Petition to the Government of Canada
Our government’s fixation on profit and growth is taking us down a dangerous path leading to a widening gap between rich and poor, spiralling poverty, environmental breakdown and a mental health crisis;
GDP growth has been a poor measure of a success. It counts polluting factories and the manufacture of weapons, but tells us nothing about the quality of education our children receive, the availability of well paid and secure jobs or the number of species threatened with extinction. Yet GDP growth is still the government’s main economic goal;
A wellbeing economy would prioritise public health and wellbeing indicators, reorienting our economy towards what matters most, and civil society and the public should play a key role in determining what these new health and wellbeing indicators should be;
The consensus for the shift to a wellbeing economy is growing. Scientists have called on governments to “shift from pursuing GDP growth and affluence toward sustaining ecosystems and improving wellbeing” to tackle the climate emergency. Business leaders are pressing for an economic reset that recognises human dependence on nature and includes measures of economic performance beyond GDP, and most citizens agree that the government should prioritise health and wellbeing goals above economic growth;
Wellbeing economics has already been adopted by several jurisdictions. New Zealand unveiled the world’s first wellbeing economy budget in 2019 and Amsterdam has adopted a Doughnut economy model to guide the city’s development.
We, the undersigned, citizens and residents of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to discontinue GDP measurement and shift to a wellbeing economy.