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Full Employment: Social Questions for Public Policy
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Publication fo papers presented to Urban Seminar Six
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- Social Planning Council of Metropolitan Toronto
- Novick, Marvyn
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2.5 cm of textual records
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Established officially in 1937, the Toronto Welfare Council was the earliest incarnation of the Community Social Planning Council of Toronto, with its roots in community service agencies dating even further back to 1918. The Welfare Council provided staff assistance on matters of social planning to the Community Chest, and in 1944, joined the Chest in order to establish a stable funding base. Causing controversy at the time, The Council was responsible for the publication of the famed "Red Book" or The Cost of Living Study, a publication that outlined shortfalls in levels of relief and working wages. This groundbreaking work helped to establish a ‘market basket’ approach to research methodology in the field of income security.
Responding to growing concerns related to housing, single mothers and adoption, The Welfare Council pushed for independence from the Community Chest, and sought to build a new organization under the stewardship of the United Community Fund. On May 7, 1957, at a dinner meeting in the Dinner Hall at Hart House, the Social Planning Council of Metropolitan Toronto was formally established. Florence Philpott was named its first Executive Director.
New social movements of the late 60s pushed the Council to refocus on pressing issues within Toronto, and include more representation of grassroots community groups as well as people living in poverty on the Board of Directors. By 1972 the Council had successfully restructured itself to begin work on a wider social development agenda with community organizations and activists. This broader interpretation of social planning manifested itself effectively throughout the 70's, and the values of social development and empowerment still inform the work of the Council today.
As the provincial government moved to amalgamate Toronto in 1997, the Social Planning Council of Metropolitan Toronto and its local planning organization partners, started discussions about their own transformation for the new Toronto. They merged into a unified structure under the new name of Community Social Planning Council of Toronto, which was officially incorporated on January 1, 1998, the same date as the new City of Toronto itself.
In recent years Social Planning Toronto has renewed its commitment to action-based research and policy analysis, focusing on the social service sector in Toronto, the changing nature of work and income in the city, and the social and economic inclusion of newcomers and racialized commnunities.
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Marvyn Novick was born in Montreal in 1940 and grew up there. He graduated from Sir George Williams University in Montreal and did graduate work at the University of Michigan and Northwestern University. While in Montrea, he was a youth worker, a community organizer in Detroit and Baltimore, and a welfare rights strategist in Washington. In 1970 he moved to Toronto and worked as a senior program director with the Social Planning Council of Metropolitan Toronto.
He was a professor in the Department of Social Work and was also, at one time, the Dean of Community Services. He His area of concentration was social planning. He taught social policy and community practice focused courses at Ryerson. He was a policy thinker and community activist in his professional life. He researched and wrote major national reports on child poverty in Canada, addressed issues of work and family life, focused public attention on the social responsibilities of local governments in Ontario, conducted a widely cited two volume study on changing social conditions in Toronto suburbs, and is the author of working papers on the life chances of children.
He was active in the Social Planning Network of Ontario (SPNO) and received a lifetime honourary membership in 2007.
Marvyn Novick died June 21, 2016
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Publication of papers presented at Urban Seminar Six in Toronto on November 29, 30, and December 1, 1978. The seminar was organized by the Social Planning Council of Metropolitan Toronto, the Labour Council of Metropolitan Toronto, the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto, and the Family Service Association of Metropolitan Toronto. Marvyn Novick was the seminar co-ordinator and the publication editor. He also presented a paper at the seminar "Is Social Spending Productive".
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