The Columbia Institute’s local economy work is hitting the news with the recent announcement that three new BC ferries will be built offshore by Remontowa Shipbuilding S.A. in Gdansk, Poland. Check out Made-In-BC Ferries for a detailed analysis of how our local economy would grow if they were built in BC instead. Listen to an interview READ MORE
Metro Vancouver is a powerful purchaser in the region. In 2012, the total payments to Canadian suppliers by the regional district – over 750 – was over $800 million. The regional district’s current Sustainable Procurement Procedures and Green Procurement Procedures, focus on the conduct of suppliers and contractors relating to environment attributes of READ MORE
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
“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
Public Spaces Matter “Great public spaces transform an ordinary city into a destination. They are what draw people to visit, do business and live in them. They are investments in the economy of a city – and fortunately, they don’t need to cost that much money. With creative rezoning and re-designating municipal lands, cities can READ MORE
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
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
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
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
Todmorden, a small village of 15,000 is embarking on an ambitious plan to be self sufficient in food by 2018. The town already has 70 large vegetable gardens, and is digging up lawns to plant more veggies on an ongoing basis. No public space is sacred, the police station, train station, health centre and school READ MORE
When governments privatize they do so with the hopes of saving money, but it seems very few privatized endeavors help to balance budgets, in fact governments often wind up paying more. An article in Alternet outlines 5 privatization nightmares. Read more here.
Residents of Midway BC are now the owners of their local mill. Originally closed down in 2007, local residents invested a sum of $250,000 to become shareholders and give the mill a “new lease on life”. They needed to raise an additional $750,000 by August 31st to meet a mortgage payment deadline. The deadline was READ MORE
With support from the Greenbelt Foundation and the Province of Ontario municipalities and public institutions across Ontario are initiating local food policies to encourage local food being served in daycares, schools and hospitals. The Broader Public Sector Investment Fund: Promoting Ontario Food provides funding for connecting local food to communities. Read more at Broader Public Sector Investment READ MORE
The buy local movement is picking up steam in BC. Local procurement policies are viewed as a way to strengthen communities, both economically and socially. These policies could be undone, however by the negotiated CETA agreement, which seeks to give European companies the equal access to local economies. Despite the severe ramifications for local industries READ MORE
The Acandi peoples of Columbia are about to become the first community in Columbia to manage and care for forests through conservation offsets. With the help of Anthropologist, Brodie Ferguson, they expect to be certified under the “Climate, Community and Biodiversity (CCB) Alliance’s REDD standard, a voluntary market scheme to reduce planet-warming emissions from deforestation READ MORE
Campaigns aimed at supporting local economies are gaining popularity, especially in BC. Writer Darren Barefoot has made a commitment to buy only Canadian products and services for an entire year, and the BC chapter of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) announced its “ Ten Percent Shift Campaign ” to encourage British Columbians to shop locally. Read the READ MORE
The Communities Matrix is a free one page graphic representation of four phases of community development. It has been used on every continent (except Antarctica) as a starting place in communities.
Comox Valley is launching its own currency, called ‘Community Way Dollars’, to strengthen and unite the local community in the wake of a strained economy. Community Way Dollars operate similar to an open money concept, where people contribute federal dollars to community organization and businesses, and receive the equivalent amount of community money in exchange. READ MORE
Blair Redlin of the Canadian Centre for Policy Altnernatives (CCPA) argues that the biggest threat to the Canadian economy and job market is apparently the U.S. government’s “Buy American” provisions. Stephen Harper is telling Canadians that in order to entice the U.S. to give up these provisions and maintain trade agreements, Canadian municipalies and provincial READ MORE
The T’Sou-ke First Nation in Sooke has become the largest solar energy producing community in B.C. Solar energy will power a large portion of the community’s infrastructure and provide hot water tanks to a nearby village. The band aims to adopt more green initiatives in the future, and are looking at wind power and organic READ MORE
Going Local— Inspirational Stories of Local Government and Local Economy in BC showcases 12 stories of local governments that are working to improve their local economies and enhance the quality of life in their communities. As communities face the future, local government leaders are asking themselves what they can do to protect and strengthen their READ MORE
The Conference Board of Canada has released its Summer 2008 Metropolitan Outlook, a ranking of the economies of small and mid-sized census metropolitan areas (CMAs). The report finds that all small and mid-sized CMAs except Thunder Bay and Saguenay will experience slower growth this year. The cause for the economic slowdown is blamed on the READ MORE
This 2004 report from the Brookings Institution Center on Urban and Metropolitan Policy makes the case that more compact development patterns and investing in projects to improve urban cores could save taxpayers money and improve overall regional economic performance.