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Achieving a Balance: Four Challenges for Canada in the Next Decade

Achieving a Balance: Four Challenges for Canada in the Next Decade

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National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy (2000 Report)

For much of the past decade Canada has been rated as one of the best countries to live in by conventional measures of longevity, knowledge and living standards. But these are highly unusual times. Consider the extraordinary acceleration of technology, the economy, and globalization. Consider also the expanding hole in the ozone layer, the confirmation of dioxins in Arctic mothers' milk, and recurring smog alerts in the Great Lakes region. Our privileged rating, based on a healthy population and strong economy amidst plentiful natural spaces, has so far proved resilient despite tumultuous change. But for how much longer, and with what effort?

The National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy (NRTEE) has identified four emerging challenges to Canada's medium-term prospects. Although these issues are neither broadly understood nor priorities at this time, they will likely become very important over the next decade.
National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy (2000 Report)

For much of the past decade Canada has been rated as one of the best countries to live in by conventional measures of longevity, knowledge and living standards. But these are highly unusual times. Consider the extraordinary acceleration of technology, the economy, and globalization. Consider also the expanding hole in the ozone layer, the confirmation of dioxins in Arctic mothers' milk, and recurring smog alerts in the Great Lakes region. Our privileged rating, based on a healthy population and strong economy amidst plentiful natural spaces, has so far proved resilient despite tumultuous change. But for how much longer, and with what effort?

The National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy (NRTEE) has identified four emerging challenges to Canada's medium-term prospects. Although these issues are neither broadly understood nor priorities at this time, they will likely become very important over the next decade.

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10/14/2012

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Achieving a Balance
National Round Tableon the Environmentand the Economy Table ronde nationalesur lenvironnementet léconomie
Four Challenges
for Canada in the Next Decade
 
NRTEE MEMBERS
Chair 
Dr.Stuart Smith
ChairmanENSYN Technologies Inc.Etobicoke,OntarioVice-Chair 
Lise Lachapelle
President & CEOCanadian Pulp & Paper Association Montreal,QuebecVice-Chair 
Elizabeth May
Executive Director Sierra Club ofCanadaOttawa,Ontario
Paul G.Antle
President & CEOSCC Environmental Group Inc.St.John’s,Newfoundland 
Jean Bélanger
Ottawa,Ontario
Lise Brousseau
 La Prairie,Québec
Patrick Carson
 Nobleton,Ontario
Douglas B.Deacon
Owner,Trailside Café and AdventuresCharlottetown,Prince Edward Island 
Terry Duguid
Chairman Manitoba Clean EnvironmenCommissionWinnipeg,Manitoba
Sam Hamad,
P.Eng.
Vice-President,Industry Roche Ltd.,Consulting GroupSainte-Foy,Quebec
Michael Harcourt
Senior AssociateSustainable Development Research InstituteUniversity ofBritish ColumbiaVancouver,British Columbia
Raymond E.Ivany
President  Nova Scotia Community College Halifax,Nova Scotia
William H.Johnstone
 Moose Jaw,Saskatchewan
Cindy Kenny-Gilday
Yellowknife,Northwest Territories
Emery P.LeBlanc
President  Alcan Primary Metal GroupExecutive Vice-President  Alcan Aluminium Limited  Montreal,Quebec
Patricia McCunn-Miller
 Managing Director Environment and Regulatory AffairsPanCanadian Petroleum Limited Calgary,Alberta
Ken Ogilvie
Executive Director Pollution Probe FoundationToronto,Ontario
Joseph ONeill
 Hanwell,New Brunswick 
Florence Robart
Pointe-du-Chêne,New Brunswick 
Angus Ross
Scarborough,Ontario
Irene So
Vice-President & Associate Portfolio Manager  RBC Dominion SecuritiesToronto,Ontario
John Wiebe
President & CEOGLOBE Foundation ofCanadaand President & CEO Asia Pacific Foundation ofCanadaVancouver,British Columbia
Judy G.Williams
Partner  MacKenzie Fujisawa Brewer StevensonVancouver,British ColumbiaExecutive Director & CEO
David J.McGuinty
Canada Building, 344 Slater Street, Suite 200, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1R 7Y3Tel.: (613) 992-7189Fax: (613) 992-7385E-mail: admin@nrtee-trnee.ca  Web: http://www.nrtee-trnee.ca
National Round Tableon the Environmentand the Economy Table ronde nationalesur lenvironnementet léconomie
The National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy(NRTEE) is pleased to present this statement as a contribution to stimulating discussion ofchallenges and opportunities that willikely become important to Canada over the next decade.
Aussi disponible en français
 
1
Introduction
F
or much ofthe past decade Canada has been rated as one of the best countries to live in by conventional measures of longevity,knowledge and living standards.But these arehighly unusual times.Consider the extraordinary acceleration of technology,the economy,and globalization.Consider also theexpanding hole in the ozone layer,the confirmation ofdioxins inArctic mothersmilk,and recurring smog alerts in the Great Lakesregion.Our privileged rating,based on a healthy population andstrong economy amidst plentiful natural spaces,has so far provedresilient despite tumultuous change.But for how much longer,andwith what effort?The National Round Table on the Environment and theEconomy (NRTEE) has identified four emerging challenges toCanadas medium-term prospects.Although these issues areneither broadly understood nor priorities at this time,they willlikely become very important over the next decade.Discussion of these four challenges is based on two underlying convictions.The first is that in recent years the environment has not receivedthe attention it deserves.Governments have been preoccupiedwith economic matters,particularly reducing the deficit andcontrolling the debt.Government-sponsored monitoring of environmental changes,for example,has significantly decreased.As a result offewer resources being allocated by government,weare less able to track and deal with existing environmentalchallenges and to predict new ones,as the recent contaminatedwater tragedy in Walkerton,Ontario,illustrates.The second conviction is that our quality oflife is andincreasingly will be linked to the quality ofour environment,andthat our economy cannot prosper in the absence ofa healthyenvironment.In fact,taking care ofthe environment is aninvestment in the economy.

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