The Monitor, Winter 2024

January 3, 2024
10.99 MB

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We’re starting the New Year in an upstream frame of mind, bringing you the brightest thinking from a June 2023 Parkland Institute conference, An Economy for Everyone: Mobilizing and implementing a well-being economy in Alberta.

Like the stream flowing from the Rockies in our majestic cover illustration by Tim Zeltner, the upstream lessons from the conference can flow beyond the Alberta borders.

Certainly, Alberta’s current government is unlikely to act on these ideas—it’s busy implementing downstream ideas that will impact Albertans’ well-being and cost more in the long run. That’s just what downstream governance does.

The authors in our themed section of this issue shine a light on intersecting societal challenges and their common root causes.

As Lindsay McLaren and Rebecca Graff-McRae write in their article, Envisioning a well-being economy: Inspiration and hard questions: “Much public and political discourse focuses on these (and other) problems one at a time. A piecemeal approach aligns well with the siloed nature of (colonial) governments. However, it has considerable drawbacks: it leads to policy incoherence, where activities in one policy domain offset or undermine those in another.”

In their article, A well-being economy in practice: Spotlight on Wales and Nanaimo, Stan Houston, Lindsay McLaren, and Rebecca Graff-McRae illustrate that these aren’t ‘pie in the sky’ ideas—alternatives are possible. Take Wales, for example. In 2015, Welsh parliament passed the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act, following a “national conversation” around “The Wales We Want” for our children and grandchildren. The authors examine the impacts of that initiative and offer lessons for Canada.

In their article, The role of financial institutions, Bob Ascah and Lindsday McLaren write about the role of financialization in exacerbating income inequality and the climate crisis. They show how public banking is a viable alternative.

As a wrap-up to the conference, participants joined in virtual breakout sessions to reflect on the key messages of the day. Insights into a well-being economy brings their thoughtful exchanges to life, reminding us just how important it is to embed time for us to absorb the concept of a well-being economy, to share frustrations and ideas that could alleviate those frustrations.

The CCPA is proud to be able to bring you these insights. Of course, there’s more in this Winter Monitor. It’s chock full of smart analysis from CCPA experts across Canada. Barbie the movie, climate change, income inequality, equitable gig work, rental control, farmers’ mental health—we’re covering a lot of policy areas in this edition. And, we’re also proud to bring you some thought-provoking, extremely well-written reviews of books that you’re sure to want on your night stand.

We hope this provides you with uplifting food for thought this wintry season.

Happy reading,

Trish Hennessy
Monitor editor