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


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 Opinion: Community 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


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. 


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


E-Newsletter (November 2015)

Read the full October 2015 Briefing Notes . With the Paris climate talks (COP21) around the corner, we are dedicating this issue of our monthly e-newsletter to climate action. There is much hope for the climate discussions in Paris, despite the horrific terror attacks. If anything, this may strengthen all of our resolve to replace the expiring 1990 Kyoto agreement—the world’s first READ MORE


Transportation Governance – 12 Case Studies

This note updates, verifies and adds to the information contained in Regional Transportation Governance: Selected Case Studies produced by the Greater Vancouver Transportation Authority in 2006. It contains information about 12 transportation agencies in Canada, the U.S., France, the U.K., and Finland. All of the cases are regional transportation agencies, though the scope of their responsibilities varies. Some are responsible for multi-modal transportation systems, while others READ MORE


Climate Change Backgrounder – The Road to Paris (May 2015)

Almost 200 countries will meet in Paris this December for a legally-binding global climate agreement on curbing carbon emissions, with the goal of limiting global warming to 2ºC from pre-industrial levels. This is the 21st UNFCCC COP (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change – Conference of the Parties).   The Union of Concerned Scientists 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


Getting the Majority to Vote: Practical solutions to re-engage citizens in local elections

Across BC voting is decreasing in all levels of elections—federal, provincial and municipal. Voter turnout in federal and provincial elections is now below 60 per cent, but more dramatically we are seeing many municipal elections in which only 20 to 30 per cent of people go out to vote. What is happening in communities where 70 to 80 per cent of READ MORE