Author Archives : Centre for Civic Governance


Centre for Civic Governance

The Centre for Civic Governance works to support community leadership meeting today’s social and environmental challenges: climate change, Canada’s increasing equity gap, and shifting social trends. At the Centre for Civic Governance, our goal is to strengthen Canadian communities through sharing best practices, providing tools for locally elected leaders, and progressive policy analysis. We strive to provide knowledge and information to make real and positive social change.


BC’s zero waste strategy

It’s Time for a Zero Waste Strategy in British Columbia In British Columbia, regional districts and their member municipalities have made great advancements in the past decade on improving compost and recycling options. Diversion rates have also increased. Still, the province needs to do its part to reduce the amount of material moving through the READ MORE


Canada Infrastructure Bank and the Public’s Right to Know

Columbia Institute’s new report, Canada Infrastructure Bank and the Public’s Right to Know, examines the proposed Bank, and government legislation that prevents public access to information. The report also highlights concerns expressed by information commissioners and includes examples of how the Canadian government can do better. “The federal government is ready to invest $35 billion READ MORE


Jobs for Tomorrow – Canada’s Building Trades and Net Zero Emissions

Study from Columbia Institute Finds Exciting Potential for Job Growth in Building Trades as Canada Moves to Low-Carbon Economy The Columbia Institute released a landmark study: Jobs for Tomorrow – Canada’s Building Trades and Net Zero Emissions. Commissioned by Canada’s Building Trades Unions, this study explores the historic role of Canada’s construction industry and potential for READ MORE


Staving off the coming global collapse

‘Overshoot’ is when a species uses resources faster than can be replenished. We’re already there. And show no signs of changing. Humans have a virtually unlimited capacity for self-delusion, even when self-preservation is at stake. The scariest example is the simplistic, growth-oriented, market-based economic thinking that is all but running the world today. Prevailing neoliberal READ MORE


Top Asks for Climate Action: 2017 Report Card and 2016 Report

2017 Top Asks for Climate Action – Report Card Enhancing the ability of local governments across Canada to act on greenhouse gas emissions is both a powerful opportunity and an absolute necessity for meeting Canada’s climate commitments says the first annual report card on Top Asks for Climate Action. Local government decisions impact over fifty percent of READ MORE


2016 Top Asks for Climate Action – Ramping Up Low Carbon Communities

Top Asks for Climate Action – Ramping Up Low Carbon Communities Top Asks for Climate Action highlights how Canada can ramp up climate action by empowering low carbon communities. Local governments have a crucial role to play in combating climate change. Their decisions directly or indirectly impact sixty percent of Canada’s energy consumption and more than READ MORE


Our Future: Seniors, Socialization and Health

With input from eight seniors centres in Metro Vancouver, the Columbia Institute report, Our Future: Seniors, Socialization and Health, spotlights how municipalities are frontline in seniors health by offering a wide variety of programs that help keep seniors healthy and independent and delay/prevent seniors from requiring more costly health care services.   Read full report Read executive summary News release In the Media Older and Wiser: READ MORE


Back in House: Why local governments are bringing services home

“Back in House: Why Local Governments are Bringing Services Home” says that across Canada and around the world public services that were once outsourced are now finding their way back in-house to municipalities, mainly because using in-house services saves money. That means the expected benefits from privatizing services are not as significant as expected. Download English READ MORE


Ramener les services à l’interne : pourquoi les gouvernements municipaux mettent fin à la sous-traitance et à la privatisation (français)

Le rapport “Ramener les services à l’interne: pourquoi les gouvernements municipaux mettent fin à la sous-traitance et à la privatisation” s’intéresse, comme son nom l’indique, à la tendance actuelle au retour des services à l’interne. Le plus souvent, ce sont les coûts qui incitent les municipalités à ramener les services à l’interne, les économies promises par READ MORE


This Green House II

This Green House II follows up on our 2011 research on residential energy retrofit financing. The updated report is about opening the door for local government leadership on home retrofits through minor changes in local improvement charge legislation. Since buildings contribute as much as 30% of community greenhouse gas emissions this represents a huge opportunity. READ MORE


E-Newsletter (January 2016)

Read the full January Briefing Notes Hey elected official? What are your top asks? The scope for local governments to reduce green house gas emissions is largely unnoticed in Canadian media coverage of climate change, yet decisions made by local governments can directly or indirectly influence 45% of GHGs. Many local governments are rising to the climate challenge, while others are READ MORE


Who’s Picking Up the Tab? Federal and Provincial Downloading Onto Local Governments

Who’s Picking Up the Tab? investigates the scale and scope of downloading onto local governments from federal and provincial governments, using B.C. as a case study. Surveys of local leaders and senior staff, a fresh analysis of statistical and financial data and case studies of key policy areas pro­vide a clear picture of responsibilities and READ MORE


Food for Thought: Progressive Governance Forum

Our Progressive Civic Governance Forum is happening April 4th – 5th, 2014 in the Coast Plaza Hotel in downtown Vancouver, BC. The theme is: FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Growing Local Economies, Strengthening Local Leadership Access resources from Food for Thought here . View videos from Food for Thought here.     Pre-Conference Sessions: Public Speaking for Local Leaders – Persuasive communications training teaches concepts of message delivery in an intensive, interactive READ MORE


Buying Local: Tools for Forward-Thinking Institutions

One of our popular resource guides, Buying Local: Tools for Forward-Thinking Institutions, details specific policies and practices for economic development through local purchasing. Earlier this year, we released a study detailing the economic impact of local purchasing – the first study of its kind in Canada. Using office supply procurement in B.C. as an example, the study measured READ MORE


What’s the Big Deal About CETA?

By Robert Duffy Read this article on The Tyee at:  http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2012/05/03/Secrets-of-CETA/   The proposed Canada-Europe Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is generating serious questions and concerns from local governments across Canada. CETA, a sweeping trade and investment deal, is currently in its tenth round of negotiations, and the Canadian government believes it could be READ MORE