This webinar offered an introduction to wellbeing and wellbeing budgeting with a particular focus on public health and the promises they may hold for a pandemic recovery. It was held on November 25, 2020.

The health, social, and economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic have left governments at all levels thinking about the way forward. In the midst of uncertainty, many, including many in Canada, have called for a health and economic recovery that puts people and their wellbeing at the heart of the efforts. Before the appearance of SARS-CoV-2 in late 2019, many organizations and governments had already begun looking for ways to move beyond Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as a measure of how well countries are doing to finding ways of measuring how well people in countries are doing. New Zealand, for example, adopted a wellbeing budget last year.

Our two guest speakers, Christopher Barrington-Leigh of McGill University and Lindsay McClaren of the University of Calgary, presented material and answered questions that allowed participants to understand what is meant by a wellbeing (or quality of life, or life satisfaction) approach to guiding budgets and policies. We particularly looked at the connections between existing public health perspectives and the wellbeing approach and pointed to ways that wellbeing, and wellbeing budgeting in particular, may offer a promising path as we move forward into and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.

After attending this webinar, participants were able to answer the following questions:

  1. What is wellbeing budgeting?
  2. How does a wellbeing approach fit with public health practice?
  3. What does a wellbeing approach offer in a post-COVID-19 Canada?

Christopher Barrington-Leigh, Associate Professor, Institute for Health and Social Policy, School of Environment, McGill University

Lindsay McLaren Professor, Department of Community Health Sciences and the O’Brien Institute for Public Health, University of Calgary and Research Associate at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

Val Morrison, Scientific Advisor, NCCHPP

PPT Presentations

Val Morrison
14 slides

Wellbeing budgeting: Reframing policy around life satisfaction
Christopher Barrington-Leigh
8 slides

Wellbeing budgeting and public health: promising practice for pandemic recovery?
Lindsay McClaren
12 slides


Webinar Recording