Why our country works so well

Canada is as close to Utopia as any society can get and it owes that status to its remarkable efficiency, a Montreal philosopher says. And while being called “efficient” isn’t likely to ignite an uncharacteristic burst of patriotism across the land, it is a uniquely Canadian attribute that is central to the country’s economic and social well-being.

Professor Joseph Heath, who holds the Canada research Chair in Ethics and Political Economy at the Université de Montréal, believes that traditional public loyalties to religion, ethnicity and language have been displaced – wittingly or not in favour of an efficient society that works better than any other in the world.

“Our increased commitment to efficiency is a sign of progress,” he says. “Efficiency is not necessarily a cold, calculating virtue nor is it merely a mask for self-interest. Efficiency is a noble, humanistic value intimately related to a number of other values that we hold dear, such as cultural diversity, respect for individual rights, and the alleviation of suffering.” Heath considers efficiency the central value in Canadian society, a theme on which he elaborates in The Efficient Society – Why Canada is as Close to Utopia As It Gets.

Heath provides welcome context to help explain a phenomenon of recent years: Prime Minister Jean Chrétien’s annual announcement that the United Nations has determined that Canadians enjoy the highest quality of life of any country on the planet. Many Canadians find that that revelation is not consistent with their personal circumstances or experience.

Get your FREE trial now!

Start your free 14-day trial now to read this story and

Make. Work. Better.

Already a subscriber?

Reuse and Permissions: Unauthorized distribution, transmission, reuse or republication of any and all content is strictly prohibited. To discuss re-use of this material, please contact: copyright@yourworkplace.ca ; 877-668-1945.

YW staff
WRITTEN BY
YW Staff
YW Staff love to collaborate and contribute to the magazine. The editorial team at Your Workplace are always on the lookout for work-related trends and entertaining tidbits to share with our community.
Smiling woman. By Gabriel Silverio of Unsplash.com

Recognition from Afar

How can you recognize your employees’ efforts while working remotely? It seems like an eternity since people were regularly working in offices across the country.

Read More »