In their own words: Stephen Huddart, Ecofiscal Funder

Stephen Huddart - Ecofiscal Commission - Annual Report

The following testimonial is from our 2015 Annual Report.

At the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, we focus on the big-picture questions of systems change. How do we enhance Canada’s ability to address complex social, environmental and economic challenges? How do we build a more sustainable, resilient society?

These conversations are crucial to Canada’s future, enabling us to envision a world we would be happy to pass on to our children and grandchildren. However, these conversations have been sadly lacking.

Over the past decade, our country has lost a significant degree of its capacity to develop good public policy. We’ve seen a number of think-tanks close, we lost the National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy, and our public sector has been pared down. For far too long, we’ve seen a yawning divide between people who think about economics and people who think about the environment.

All of those things contributed to a shared sense that we weren’t asking the right questions and that the right people weren’t in the room talking about these fundamental issues.

That’s why we believe that Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission is a game changer. Chris Ragan has brought some of the best economists in the country together to focus their considerable talents on developing sound economic policies — policies that support a durable relationship between people and the planet.

Stephen Huddart - Ecofiscal Commission - Annual ReportI can’t recall another initiative that has made such an impact so early out of the gate. In the business pages of the national press, in the halls of governments and in the offices of chief economists, the Commission is bringing complex issues into focus and stimulating open and balanced discussions. The calibre and credibility of their work has achieved instant recognition, reaching exactly the right people who need to be thinking about these issues.

This is really about forging solutions. It’s about putting in place the very necessary architecture for a large-scale transition of the Canadian economy. With Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission, I feel confident — and I think other Canadians do too — that we’ve set some of our best minds to work on this challenge.

I believe the Commission’s work will constitute a critical set of resources for developing smart policy in the coming years, and I’m looking forward to seeing how decision-makers will apply their recommendations.

Read our 2015 Annual Report

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