The Well-Being of Canada: Proceedings of a Symposium Held in November 1997 Under the Auspices of the Royal Society of Canada


136 pages
Contains Bibliography
ISBN 0-8020-8256-4
DDC 330.971




Edited by David M. Hayne
Reviewed by Hannah Gay

Hannah Gay is a professor of history at Simon Fraser University in
British Columbia.


This book contains papers given at a 1997 conference that was held by
the Royal Society of Canada in response to a deeply felt concern over
current political and economic stresses within Canadian society. The
shock of the Quebec referendum, the uncertain future of Canadian
federalism and of Canada’s health and education services, and a
generally gloomy view of the Canadian economy underlie the volume.
Writing about Canada’s health services, Duncan Sinclair decries a lack
of vision, poor coordination of existing services, and an imbalance
between the more heavily funded medical diagnosis and treatment and the
less regarded areas of illness prevention and lifestyle. He particularly
emphasizes the need to focus on children’s health. Henry Friesen
similarly stresses the need for health research.

Ursula Franklin makes the important point that new technologies should
serve the interests of every citizen, not just those of society’s most
powerful members, and that academics need to study how technologies are
used and what their effects are. David Robitaille reports on the state
of mathematics and science education and how Canadian students measure
up to the rest of the world, while Gisиle Painchaud considers how
curricula can meet the needs of both a global economy and a pluralist
society. Gilles Paquet claims that the “learning economy”—networks
that include individuals, institutions, and workplaces—needs more
serious attention so that people can learn throughout their lives and in
situations not restricted to the classroom. In the final essay, Thomas
Courchene discusses Ontario as a regional economic force within North
America; the fact that this province’s interests are no longer
strictly Canadian raises important questions for Canadian federalism.


“The Well-Being of Canada: Proceedings of a Symposium Held in November 1997 Under the Auspices of the Royal Society of Canada,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 21, 2024,