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
Britain’s Environment Agency credits the many habitat restoration programs and strict regulation of pollutants for the regeneration of rivers and the return of wildlife. Six rivers in particular made the list as most improved including the River Wandle, a tributary of the Thames. The Wandle was once considered a sewer, but is now considered one READ MORE
The groundbreaking has begun on the world’s greenest building, Seattle’s Bullitt Centre. The building will generate its own electricity with solar power, including enough for winter months, live off its own rainwater and compost its own sewage to be sent off site as fertilizer. The building will cover over 10,000 square feet and will be READ MORE
A new study that examines the impact of El Ninõ on human populations throughout history has concluded that extreme weather variations can lead to civil strife and sometimes war. “Lead author Solomon Hsiang of Columbia’s Earth Institute said El Niño was an invisible factor – but not the only one – in driving intra-border conflict. READ MORE
Innovation in Surrey abounds! The soon to open City Centre Library will have an innovative program that enlists local residents, who are experts in various capacities, to be available on loan for ½ hour to 45 minute conversations. The program is about sharing information and experience, and building community amongst Surrey’s diverse populations. Read more at Good READ MORE
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A handful of Canadian municipalities have implemented living wage bylaws, and many more are on the verge of implementing the policy. Municipal living wage bylaws are legally enforceable policies ensuring that workers employed by a city and those contracted using municipal funds will be paid enough to meet basic family living expenses. Municipal living wage READ MORE
Currently municipalities receive 10 cents for every dollar collected in gas taxes, but the Globe and Mail suggests that many municipal woes – from traffic congestion to crumbling infrastructure, would be fixed if the full amount were transferred. At present, “traffic congestion in the Greater Toronto Area alone costs the economy $3.3-billion in lost productivity.” READ MORE
August 20, 2011 Toronto, Ontario Dear Friends, Tens of thousands of Canadians have written to me in recent weeks to wish me well. I want to thank each and every one of you for your thoughtful, inspiring and often beautiful notes, cards and gifts. Your spirit and love have lit up my home, my spirit, READ MORE
Multi-billionaire US investor Warren Buffet says that that wealthy people like himself are not paying their fair share of taxes and governments need to start collecting more revenue from the ‘super rich’. To read Buffet’s New York Times op-ed, titled “Stop Coddling the Super Rich”, click here
With all the talk of government debt recently — Toronto, $4.7 billion; Ontario, $240 billion; the U.S., $14.6 trillion — the spectacular figures and the concept of debt itself have become so abstract many people don’t even understand the conversation. The Toronto Star recently spoke with Dr. Enid Slack, director of the University of Toronto’s Institute on Municipal Finance READ MORE
Norwood Ontario has passed a resolution calling on the provinces and the federal government “to negotiate a clear, permanent exemption for local governments” from the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement. Like other municipalities, Norwood is concerned the CETA agreement will impact their ability to procure goods and services locally and that they would READ MORE
So far, 91 Manitoba municipalities have passed resolutions calling on provincial political parties to commit, if elected, a portion of the tax revenue the Manitoba government collects in communities to repairing and upgrading the infrastructure in those communities. Read more in the Red River Valley Echo.
When Canada ratified the Kyoto agreement in 2002, the country committed itself to lowering emissions to 1990 levels by 2012. That commitment was eroded by the Harper Conservatives in Copenhagen in 2009 where it altered the agreement and said it would only reduce emissions to 17% lower than 2005 levels. It seems that the less READ MORE
The City of Edmonton is partnering with REACH , a community-based organization focused on safety, to reduce violent crime. The focus will be on providing 24/7 social services to at risk populations, including multi-cultural, aboriginal, and homeless populations. The program will also have a family violence prevention campaign and aims to reduce the sale of alcohol READ MORE
Richmond is the first municipality in BC to adopt a public space recycling program. Bins with separate containers for garbage, bottles and cans, and paper waste will be distributed to parks and community centres. The city hopes to divert 75 per cent or more of the recyclables previously tossed out with other garbage. Read more in 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
Calgary’s newly formed Community Investment Fund will direct $252 million over the next six years into community projects including a new central library, new recreation centres, and upgrades to community arenas, pools, parks and community associations and recreation groups. The investment in projects was made possible by the Province’s decision to ease the provincial property READ MORE
A pilot program being launched in Victoria, BC – The Capital Regional District, City of Victoria, Township of Esquimalt and Town of View Royal will allow home sellers to advertise the energy efficiency of their home through a rating system similar to the EnergyStar system for appliances. The program is a partnership with BC Hydro READ MORE
The public’s appetite for municipal cost cutting measured seems to be greatly overestimated. A recent poll by Leger marketing shows that 84% of those polled believe libraries should continue to be publicly funded. Transit, arenas and recreation centres, and street cleaning also had large numbers in favour of continued public funding. In fact, the only READ MORE
A new study reports that despite an increase in global protected habitats since the 1960s, biodiversity is steadily declining. The authors suggest that maintaining biodiversity will require a more holistic approach involving not just conservation, but also reducing pollution, invasive species and consumption patterns. Read more at Huffington Green. Download: Ongoing global biodiversity loss and the need to move beyond protected areas: a review of the technical and practical shortcomings of protected areas on land and sea
In Nova Scotia a number of “Alzheimer’s cafes” are cropping up. They are places where Alzheimer’s sufferers and their friends and families can come together to socialize, but also to access important health and wellness information. The informal cafes are typically held once a month for two hours. Read more at CTV News.
With pedestrian fatalities on the rise some cities are looking at ways to make streets safer through engineering. Globe and Mail writer Francis Bula provides a list of street designs that have helped pedestrian injuries and fatalities. Among them are: lights with countdown timers, corner bulges, lower speed limits and scrambles. Read more in the Globe READ MORE