Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canada No Longer One of Top 10 Most Developed Countries: United Nations

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canada No Longer One of Top 10 Most Developed Countries: United Nations

Article excerpt

Canada slips out of top 10 developed nations

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OTTAWA - Canada has slipped out of the top 10 countries listed in the annual United Nation's human development index -- a far cry from the 1990s when it held the first place for most of the decade.

The 2013 report, which reviews a country's performance in health, education and income, places Canada in 11th place versus 10th last year.

A closer look at the trends shows Canada actually did better than last year, but other countries such as Japan and Australia improved at a greater rate.

Alyson Queen, a spokeswoman for Human Resources Minister Diane Finley, did not comment directly on the results, but emphasized the government's track record.

"We believe that the best way to fight poverty is to get Canadians working," said Queen. "Our Economic Action Plan is doing just that by helping grow the economy and creating nearly 950,000 jobs since July 2009...Since 2006, there are 225,000 less children in poverty than under the previous Liberal government."

When the index numbers are adjusted for gender inequality, Canada slumps to 18th place. The United States fares even worse -- sinking from third to 42nd place.

"I think it's really sad to see that we've dropped so far under the Conservatives," said deputy NDP leader Megan Leslie.

"And I think it reinforces what the NDP has been saying, but also what organizations like the Conference Board of Canada have been saying, about the fact that there's a growing income inequality gap in Canada.

"That gap creates serious problems, and I don't think the Conservatives have been taking it seriously."

The main finding of the report, entitled "The Rise of the South," is a positive one on a global scale. It says that countries that had previously struggled with poverty and inequality are now on a steady developmental climb.

It says Brazil, China and India's combined gross domestic product is now about equal to the combined GDP of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States. …

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