Credits: Tony Caldwell/Ottawa Sun/QMI Agency
From 1994 to 2010, as Canada's gross domestic product grew by 28.9%, Canadians' well-being improved by only 5.7%.
After the 2008 recession, GDP fell by 8.3% but showed signs of recovery in 2010. But according to CIW, well-being decreased by 24% from 2008 to 2010, and "shows no such sign of recovery to even the modest gains made up to 2008."
CIW, based at the University of Waterloo, was launched in the spring of 2011 by former Saskatchewan NDP premier Roy Romanow. This report, released Tuesday, is the organization's second.
CIW defines well-being as the highest possible quality of life, which it measures according to eight factors: community vitality, democratic engagement, education, the environment, healthy populations, leisure and culture, living standards and time use.
There were modest increases in time use (1.7%), education (1.2%), democratic engagement (0.6%) and community vitality (2.2%) from 2008 to 2010, the report found, and only minor decreases in healthy populations (0.2%) and the environment (0.8%) over that two-year period.
But leisure and culture fell 3% from 2008 to 2010, and living standards plunged 10.4%.
"The findings uncover some troubling truths about the connection between our economy and our well-being,"
Romanow said in a release. "When Canada's economy was thriving, Canadians saw only modest improvements in their overall quality of life, but when the economy faltered our well-being took a disproportionate step backward. It begs the question: Are our governments truly responding to the needs and values of everyday Canadians?"