Category Archives : Economy

Economic factors influence a community’s capacity for resilience against future social, political and environmental challenges. The themes present in this category include green jobs, local economy, wealth gap, and trade agreements.


RobDuffyTwitter
RobDuffyTwitter

More Leaked Documents Rip Lid off CETA Giveaways

By Robert Duffy and Charley Beresford. Read this article on the Tyee.ca .   We’ve been following the CETA (Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement) negotiations between Canada and the European Union since 2010, starting with a legal analysis of early  leaked documents , commissioned by the Centre for Civic Governance at Columbia Institute. That analysis, by trade lawyer Steven Shrybman, identified problems for municipalities who want READ MORE


Buying-Local-cover-image-231x300
Buying-Local-cover-image-231x300

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


whispering cartoon
whispering cartoon

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


2011 Polling - Graph 4
2011 Polling - Graph 4

2011 Polling – Centre for Civic Governance at the Columbia Institute

Each year the Columbia Institute does polling on the local issues that British Columbians consider most pressing. Below is a comparison of results from 2007 to 2011.* You will find a breakdown of responses on the following page. Social Infrastructure includes: Homelessness, Healthcare, Poverty, Immigration/Integration, Education, Lack of social services/sense of community, Childcare. Economic Bottom READ MORE


Dispelling the Myths about the Bundling of Construction Projects

“Our extensive research on the subject of the bundling of construction contracts discloses a common thread. The actual evidence of the impact of project bundling does not support the claims made about its benefits, including substantial costs savings. Furthermore, the analysis set out in this paper leads to the conclusion that the costs of bundled projects may be considerably higher.”   READ MORE


Canada’s trade minister says ‘little flexibility’ needed to conclude EU talks

“Canadian trade minister Ed Fast says negotiations with the Europe Union are re-launching early next month in a final push to complete a comprehensive deal, adding all that is needed is a “little flexibility” on both sides.   He gave no specifics but sources have said the major stumbling blocks include the EU’s reluctance to READ MORE


Conservation could create 25,000 jobs by 2025, claims report by unions and environmental groups

“Slashing energy consumption by a quarter over the next decade or so could create 25,000 new jobs, concludes a report by a coalition of environmentalists and unions. The group, Blue Green Canada, maintains that curbing power use would add $3.7 billion to the economy and help cut the federal and provincial deficits by almost $2 READ MORE


Sorry, It’s Not A ‘Law Of Capitalism’ That You Pay Your Employees As Little As Possible

“In short, the obsession with “maximizing short-term profits” that has developed in America over the past 30 years has created a business culture in which executives dance to the tune of short-term traders and quarterly earnings reports, instead of balancing the value created for employees, customers, and long-term owners.”   To read the full article on Business Insider click here.


Power of Purchasing - Cover Image
Power of Purchasing - Cover Image

The Power of Purchasing – The Economic Impacts of Local Procurement

Procurement by private and public sector institutions is a major force in the economy. In BC, local governments and school districts alone spend more than $6.7 billion annually on procurement. How – and where – procurement dollars are spent can have important economic, employment, social, and environmental impacts. This report uses the example of office READ MORE


Three ways the Canada-Europe trade talks could affect you

A CBC news article today highlights the reasons why businesses and local leaders in Hamilton, Ontario are getting increasingly concerned about potential local impacts of the Canada-Europe CETA trade talks. And the potential impacts in Hamilton are the same for municipalities across the country. ‘Unlike previous agreements like NAFTA, the CETA agreement appears to be READ MORE


There’s news on the CETA front, and it’s not so good.

There’s news on the CETA front, and it’s not so good. We’ve been following the CETA (Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement) negotiations between Canada and the European Union since 2010, starting with a legal analysis of early leaked documents, commissioned by our Centre for Civic Governance at Columbia Institute. That analysis, by trade lawyer Steven READ MORE


More Bang For Our Buck – A new study from Blue Green Canada

This new report from Blue Green Canada  shows if the $1.3 billion in government subsidies, now given to the oil and gas sector, were instead invested in renewable energy and energy efficiency, Canada would create more jobs: 18,000 more.  The full report is available for download here.   You can also read media stories covering the report, from The Vancouver Sun and The Star .


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


Columbia Institute Retrofit Research featured in Municipal World Magazine

Research from the Columbia Institute’s report: This Green House: Building fast action for climate change and green jobs  was featured in the November 2012 issue of Municipal World Magazine.  Here is an excerpt. You can download and read the full Municipal World article below.  These days, amid record settingfloods, fires, and tornados, we’ve becomeaccustomed to hearing dire warningsabout the threats and impacts of climatechange. These are enormous READ MORE


New website to share green policies in Ontario municipalities

The Ontario Green Policy Hub, launched in October, offers a searchable on-line library of sustainability policies in Ontario municipalities. At launch, the website provides details about policies and programs in Toronto, Kitchener, Burlington, East Gwillimbury, York Region, and joint programs. Categories are: Community Design, Transportation, Green Infrastructure, Water Conservation, Energy, Waste Reduction, and Public Buildings. READ MORE


