Yesterday, the Minister of Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance, Mona Fortier spoke virtually with His Worship Naheed Nenshi, the Mayor of the City of Calgary.
Minister Fortier and Mayor Nenshi discussed Canada’s draft Quality of Life Framework that was introduced in Budget 2021 to integrate quality of life considerations into decision-making. The Framework provides a guide for moving beyond one set of well-being indicators – such as GDP – to look at Canadians’ quality of life in five domains – prosperity, health, environment, society and good governance. In addition to this sort of multi-dimensional thinking, the framework emphasizes inclusive and long-term thinking.
The Minister sought input on the discussion paper released alongside Budget 2021 and specifically Mayor Nenshi’s views on refining the indicators in the Framework to better assess quality of life by ensuring that a broad range of factors are used to guide policy decisions in Canada.
Mayor Nenshi shared the importance of continuing to work across all orders of government to roll out vaccines to Calgarians especially vulnerable populations. He also highlighted the need to ensure that all recovery efforts are focused on inclusive growth that benefits all – especially those who have been hit hardest by the pandemic including; women, youth, Black, Indigenous and people of color. Minister Fortier and Mayor Nenshi emphasized the importance of data and science based decisions to ensure that citizens can prosper in their health, environment and community. Mayor Nenshi also reinforced the importance of going beyond the traditional indicators of prosperity in the Quality of Life Framework and the importance of indicators such as mental health, food security, and access to green spaces. Economic growth in an unequal society only further increases the gaps between the rich and the poor, impacts access to education and dampens social mobility.
Minister Fortier indicated that the feedback from this meeting, as well as other meetings, would be used to refine the Framework, which will remain evergreen to ensure its continued relevance in measuring what matters for a good quality of life in Canada.
Minister Fortier also took the opportunity to discuss continued challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and the work done by municipal governments to spearhead the country’s economic recovery. Canada entered the pandemic in a strong fiscal position, which has allowed the government to take quick and decisive action, support people and businesses, and make historic investments in the recovery.