January 2014

The importance of voting in municipal elections

Did you know that voting in all elections is a responsibility of Canadian citizens? Over the next month, municipalities across several provinces and territories will hold municipal elections. Municipal policies can have a large impact on wellbeing and yet, with few exceptions, Canadians tend to be less interested in municipal politics than they are in federal or provincial politics (Figure 1).

Are Canadians really connecting with environmental issues?

This week marks the release of the World Wildlife Fund’s 2014 Living Planet Report. It found that Canada has the 11th highest ecological footprint in the world, even though it ranks 37th in terms of population. Additionally, our Canadian lifestyle requires nearly 7 global hectares of resources per person, but the planet can only support 1.7 global hectares per person (a global hectare is about the size of a soccer field). As a nation we are consuming far more than our share. 

Young adults are slacktivists, and that's a good thing

September 15 to 21, 2014 is Canada’s Democracy Week, which “aims to connect Canadians with activities in communities across the country that celebrate our democratic values and traditions.” Democracy Week is especially focused on engaging youth in democratic activities. As part of Democracy Week, we look at young adult participation in both digital activism and in public demonstrations or protests.

The CIW’s Democratic Engagement Domain

Never too young: early literacy and wellbeing

It’s back to school season! Every year at this time, our focus shifts to the wellbeing of children and youth. The Canadian Index of Wellbeing (CIW) wants to add to the discussion by exploring the link between education and wellbeing from a lifespan lens, specifically the importance of early childhood learning.

All work and no play

If you are not taking any vacation this summer it turns out you are not alone. New CIW research found that more than one-third of Canadians are not taking their vacation time.

Creating Better Health

Based on CIW Café Scientifique panelist presentation.

Voting and wellbeing: why showing up at the polls matters

Voting in elections is one of the most basic expressions of our political opinions. While it is only one element of democratic engagement, it is often the first activity we think of when it comes to maintaining our democracy. But why vote?

Thoughts about time as a social determinant of health…

Based on CIW Café Scientifique panelist presentation.

Using the CIW to shift the conversation about health and wellbeing

In June 2007, I heard Roy Romanow speak about the CIW at the annual Association of Ontario Health Centres conference, and I got REALLY excited!

Ten ways all Canadians can improve their wellbeing this spring

It’s finally spring! While the CIW measures wellbeing at the national, provincial, and community level we recognize that wellbeing at the personal, family, and neighbourhood level has huge impact on the daily lives of Canadians. The arrival of warmer weather is the ideal time to make improvements to wellbeing, by getting more involved in the community, trying new things, and making healthy choices.

How are Ontarians Really Doing?

This week marks the release of the CIW’s first provincial index report, How are Ontarians Really Doing? For both Ontario and Canada between 1994 and 2010 growth in GDP far outpaced growth in our wellbeing. In other words, improvements in our quality of life have been sluggish compared to growth in our economy.

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