An industrial disaster has discharged toxic chemicals into residential areas.
For those affected, the cost of cleaning up, litigation and ongoing medical care is up to tens of millions of dollars.
All of these expenditures will be increased appropriately to promote the country's gross domestic product, a simple measure of expenditure on all goods and services.
But while we traditionally think GDP growth is good news, few argue that chemical accidents are a good thing in themselves.
This is the problem.
"GDP measures everything but quality of life," notes Roy Romano, chairman of the Welfare Institute, who is busy creating a more balanced and exhaustive way to measure the quality of life Canadians enjoy.
"What we want to do is to upgrade a measurement tool at the Canadian level that is easily seen and understood by the public in order to exert pressure, to speak out, about the government," Romano said.
Efforts to create an alternative measure of health and social measures, as well as economic measures, began about a decade ago, but have gathered in recent years under the auspices of the Institute of welfare.
Dozens of scholars and policies
Manufacturers, partly funded by the Atkinson Charity Foundation, are now working on various elements of the Canadian welfare Index (CIW.
CIW will be a composite index that brings together results from eight areas and will today release reports from three areas: living standards, healthy population and community vitality.
Similar reports on the environment, education, time use, civic engagement, and arts, culture and entertainment will also expire in the coming months.
Romano hopes the overall number of CIW can be created by the end of next year or early 2011, once below
The weights in the consolidated data and the broader index have been determined.
For example, the group studying our living standards followed nine main indicators, from housing affordability to wealth and income distribution.
There are both satisfactory trends and worrying trends here.
While Canadians are now much better off in terms of income and wealth than in 1981, inequality has intensified.
The tax revenue of the top five households has increased by 38.
Since then, the growth of all other income groups has been only between 26.
Andrew Sharp, executive director of Ottawa, said: "This is not an equal share of earnings --
It is headquartered in the living standards Research Center.
While wage growth has been strong and poverty rates have fallen over the past few years, the current recession will have serious consequences.
Likewise, the health of Canadians is high.
Canadians born in 2005 live on average to be 80 years old.
Four years, from 74. 9 years in 1979.
But there are differences.
People with higher income and education levels generally have a longer life expectancy, self-
The reported health status is higher than the average Canadian level.
Children born in Nunavut in 2004 can only live to the age of 70.
10 years lower than the national average.
After taking into account illness and disability, health-
The adjusted life expectancy of Canadian men and women actually peaked in 1996 (at 59. 7 and 55.
7 years of health)
But it has been falling since then.
Our own assessment of health has also declined, most notably among adolescents.
In 1998, people thought their health was very good or very good.
This figure fell by 2005 to 67.
"It surprised us," said Saskatchewan eem Muhajarine, head of community health and epidemiology at the School of Medicine at the University of SA.
Unanswered question: why change?
In recent years, have news of the tsunami of health panic and environmental threats made us feel vulnerable, especially young people who have no experience with such threats?
"I think this is a viable assumption," Muhajarine said . ".
But if there is one area where the results are almost consistent, it is the area of community dynamism.
It also provides a seemingly stark contrast to the United States. S.
Research, including Robert Putnam's bowling, suggests Americans are increasingly away from their communities.
The team, led by Catherine Scott of the Canadian Commission for Social Development, studying community vitality, found that more and more Canadians are now joining the group activities.
By 2003, we are non-members.
Profits of voluntary organizations, from 51 in the 1990 s.
We also provide more help to others, with Canadians providing unpaid care and assistance to family, friends and neighbors in 2004, compared with 73 in 1997.
The decline in the rate of violent crimes and property crimes, as well as the decrease in the percentage of Canadians reporting discrimination, has been supported.
But while the first three reports provide encouraging news, Romano says one of the real benefits of CIW will be the way it reveals trade --
Trade-offs and connections between all eight areas being studied.
That is how CIW can be a tool that forces the government to adopt policies that address the links between poverty, health and crime.
After all, the real key to our quality of life, Romano said, is whether Canada "has a balanced set of social and economic policies to enrich our society ".