Yearly Archives: 2010

Vancouver Endorses the Vienna Declaration

Following on the heels of Toronto, Vancouver has officially endorsed the Vienna Declaration . The Vienna Declaration encourages governments to use scientific, evidence-based research when developing drug policy, rather than dealing with drug addiction from an ideological perspective. The city’s safe injection site is a key example of an evidence-based policy. Read more in the Metro READ MORE

Toronto’s Mayor Tries to Crush Tower Retrofit Project

In 2008, the City of Toronto released a study titled The Mayor’s Tower Renewal Opportunities Book . The study looked at ways that Toronto’s outdated and inefficient apartment housing stock could be retrofitted for energy efficiency and liveability. The current Mayor’s office however, has deemed the program a waste of taxpayers money, despite the energy and financial savings that would be READ MORE

A New Coalition—Business and Education Leaders, and the Mayor Make the Case for More Education Funding

Surrey business leaders, education leaders and Mayor Diane Watts have joined together to appeal for more education funding. Surrey has the largest public-school district in the province and the local board of trade has argued that education is a cornerstone of a stable economy.The Surrey board of trade recently released a paper titled Education Today, Productivity Tomorrow . Read READ MORE

Newly Elected Calgary Mayor Talks About the Youth Vote, Social Media and Encouraging Meaningful Dialogue on Civic Issues

Listen to newly elected Calgary Mayor, Naheed Nenshion, talk to Anna Maria Tremonti on CBC radio’s The Current , about pluralism, community diversity, and about his mayoral campaign that reached out to young voters, used social media and worked hard to engage citizens on civic issues.

United Nations Report Documents the Economic Benefits of Nature Conservation

The report, titled “Mainstreaming the Economics of Nature, ” is written by Pavan Sukhdev, a banker who heads the UN’s green economy initiative, and describes the global tendency to take advantage of nature’s free services without applying economic value to them. The report points out that deforestation costs millions of dollars in flooding, greenhouse gas emissions, and water purification- more READ MORE

Unlimited Vision: Ideas for Building Inclusive Sustainable Communities

Unlimited Vision: Ideas for Building Inclusive Sustainable Communities is a collection of stories featuring courageous leadership, community building and legislative tools in action. It is the second volume in the “Innovative Strategies Leadership Series” for locally elected leaders. Inspired by conversations at our Centre for Civic Governance forums, this handbook highlights leadership stories from across the country READ MORE

Going for Green: For the Love of Nature, Solutions for Biodiversity

For the Love of Nature: Solutions for Biodiversity is the fourth volume in the Centre for Civic Governance’s Going for Green leadership series. In this edition, authors Briony Penn and Dr. Robin J. Hood share their stories about leadership in biodiversity. You’ll also find inspiration, legislative tools and promising practices for creating a legacy of biodiversity READ MORE

Ahead of the Curve: Tapping into the Prairies’ Rich Leadership History

Ahead of the Curve,: Tapping into the Prairie’s Rich Leadership History A forum for the Prairies’ locally elected leaders. The forum provides tools, resources and inspiration for building strong and sustainable local economies. Ahead of the Curve: Tapping into the Prairies’ Rich Leadership History October 29th, 2011 9:30 am – 4:30 pm At Wanuskewin Heritage READ MORE

Victoria Plans to Stop the Dumping of Sewage into the Ocean

After many years of careful planning, Vancouver Island’s Capital Regional District (CRD) has just received provincial approval for a $782-million sewage system upgrade that will put an end to the practice of dumping raw sewage into the ocean. Saanich City Councillor, Judy Brownoff, who also serves as chair for the CRD’s Sewage Treatment Committee, has READ MORE

CCPA’s Open Letter to Tony Clement Re: Changes to Census Collection

A recent Canwest article reported that the federal government plans to restrict the upcoming census. Armine Yalnizyan, a senior economist with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA), opposes this decision. Read his letter to the Honorable Tony Clement, the Minister Responsible for Statistics Canada, and and Munir Sheikh, Chief Statistician at Statistics Canada.

Metro Vancouver Debates Waste Incineration

Metro Vancouver’s proposed solid waste management plan is drawing fire over its waste incineration component. The region plans to increase recycling from 50% to 70% and burn the remaining 30%. While burning garbage could potentially provide energy and heat to nearby neighbourhoods, critics warn that incineration creates toxic air pollution, releasing "emissions of mercury, lead READ MORE

Green Builders Consider the Benefits of Green Roofs, White Roofs

Green builders are currently examining the environmental benefits of different roofing systems, focusing much of their research on white roofs and green roofs. While green roofs are expensive, test sites in New York City have shown that green roofs are very effective at reducing the urban heat island effect, absorbing stormwater and keeping buildings cool READ MORE

Federal Government Cutting Back Mandatory Census Collection

The Federal Government is cutting back on the collection of statistical information from Canadians. The Conservatives reason that much of the information collected is an intrusion on personal privacy. However, community groups, and those who conduct research and develop policy say that this move will seriously harm the quality of their work. Census information is READ MORE

Green Infrastructure Better for Storm Water Control

Researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago have concluded that green infrastructure is better suited to deal with storm water runoff that the traditional use of curbs and gutters, detention ponds and storm sewers. Green infrastructure incorporates permeable pavement, green roofs and constructed wetlands to reduce the flow of pollutants into sewers and ultimately READ MORE

Violence in Neighbourhoods Lowers Children’s IQ Scores

A murder in a neighbourhood often lowers the IQ scores of children within a 10 block radius. Although this dip in IQ seems to go back to normal after 10 days, the post-traumatic stress of children who live in violent crime-ridden neighbourhoods accounts for lower IQ scores and poorer academic performance. Read the full story READ MORE

Gaining Ground Eco-Logical, The Power of Green Cities to Shape the Future

Gaining Ground 2010 Conference "Eco-Logical" The Power of Green Cities to Shape the Future Vancouver, BC October 4-7, 2010 Conference location: downtown Vancouver campuses of BCIT, SFU and SFU Woodwards., This year’s Gaining Ground Conference, Eco-Logical, will emphasize practice, execution and innovation in policy, urban-system and community design, green economy, education…and the full READ MORE

Canada EU Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) will jeopardize municipal water services and local procurement policies

Canadian Trade Lawyer Steve Shrybman presented a number of worrying scenarios at a dialogue session hosted by the Centre for Civic Governance last Friday at the FCM. He pointed out that the “The European Union has made a pointed request that drinking water services be included in the trade agreement, opening the door for big READ MORE

Local Elections Task Force Delivers its Recommendations

The BC Local Elections Task Force delivered its recommendations on improving local government elections yesterday. In their recommendations they highlighted the need for expense limits on local election campaign participants and the need for sponsorship information on all election advertising. Despite pressure from business groups the task force also recommended that corporations not be given a READ MORE

Vancouver and Toronto Launch Programs to Encourage Newcomers to Ride Bikes

The Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition, with support from Vancouver Coastal Health, runs a program that teaches new immigrants how to cycle in Vancouver. A similar program, called “Culture Link”, is being launched in Toronto this June. The programs both aim to reduce stress among newcomers and engage them in new social situations. Read the full READ MORE