Multi-Year Research Programs (Family Violence, Housing, Occupational Health & Safety; Canada Pension Plan; and Canadian Labour Standards)

Family Violence: Between 1992 and 2009, three major projects for CMHC provided information and strategies to help CMHC to develop, repair and improve the security of Canada's 700+ family violence shelters which serve thousands of women annually -- with over $600 million allocated to shelter construction, repairs and improvements. Since 2010, several major family violence projects have also been conducted for the Province of Ontario.

Project Haven Evaluation (1992-1994)

This project studied 98 urban and First Nations shelters and 9,000+ women using shelters over a 12-month period. Information was obtained for 98% of shelter clients (from the time of arrival at a shelter to the departure from the shelter). Findings on the reasons for shelter use and subsequent experiences of shelter clients aided the development of shelter programs and other family violence initiatives over the next 25 years.
Next Step Program Evaluation (1998)

This evaluation laid the groundwork for Canada's current system of second-stage shelters. The research demonstrated the greater effectiveness of purpose-built second-stage shelters (compared to emergency shelters and general assisted housing) in helping women normalize their lives after fleeing family violence. Results from the evaluation were presented SPR's report: "A Place to Go".
Shelter Enhancement Program Evaluations (2001; 2009)

A 2001 Evaluation of the Shelter Enhancement Program involved a survey of 500+ shelters and reaffirmed new program funding of over $300 million for the construction of new shelters and repairs & improvements to existing shelters. A 2009 follow-up evaluation included surveys of 650+ shelters and several hundred shelter clients across Canada. Findings from the research reaffirmed new program funding of over $300 million, including significant enhancements to building security.
Evaluation of the Victim/Witness Assistance Program (2010-11)

This evaluation, for the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General, assessed the effectiveness of this program which provides court services for survivors of family violence. The evaluation involved 18 case studies and on-line surveys of over 700 stakeholders (lawyers, police, health professionals) to identify approaches for improving the program's effectiveness.
Evaluation of the Portable Housing Benefit (Pilot) (2016-17)

This pilot program provides an alternate means of housing assistance in the form of a monthly subsidy to enable households to find their own non-rent-geared-to-income (RGI) housing in their community rather than being waitlisted for an available RGI unit. The pilot program was delivered by four Service Managers in select areas of Ontario to eligible SDV households on social housing waiting lists (for the Ontario Ministry of Housing).

Canadian Social Housing: A $750,000 series of projects examined a number of CMHC national programs between 1990 and 1996. Since 1997, SPR has conducted more than a dozen projects for CMHC, aiding the development of Canada's housing programs.

Co-operative Housing Program Evaluation

All co-op housing projects in Canada were surveyed, including over 9,000 households, with a 90% response rate. Findings reaffirmed the benefits of self-housing and self-governance features of this program.
Evaluation of the Public Housing Program

Surveys of managers and residents of 1,200+ public housing projects examined quality of housing and services provided to residents. Survey results sounded the first major alarm regarding the physical deterioration of Canada's public housing stock.
Evaluation of The Rent Supplement and Non-Profit Housing Programs

Surveys of over 3,000 projects and their residents collected vital information on the physical condition of buildings and services, including proximity to and quality of services for residents.
Evaluation of the Urban Native Housing Program

This evaluation involved on-the-ground research for 45 Aboriginal housing projects in all Provinces and Territories. Topics such as housing satisfaction were assessed. Results from the evaluation provided basic planning data for CMHC and Aboriginal and First Nations partners.

Research Program on Occupational Health and Safety: This $1.2 million research program was conducted between 1986 and 1996 and contributed in a major way to the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act of 1990 and related follow-ups to 2006. The research also contributed to the development of Ontario Certification in Occupational Health & Safety, with over 400,000 worker and management OHS representatives trained and certified as of 2019. Specialized studies to-date have addressed worker safety in Ontario Children's Aid Societies (2014, 2017), and Ontario youth corrections facilities.

