Canada and Norway are a lot alike. We are both prosperous, free-market democracies. But as Bruce Campbell points out in his series of articles in the CCPA Monitor, there are also some significant differences.
For example, the way it manages its oil resources which, as an Albertan, I cannot but envy. Even though Canada produces more oil, Norway has accumulated a sovereign wealth fund of $656-billion compared to the Alberta's Heritage Fund's measly $16-billion.
While Norway is a major oil exporter, it also manages to be an environmental leader, ranking third on Yale University's Environmental Performance Index which considers a range of issues, including water and air pollution, biodiversity and climate change. We rank 37th.
Norway also does better than us on the UN Human Development Index, a composite statistic of life expectancy, education, and income. Norway ranks first, Canada sixth, although when adjusted for inequality, Norway is still first but we drop to 12th.
We do well on the Economist's Democracy Index, ranking eighth. The index is based on five categories: electoral process and pluralism, civil liberties, functioning of government, political participation and political culture. Norway, once again, is number one. Frankly, given our archaic electoral system, I think we are lucky to rank eighth.
In summary, Norway does a better job than Canada managing its good fortune, sharing the wealth among its people, taking care of Mother Earth, and running its affairs equitably and democratically. I believe we could learn a lesson or two here.