April 11, 2012
“The budget is the federal government’s signature policy statement. As such, it is a huge opportunity to communicate to Canadians how the government views our long-term economic prosperity,” said Alex Wood, Senior Director, Policy and Markets at Sustainable Prosperity. “We should seize the options the green economy creates for us to build a stronger, more competitive economy.”
Sustainable Prosperity made several recommendations to the government’s finance committee as part of pre-budget consultations. SP recommended a more specific and structured focus on the green economy and more transparency in relation to policy instruments such as regulatory measures.
Its key recommendation was that the government introduce the concept of “national capital” as a framework for assessing and explaining national wealth and prosperity – an idea popular in other G8 countries and one that SP still hopes the government will take on board.
SP believes Canada could follow the “national capital” model created by Norway, a country similar to Canada in many ways. Norway pioneered a framework where its economy is broken into various forms of capital, including human, natural and financial. The breakdown allows policy makers and the public to understand how various forms of capital rise and fall, and how the overall growth in the national capital helps to ensure the country’s continued and long‐term prosperity.
“We continue to encourage the government to explain to Canadians how our abundant natural resources contribute to our national wealth, and how prudent and sustainable management will ensure our prosperity for generations to come,” said Wood in response to the budget document.
Sustainable Prosperity is an independent, national think tank made up of business, environment, policy and academic leaders. It aims to advance innovation in policy and markets in the pursuit of a greener, more competitive Canadian economy. Sustainable Prosperity, which is based at the University of Ottawa, believes Canada’s future prosperity depends on achieving a vibrant economy and a healthy environment – and that it is possible to have both, if the right policies are put in place.
Jennifer Wesanko (604) 347-5988