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Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Canada's Social Performance - detailed analysis by the Conference Board

While the Harper government repeatedly ignores pleas for addressing social  issues when the source is from left leaning groups like public health, it surely will pay some attention to right leaning groups like the Conference Board of Canada.   In a well written and nicely laid out document, the Conference Board gives Canada an overall “B” grading, putting it 7th of 17 members of the similarly structured countries (The US ranked last and Norway had no ratings below a "B")

The methodology and rigour are worth the read in of itself, although the methods support certain justice based components – and the rankings should incite debate and cries of overinflation.  Ultimately, that Canada is in the middle of the pack should not be considerable acceptable except to a government that promotes mediocrity.

Notably poor performances were ranked in working age poor, child poverty, income equality, gender and income gap.  If this should not have raised alarms country-wide, it is a national disaster.   Equity seems to have been achieved better for disabled persons and the elderly.

That measures of government performance also ranked poorly (confidence in parliament and voter turnout) might beg some questions about the political fabric that loosely binds Canada.

Read the high level report at Conference Board report.  The report does delve deeper into the poverty relationships and the impact of the recession.  While numerically a ranking is given for Canada, grade wise, only Italy, UK, Japan and the US were graded as “C” or “D”, with the five Nordic countries all receiving “A” ratings.

Further, link into the areas of your interest such as child poverty for a detailed analysis or income inequality for detailed analyses which helps put time trended performance into perspective.  (an excellent annual Canadian graph of GINI coefficients is a hidden gem).

This resource is well worth the read and wide dispersion.  Kudos to the conference board for such an excellent document.   

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