Canada Well-Being Measurement Act
(Proposed by Motion M-385)
(The motion was debated on June 2, 2003 and passed the next day.)
An Act to develop and provide for the publication of measures to inform Canadians about the health and well-being of people, communities and ecosystems in Canada.
WHEREAS an important objective of Parliament is to promote the well-being of Canadians; and
WHEREAS the citizens of Canada, including members of Parliament, are better able to promote and enhance the well-being of the nation if they are well informed about the state of well-being of people, communities and ecosystems in Canada;
NOW, THEREFORE, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:
1. This Act may be cited as the Canada Well-Being Measurement Act.
2. The definitions in this section apply in this Act.
"Commissioner" means Commissioner for the Environment and Sustainable Development appointed pursuant to subsection 15.1(1) of the Auditor General Act.
"Standing Committee" means the standing committee appointed by the House of Commons to consider matters related to the environment and sustainable development.
Committee consideration of indicators
3.(1) The Standing Committee shall carry out a study to assist it to make recommendations respecting, the definition, development and periodic publication of a set of indicators of the economic, social and environmental well-being of people, communities and ecosystems in Canada.
Specific indicators and composite indices
(2) The set of indicators shall include indicators that are specific to single aspects of well-being and one or more composite indices calculated from a number of the specific indicators.
(3) The set of indicators shall be
(a) published annually in the Canada Gazette and in at least one daily newspaper in each official language subject to any requirements in the report of the standing Committee as adopted that they be published more frequently, and
(b) made available to the public, in both physical and electronic form, in the manner determined by the management committee established persuant to subsection 4 (1).
(4) The Standing Committee, as a part of its considerations, shall:
(a) receive input from the public through submissions and public hearings; and
(b) seek information and advice from individuals and organizations in Canada and other nations and from international agencies who have expertise in the measurement of the well-being of people, communities and ecosystems;
(5) The Committee shall prepare recommendations with respect to:
(a) the broad societal values on which the set of indicators should be based;
(b) how and under whose authority the development and publication of the set of indicators should be organized and managed and, in particular,
(i) how the Commissioner should participate in the direction of their development and publication;
(ii) whether an advisory committee consisting of members of the general public including persons with expertise in economic, social, environmental and statistical matters should be created to advise, on a continuing basis on their development, calculation and publication, and on the manner in which such a committee should function.
(c) the role which the Government of Canada, and particularly Statistics Canada, should play in the development and publication of the set of indicators;
(d) whether further legislation is advisable to govern the development and publication of the set of indicators; and
(e) other aspects of the definition, development and publication of the set of indicators.
Report to House
(6) The Standing Committee shall report its recommendations to the House of Commons on the matters set out in subsection (5) no later than the third day on which the House sits following the expiry of twelve months after the coming into force of this Act.
4.(1) If the report of the Standing Committee as presented by the Committee or as amended by the House is adopted by the House, the Chief Statistician of Canada and the Commissioner shall, in accordance with the provisions of the report as adopted, establish a management committee consisting of the Chief Statistician of Canada and the Commissioner and such other members as they jointly appoint.
(2) The management committee shall direct the development and publication of the set of indicators in accordance with the provisions of the report as adopted.
Publication of indicators
5.(1) The set of indicators shall be published in full, in accordance with the provisions of the report as adopted, by Statistics Canada no later than three years from the adoption of the report.
Interim partial publication
(2) Such of the specific indicators and composite indices as have been calculated shall be published by Statistics Canada
(a) no later than one year after the date of the adoption of the report; and
(b) no later than two years after the date of the adoption of the report.
Annual report by Commissioner
6. (1) The Commissioner shall prepare and submit to the House of Commons, in the manner provided in subsection 23(2) of the Auditor General Act, an annual report analyzing and evaluating the current well-being of the people, communities and ecosystems in Canada in accordance with the set of indicators developed and published pursuant to sections 5.
(2) The first report of the Commissioner shall be submitted within 90 days of the first publication of indicators under subsection 5(2).
This enactment provides for the Standing Committee of the House of Commons on the Environment and Sustainable Development to consider and recommend to the House on the development and publication of a set of indicators to measure the well-being of people, communities and ecosystems in Canada.
On adoption of the Committee's, report, the set of indicators will be prepared and published by Statistics Canada in consultation with the Commissioner for the Environment and Sustainable Development appointed under The Auditor General Act. The Chief Statistician of Canada and the Commissioner will form a management committee to manage this function.
The Standing Committee is also charged with considering and recommending whether an advisory committee consisting of members of the public with appropriate expertise should be created and whether further legislation is advisable.
The enactment also requires the Commissioner to submit an annual report to Parliament on well-being in Canada, based on the set of indicators.
The following are the key elements in this Act. To see where they come from in the text, click on the links.