Searching for Certainty: Inside the New Canadian Mindset

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Doubleday Canada, 2001 - Social Science - 340 pages
“The 1990s was a decade of reckoning that compressed our spirits as well as our bank accounts. We hunkered down through a prolonged winter of decline before finally, at decade’s end, emerging to breathe in the first stirrings of national recovery. The long journey tested our confidence in the country, its governments, our employers and even ourselves.... Happily, we discovered a new inner strength, and the wisdom to take advantage of global trends and to build a new social and cultural Canada in the post-Trudeau era.” – from Searching for Certainty

Darrell Bricker, president of the leading market research firm in Canada, and Ed Greenspon, political columnist for The Globe and Mail, join forces to offer a comprehensive report on the new economic, social and cultural Canada - the dramatic changes wrought by globalization and technologicial innovation over the last two decades as well as the more subtle shifts in how we approach work, health care and education.

Using the most up-to-date and complete data available, they analyze economic trends, from global trade to the workplace, and trace the ways in which Canadian society and culture have been transformed. They reveal that Canada has emerged from the late twentieth century a stronger and more dynamic society. Far from becoming more American, the new mindset is steeped in Canadian traditions of tolerance and community. In the aftermath of the 1990s, Canada is a society searching more than ever before for certainy, not promises - for quality of life, not quantity of goods.

One example: a decade ago, Canadians had never heard of the Internet, and the public equated new technology with job loss. By the fall of 2000, 70 per cent of adults - more than 15 million individuals - were connected to the Internet at home or work or school. By the end of 2001, four out of five Canadians will probably enjoy access. How is the Internet changing our health care, our political unity, how we shop, even our power in relation to governments and corporations?

Searching for Certainty is a smart and entertaining, fact-filled account of how the changes over the last two decades affect us now and will determine how we feel and what we want tomorrow. Combining demographic statistics with a journalist's keen eye for real-life stories, Bricker and Greenspon offer valuable insights for business and public policy, and practical tips on how to survive and prosper in the new economy.

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About the author (2001)

Darrell Bricker is the President and COO (Public Affairs) of Ipsos-Reid. Prior to joining Ipsos-Reid, Darrell was Director of Public Opinion Research in the Office of the Prime Minister. He holds a Ph.D. in political science from Carleton University. Darrell Bricker lives with his wife and daughter in Toronto.

Edward Greenspon is political editor of The Globe and Mail. Ed holds an honours degree in journalism and political science from Carleton University and a master’s degree in politics and government from the London School of Economics. He co-authored Double Vision: The Inside Story of the Liberals in Power, a best-selling book on the Chrétien government’s struggles with the deficit and with the 1995 referendum. Edward Greenspon lives with his wife and three children in Ottawa.

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