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June 2003

    Canada Needs Greener Economic Measures, says Panel


    Gross Domestic Product and Consumer Price Index are not enough to provide an accurate measure of this country’s overall economic performance, says a federal economic advisory panel, and new measurements, focussing on ecological damage, must be added to determine our collective well-being.


    In a report released last month, the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy said six new measurements must be considered for a more accurate picture.


    These include the percentage of forest cover, availability of fresh water, greenhouse gas emissions, wetlands and workforce education.


    The report has been sent to the federal ministry of the environment for consideration. However, it was released to CBC Newsworld before being officially made public.


    "We would be world leaders here in Canada if we could take these suggestions and implement them," said former Round Table chair Stuart Smith, adding that that measuring performance by how quickly jobs are created or how efficiently goods are manufactured ignores costs like environmental damage. "It doesn't tell us whether we're living high today at the expense of generations to come.”


    Federal Environment Minister David Anderson reportedly supports the proposal and says he will ask the Cabinet to endorse it as well.

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