest Territories, in Yellowknife.


Social Policy and Social Justice looks concretely at the successes and failures of a social democratic government in Canada (1971-1982) in achieving social justice through its approaches to social policy. Social policy is analyzed widely, including day care, workers’ control, prescription drugs, social assistance, income distribution, legal aid and policing. Additional chapters review the NDP’s re-organization of bureaucracy and allocation of expenditures. Also included are an historical synopsis of the legislation pursued in the period and an analysis of the broader political, economic and sociological contexts in Canada.
Social Policy and Social Justice is the first in-depth analysis of social policy at a provincial level. It is the product of the multidisciplinary scholarship of the authors, all of whom have extensive experience in policy-making, policy advocacy or policy research.
This book will be an invaluable resource for comparative purposes, particularly since there are now three NDP governments across Canada, and the NDP is undergoing re-evaluation in the wake of the 1993 federal election. It will be of particular interest to those in government, university, community-based or political organizations wanting to re-examine mainstream assumptions about social democracy, social policy and social justice in Canada.


Social Policy and Social Justice is the product of profound social commitment and a great deal of thought about issues of social justice. It deserves to be read.

- Alvin Finkel, Athabasca University, Canadian Historical Review

The result, based on research that is both sophisticated and compelling, is an analytical achievement.... For the faithful the results were disillusioning; for activists they provided an incentive to explore what went wrong. Social Policy and Social Justice offers some of the disturbing answers.

- David E. Smith, University of Saskatchewan, Canadian Book Review Annual

The most theoretical metaphor in this book is appropriately provided by Jim Harding who reconceives the NDP `Welfare State' as a `Therapeutic State,' dispensing many medications for the incurable disease of late-twentieth century capitalism. Blakeney himself has stated that the future of social democracy in Saskatchewan is unclear. The Harding collection amplifies this point, and should help nip any romantic interpretation of the `golden age' of the Blakeney years in the bud.

- Allen Seager, Great Plains Research