Surveys of 9,000 joint health and safety committees between 1984 and 1996

This research provided groundwork for revision of the Occupational Health & Safety Act of 1990 and ongoing insights for the implementation of occupational health & safety (OHS) certification training. Key findings related to the importance of information and training for both worker and management members of Joint Health and Safety Committees.

Evaluation and streamlining of 12 Ontario OHS training programs, with total budgets of $80 million

This research provided guidance for streamlining of the program. The project included an inventory of training programs and surveys of training staff, with an initial reduction in the number of training bodies from twelve to nine. As of 2019, the number of training bodies has been stabilized at four.

Review of Strategies for Psychologically Healthy Workplaces

This review, conducted in consultation with the Mental Health Commission of Canada, examined the role of psychological health & safety in workplace health & safety and accident reduction. Attention was given to the impact of long working hours on accidents such as the Lac Megantic Train Derailment. After SPR's report was presented to the 14 Canadian Ministries of Labour in June 2013, they announced that psychological health & safety would be fully integrated in Canada's OHS legislation over the next several years.

Worker Safety in Ontario Children's Aid Societies

This $60,000 project emphasized that child protection is a very dangerous occupation -- second only to policing in terms of risk of harm. Surveys of all 49 Ontario Children's Aid Societies and 5,800+ child welfare workers assessed the need for protective measures and remedies (for the Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services and the Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies, 2014-2016).

Study of Truck Parking, Public Safety and OHS Impacts

This $280,000 study for Canadian Trucking Associations and the Ontario Ministry of Transportation examined the need for long-haul truck parking and rest areas along Provincial highways in Southern Ontario. The project included an on-line survey of 2,300+ truck drivers, consultations with trucking companies and industry associations, and engineering studies. Health and safety impacts were clearly demonstrated, linking a lack of parking to negative impacts on driver fatigue, overall driver health and collisions (2019).

Psychosocial Health and Safety in Ontario Youth Corrections Facilities

This project involved a survey of 600+ Ontario correctional workers using the Copenhagen Psychosocial Questionnaire (COPSOQ) to assess the risk of psychosocial injuries and remedial strategies in all Ontario youth corrections facilities (for the Ontario Ministry of Children and Social Services and the Ontario Public Service Employees Union, 2018-2019).

Revitalization of the Canada Pension Plan (Disability): Between 1996 and 2001, this $420,000 series of three projects led to affirmation of this program and specific program improvements. SPR studies in disability have continued to-date, for example, in research for People First of Canada (2004-2015) and SPR's 2019 research on social inclusion in housing. SPR's recommended return-to-work program is still operating in 2019.

National Evaluation of the Canada Pension Plan (Disability Component)

This project was an important part of the revitalization of CPP(D) between 1997 and 2001. By demonstrating the value of the program through econometric and other studies, in particular, that 90%+ of recipients had valid needs, the CPP(D) program was reaffirmed.
Studies of Mandate and Quality Assurance in CPP(D)

This research aided the refinement of benefit management and quality control for the CPP(D) program. Sub-studies examined case management and training, overpayments and recoveries, and communications.
Evaluation of the CPP(D) National Vocational Rehabilitation Project

Drawing on a study of over 600 CPP(D) pensioners indicating a desire to return-to-work, this study demonstrated how program costs could be reduced by aiding return-to-work. The resulting return-to-work program still operates in 2019.

Canadian Labour Standards: This $846,000 research program centred on two major projects studying federal and provincial labour standards between 1992 and 1998, with follow-up to 2006. Both of these projects examined issues in labour standards enforcement and family-work balance. SPR's research on labour standards has also been reflected in many other workplaces to studies to 2019.

Evaluation of Federal Labour Standards (Phase I)

This $400,000 national study of 2,000+ employers and their employees, and several hundred labour enforcement staff focused on regulatory compliance and enforcement. The resulting report focused on an information strategy to improve compliance.
Evaluation of Federal Labour Standards (Phase II)

This $446,000 national study of 2,000+ employers and their employees focused on family-work balance. Recommendations on family-work balance aided program refinements and contributed to the extension of Parental Leave Benefits under the Employment Insurance Act in 2000.