Though it’s true that political and policy debates can get wild and woolly, here at the Broadbent Institute we believe that always grounding arguments in the best available facts is of paramount importance.
So it’s with considerable pride that today the Institute unveils the Broadbent Fellows — a diverse, multidisciplinary group of distinguished scholars, policy experts, and leaders from Canadian civil society who will inform the Institute’s research and policy agenda. Fellows will contribute their expertise to further our efforts to impact public debate in support of progressive change and create innovative approaches to making our country a better, more prosperous, place for all Canadians.
In their book “The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone” Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett argue that social well-being – measured using a range of widely accepted indicators – varies a lot between advanced industrial countries. They show that there is little relationship between the level of GDP per capita within a country and social well-being. However, they find that there is a strong positive relationship between a low level of income inequality and well-being; in other words, they find that societies with a high degree of income equality among its members are generally happier and healthier than more unequal societies.
When the leaders of the world’s most powerful economies meet at the Group of 20 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Wednesday and Thursday, they face an economic puzzle only half-solved. Co-ordinated monetary and fiscal stimulus by the G20 in 2008 and 2009 narrowly prevented a repeat of the Great Depression. However, almost five years after the onset of the global financial crisis, the world economy remains mired in slow growth and high unemployment.
The Broadbent Institute today announced the launch of its Green Economy initiative, an ongoing project focused on tackling the increasingly-urgent need to build a sustainable economy that offers Canadians good jobs.
Accompanying the launch of this new initiative is an expanded online home for the Institute's training and leadership program and a new brand identity that reflects the organization’s expanding role as a catalyst for progressive social change.
"Canadians are rightly concerned about the daunting challenges that threaten our long-term health and prosperity," said Broadbent Institute Executive Director Rick Smith. "Unfortunately, successive Canadian governments have spurned pressing ecological concerns and focused instead on narrow, short-term growth policies and the dismantling of the laws and regulations created to protect the environment."
Instead of making policies as though economic imperatives and environmental sustainability are at odds, the Broadbent Institute is calling for a better focus on the development of new green industries to create good jobs and globally competitive companies that can fuel Canada’s long-term economic growth.
"The creation of a sustainable, productive economy will necessitate investments in renewable energy and clean technologies and the regulation of harmful pollutants -- including and beyond carbon," said Smith. "We owe it to ourselves, and to future generations, to show sustainable economic leadership."