Unions and Environmentalists Urge Continued Support for Green Energy and Green Jobs

The World Trade Organization has come back with a preliminary ruling that find’s Ontario’s Green Energy Act is in contravention of some provisions of the GATT. The news broke in the Globe and Mail . Blue Green Canada is urging the Ontario and federal governments to step up the defence of Ontario’s Green Energy Act. To read more of Blue Green Canada’s response, click here


Asking the right questions: A guide for municipal officials considering P3s

With growing financial and political pressure on municipalities to use P3s, this guide is a timely resource that answers key questions about financing and delivering infrastructure projects.  With this guide, municipal councillors and civic officials will be able to ask the right questions before considering entering into a P3.  For more information, to download the READ MORE


Events - GreenJobs BC Converence
Events - GreenJobs BC Converence

Good Jobs for a Green Future

The conference will bring together 200-300 British Columbians from across the Labour and Environmental movements, as well business, First Nations, community, government, and other sectors interested in building a strong green economy. Through a combination of panel discussions, educational seminars, and plenary speakers, participants will deepen their understanding of the issues, and be part of READ MORE


‘Reverse boycott’ to help eatery go greener

Vancouver’s Cascade Room will be the target of a “Carrotmob” that organizers hope will draw hundreds of customers eager to reward the restaurant’s commitment to environmentally friendly renovations.  A Carrotmob is a social-media driven reverse boycott in which people reward socially responsible businesses with their patronage in a one-day spending blitz.  Read more at the READ MORE


Local Improvement Charges Regulation Amendments

On June 22, 2012, the Columbia Institute made a submission to the Municipal Finance Policy Branch at the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing in a response for public feedback on proposal number 11-MAH011 – Local Improvement Charges Regulation Amendments Under the Municipal Act and the City of Toronto Act.  The submission focused specifically on the role municipalities READ MORE


What’s the Big Deal About CETA?

Canada-Europe Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is generating serious questions and concerns from local governments across Canada.  Municipalities, local government associations and school boards have passed resolutions expressing concern about the CETA’s potential impact local public services and decision making which could undermine public control key municipal services. Read more from the Columbia READ MORE


Publications - Briefing Notes - Cover
Publications - Briefing Notes - Cover

Local Governments and CETA

The Centre for Civic Governance has been tracking developments in the Canadian European Comprehensive Trade Agreement and in particular potential impacts on municipalities. Our latest Trade and Policy Update provides information on the likelihood of increased legal and administrative costs, the threats to local decision-making and the potential for the privatization of municipal water services. 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


Governments should consider “fiscal blowback” before they commit to outsourcing jobs

An op- ed in the Toronto star is critical of Toronto City council’s proposal to outsource cleaning jobs. Outsourcing jobs would mean a drastic pay cut for hard working cleaning staff and a whole host of problems including unforeseen fiscal costs :”the costs of tendering, supervision and compliance; severance costs for displaced workers; profit margins 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


Letter to the Editor: CETA will rob cities of vital tools

Kristyn Wong-Tam’s, Councillor for Ward 27, Toronto Centre – Rosedale has written a letter to the editor of iPolitics, outlining the likely impacts of the proposed CETA agreement (Canadian European Trade Agreement) on Canadian municipalities. Drawing from detailed research on the trade agreement, including a paper published by the Columbia Institute, Councillor Wong-Tam argues that vital tools to stimulate local economies and to 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


Municipalities and the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) 101

The Centre for Civic Governance has been tracking developments in the Canadian European Comprehensive Trade Agreement and in particular potential impacts on municipalities. Our latest Trade and Policy Update provides information on the likelihood of increased legal and administrative costs, the threats to local decision-making and the potential for the privatization of municipal water services. READ MORE


Newly elected leaders must demand consultation on CETA

A recent opinion piece highlights many of the serious and likely consequences from signing the Canadian European Trade Agreement (CETA). Unlike previous trade agreements CETA eliminates the right of a municipality to procure goods and services locally. It also opens up our water treatment industries to multinational corporations. Despite the potential for “serious, unanticipated consequences READ MORE


Power really does rest in the hands of the few

A study that seeks to go behind ideology to study the connections of the powerful has revealed that the global economy only has a handful of players. Conducted by complex systems theorists at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich the study “examined the connections between 43,000 transnational corporations [and] has identified a relatively READ MORE


Report finds P3’s substantially more expensive than the public option

Forensic accountant, Ron Parks has co-authored a report that evaluates four P3 projects completed in BC, The Canada Line, Sea-To-Sky Highway improvements, the Diamond Ambulatory Care Centre and the Abbotsford Regional Hospital for their financial costs. His findings show that P3’s are substantially more expensive than the public option due to hidden costs. While publicly READ MORE


The impact of CETA on Hamilton Ontario

Stewart Trew of the Council of Canadians has written a report that outlines some specific impacts the proposed CETA (Canadian European Union Trade Agreement) will have on Hamilton’s job sector as well as the social and environmental impacts. From banning buy local policies to privatizing public services, the agreement will limit the power of municipalities READ MORE