Surprise, surprise Canadians are doing much worse these days as far as their well-being is concerned. That information was included in the Canadian Well-being Index released this week by researchers at the University of Waterloo.
The numbers show the quality of our lives in this country declined 24 per cent between 2008 and 2010.
Most of us who crawl out of bed in the morning to go off to our jobs likely don’t know much about pouring over statistics and creating indexes but we know — or feel we know — most of us are worse off now than not so long ago.
If our well-being is based on the money we have left over from our paycheques, most ordinary folks feel the decline in our quality of life every day.
We see it when we fill up our vehicles with gasoline, we see it when our municipal tax bills show up, we see it when we pick up our groceries and when we get a rare night out to relax.
The price of almost everything we need and want is going up and our salaries barely budge.
Just recently, for instance, there was an application to the Public Utilities Board by Newfoundland Power looking for a nearly seven per cent rate hike.
This is a profitable company and it still wants more.
Compare that seven per cent hike — which hasn’t been approved yet — to the raise most workers in this province got this year.
The rise in the price of electricity takes more money out of the pocket of nearly every person in this province — money that can’t be spent on other things.
It’s clear that we are much better off than many people around the world. All we have to do is follow the news to see that.
But that doesn’t mean we should sit by and accept that our comfortable and safe way of life should be allowed to be whittled away a cut at a time.
We work hard for what we have, but our hands are tied when it comes to making dramatic changes that impact our well-being.
Those who can alter the steady slide — but don’t — should read this report and hang their heads in shame.