Monthly Archives: May 2011

Energy Efficiency Home Retrofits Slow Climate Change and Save Canadians Thousands on Energy Bills: Report

Municipal financing makes changes easy and affordable for homeowners A new study – This Green House – Building Fast Action on Climate Change and Green Jobs by the Columbia Institute – reveals that modest investments in energy conservation in homes can save homeowners thousands of dollars, and dramatically and rapidly reduce greenhouse gas (GHG)emissions in READ MORE

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Vancouver‘s efforts to reduce street homelessness are working

Every three years Metro Vancouver conducts a street homelessness survey, with volunteers combing the streets, alleys, and parks looking for individuals sleeping outside. This year’s count showed Vancouver’s street homeless population fell by 82% compared with the survey conducted in 2008. The city has made a concerted effort to provide more shelter beds while waiting READ MORE

This Green House: Building Fast Action for Climate Change and Green Jobs

 This substantive report provides information for getting started on a retrofit program in your municipality, from necessary legislative changes, to case studies to an overview of benefits. Energy use in buildings is one of the largest sources of GHG emissions at the local level. Fortunately, reducing energy use in buildings is something that can be READ MORE

BC School Boards receive fresh blow from the Ministry of Education

Last Friday the Ministry of Education informed school boards that they are now responsible for paying property insurance premiums. This carves a significant amount of money out of already stretched school board budgets. Vancouver’s school board will have to pay the highest premiums at $291,285.27, amounting to significant cuts to school programs and staff. Read READ MORE

Students support a policy to create safety and respect for LGBTQs

The Burnaby school district has drafted a policy, No. 5.45, to support students and employees who are (or are assumed to be) lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, two-spirit or queer (LGBTQ). While the policy is being met with protest from some parents and church groups, students are overwhelmingly in favour of the policy. Read more READ MORE

Cameroon creates network of councils to combat climate change

The Cameroon Councils Against Climate Change Network are working together to combat climate change. Loss of agricultural land to reoccurring droughts has taken its toll on many Cameroon communities and a top-down government approach failed to address the different realities each community faced. This new network “will enable local councils to exchange ideas and experiences READ MORE

Serrania del Darien Rainforest in Columbia to be protected through carbon credits

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

City of Surrey uses multiple approaches to combat crime

During the past four years the city of Surrey has greatly reduced criminal activity by employing a variety of strategies: increasing police presence at hotspots for crime, creating more affordable housing, neighbourhood beautification and increasing community and school programs for youth. Surrey’s innovative crime reduction program is the result of “community partnerships, innovative programs and READ MORE

Placemaking: Cool Ideas for Locally Elected Leaders

Progressive Governance Forum 2011 at Harrison Hot Springs Friday March 25th-Saturday March 26th   THANK YOU TO ALL OF OUR PARTICIPANTS!  WE ENJOYED ANOTHER INSPIRING FORUM: Michael Shuman Keynote: Revitalizing BC Communities From the Inside Out with audio! David Thompson Plenary: Green Jobs for BC Patrick Condon: Seven Rules for Sustainable Communities  with audio! Mayor Darrell Mussatto: Leadership for a Sustainable Future with audio! Sharon Gregson: Early Childcare and Learning Blair Redlin: Canada/EU Trade Agreement (CETA) and Municipal Purchasing Claire Beckstead: Municipal Financing for Energy Efficiency Ken Melamed: Competence or Knowledge with audio! Grant Pearsell: Four Strategies for Achieving Biodiversity  Barinder Rasode: Child Focused Communities   FINAL AGENDA PRESENTER BIOS

Beyond Habitat

Panel Discussion and Book Launch with Dr. Val Schaefer, Grant Pearsell and Briony Penn Panel Discussion and Book Launch with Dr. Val Schaefer, Grant Pearsell and Briony Penn Monday October 4th, 2010 1:00-4:30pm Segal Graduate School of Business, 500 Granville St. Room 1500 Local governments can play a cruscial role in the conservation and promotion of global biodiversity; but where to start? This forum explores some of the practical and legislative READ MORE

Collaborating on Carbon Commitments – A Training Ground for Gaining Ground

This all-day workshop focused on the tools that the public sector can use to reduce GHG emissions in buildings and operations, and tactics that can successfully be used to overcome resistance to climate action within your community. This workshop is aimed towards local elected officials and staff, school trustees and facilities managers, as well as READ MORE

Facing the Challenge: Strategies for Green and Inclusive Recovery

“Inspiring thinking”“Gives me a sense of possibility” Since its launch two years ago, the Columbia Institute’s successful forums Sustainable Communities, Leadership Matters and Communities in Action brought together Mayors, Councillors and School Trustees from every region across Ontario to discuss key issues and imagine creative ways to improve public policy. With the massive economic change READ MORE

From the Ground Up: Using Local Assets to Build Inclusive Sustainable Communities

A series of workshops aimed at providing the tools and best practices necessary for local leaders to build sustainable communities. Program Highlights Friday Morning 11:00 – 12:15   How Big is Your Magic Wand?   Municipal Powers and Sustainability. This session explores practical definitions of sustainability, the cost of climate change and integrating a triple bottom READ MORE

Leadership Matters: Governance Forum for Local Leaders in Ontario

The keynote speaker at this year’s Forum is former mayor of Salt Lake City, Rocky Anderson.   Click here to link to videos taken from the Columbia Institute’s 2nd Annual Governance Forum at Harrison Hot Springs . Videos include: Donna Morton, alternative economies, tax-shifting Julie Spezia – affordable housing Emanuel Machado & Josha MacNab – Dawson Creek’s energy planning Rick Quail – sustainable Okotoks Felice Mazzoni – community planning in Ucluelet Blair Redlin – READ MORE

Emissions from the production of globally traded goods and servives increased by 26% between 1990 and 2008

From 1990 to 2008 CO2 emissions in developed countries have stabilized, but emissions in developing countries have doubled. The study finds that emissions from the production of traded goods and services have increased by (26%). Most developed countries have increased their consumption-based emissions. The net emission transfers via international trade from developing to developed countries READ MORE

CETA absent from party platforms during 2011 election

Canada is currently negotiating the biggest free trade contract since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), yet it has been invisible on the campaign trail. The Conservative government has been involved in negotiations with the European Union regarding the Canada-European Trade Agreement (CETA) since 2009. The deal, which is intended to be negotiated by READ MORE