Author Archives : Amor Verdeflor-Alvarado


Amor Verdeflor-Alvarado

Before joining Columbia Institute, Amor Verdeflor-Alvarado worked with Amnesty International-PRO as Office Coordinator for 1 year and with FORGE, a non-profit organization based in the Philippines, as HR/Administrative Officer for 8 years. Amor earned her Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Psychology and Master’s in Business Management from the University of the Philippines. She has also completed her office administration program from Vancouver Community College.


How urban design affects our health

Research from the University of California San Diego (UCSD) has found that people in more walkable cities are more likely to be healthy. The research involved studies in 11 countries, and recommends that cities encourage walking and physical activity through: better integration of residential areas with commercial areas  building communities so that the places where people want READ MORE


‘New normal’ weather a major threat to Canadian municipal infrastructure and finances

Newly updated weather benchmarks from Environment Canada show that Canada’s national average winter temperature has risen 3.2 degrees. Canada is getting hotter faster than ever before and at a faster rate than almost any other country. This also means that rain, snow, sleet and hail storms are becoming more erratic.  As Canadian insurers and other economists have READ MORE


Canada Steps Backward on Climate Policy, Study Says

Canada is the only country out of 33 developed and developing nations to have taken a step backward in terms of climate legislation over the past year, ending 2012 with fewer policies related to climate change than it had last January, according to an international study published on January 14, 2013. Click here to read a Wall Street Journal article on the study. Click here to read the full study from GLOBE International.  


UN says slow pace of carbon cuts brings catastrophic climate change closer

The world is straying further away from commitments to combat climate change, bringing the prospect of catastrophic global warming a step closer, a UN report said on Wednesday. The warning came as nearly 200 governments prepare to meet in Qatar forinternational climate negotiations starting next Monday. The gap between what world governments have committed to READ MORE


Twenty year plan needed to fix crumbling infrastructure, says FCM

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) is calling on the Government of Canada to develop a twenty year plan with predictable funding to fix its crumbling infrastructure. In it’s recommendations to the Governmentof Canada’s Long-TermInfrastructure Plan Consultation , the FCM is calling for measures that include long-term and predictable infrastructure funding; investment to leverage additional funds; renewal and improvements to the Gas Tax and the Building Canada READ MORE


Kingston considers living wage motion

Kington Ontario’s City Council will be voting this week on a motion calling for the city to begin work on a Living Wage policy for city employees and contractors. The motion from Councillors Bill Glover and Rob Hutchison follows up on recommendations from a CCPA Ontario report from 2011 . Living Wage policies are already in place with a number of local governments across READ MORE


Atlantic Canada mayors call for CETA water exemption and seat at table for municipalities

Atlantic Canada mayors expressed concerns last week about the impact of CETA on local procurement and are calling for water services to be exempted from trade negotiations. The mayors are concerned that municipalities have been excluded from CETA negotiations and want a voice in all future talks.  To read the media release from the Atlantic Canada mayors READ MORE


More municipalities raise CETA concerns, demand exemptions

More and more Canadian municipalities are raising concerns about the impact of Canada-EU trade negotiations (CETA) on local government decision making and economic development strategies. In the last two weeks, Mississauga , Welland and Niagara Falls joined Hamilton, Toronto and a growing wave of Ontario local governments in asking the province for a “clear, permanent exemption” of their muncipality READ MORE


BC school boards to recapture carbon offset funds

BC school boards have succeeded in recapturing funds previously levied on them and distributed to the private sector. Carbon offset fees charged to boards by the Pacific Carbon Trust will now be deposited with the Ministry of Education’s Energy Efficient Capital Account for the exclusive use by boards for energy-efficiency projects. This should amount to READ MORE


CETA’s municipal implications “ringing alarm bells across the country” (Toronto Star)

An article in today’s Toronto Star warns that municipal procurement provisions in CETA are “ringing alarm bells across the country” and  that the proposed Canada-EU trade deal’s “effects on Toronto could be serious.” The Star article quotes a recent City of Toronto staff report warning that CETA could impact Toronto’s hiring, local food procurement, strategic procurement and transit READ MORE


Gateway pipeline will hurt Canada’s economy says report

A new report says the Northern Gateway pipeline would boost crude oil prices $2 to $3 per barrel annually over the next 30 years, causing significant damage to consumers, businesses and the Canadian economy. The economic assessment of the $5.5-billion project by former Insurance Corporation of British Columbia CEO Robyn Allan says the price shock READ MORE


Report on Leaked CETA Documents shows threat to Water Services

A briefing note on recently leaked CETA documents shows that Canada and the provinces are failing to protect drinking water and wastewater services from trade rules that would encourage and lock in privatization. In contrast, the EU’s CETA offer specifically protects it’s own water and wastewater services. To read the full report from the Council READ MORE


Is it bad for cities to be in debt? Not necessarily

With all the talk of government debt recently — Toronto, $4.7 billion; Ontario, $240 billion; the U.S., $14.6 trillion — the spectacular figures and the concept of debt itself have become so abstract many people don’t even understand the conversation. The Toronto Star recently spoke with Dr. Enid Slack, director of the University of Toronto’s Institute on Municipal Finance READ MORE


Poll: BC residents support using carbon tax to fund health care and education

Most British Columbians support carbon taxes, according to a recent poll by the Pembina Institute. The poll found that 69 per cent of respondents supported applying the carbon tax to all sources of greenhouse gas pollution, and 56 per cent supported using the tax revenue for health care and education. Click  here  for the Pembina Institute’s press READ MORE