Thursday, June 14, 2007

Canadians Are Mediocre?

Imagine being calling mediocre...right to your face. Now imagine that accusatory word spewing from the mouth of your own country. The Conference Board of Canada has released a “report card” that measures our country’s performance on six levels: economy, innovation, environment, education, health, and society, then compares us to other developed countries.
The result? Apparently we fail to innovate, and are “complacent” and “unwilling” to take risks. Not only this, but we’re supposedly uncomfortable with success, excellence, and differentiation. The Conference Board is making us Canadians look like boring sloths who want nothing more than to ride the coat-tails of the rest of the developed world while we drink beer and relax in front of the TV.

At least we received high scores in one area: education. But apparently we don’t produce enough post-graduate degrees in areas that actually support innovation (what, then, do these degrees support?). Without innovation (which we in turn scored “stunningly poor” on), we fail to develop environmentally-friendly technologies, and thus fail in the environment category as well. In short: it appears that the Conference Board admits we’re smart, but says we don’t use our brains.

“This culture holds Canada back in entrepreneurial and technological innovation,” said the report card.

Here’s my evaluation of this so-called report card: A+ for effort. I wouldn’t take it so seriously. If you look at the results in a positive light, perhaps Canadians feel that, although we have the brain power to innovate, we’d rather let the others do all the work, while we sit back, manage and evaluate the process from afar. Interestingly, we scored 7.8 out of 10 when asked how satisfied we were with life. Maybe we’re smarter than you think…

As a side note, to all the parents out there, I’d cut your kids some slack the next time they bring home questionable grades. If this is how our country rates progress, we might be a bit too harsh on ourselves.

No comments: