Each year the Columbia Institute does polling on the local issues that British Columbians consider most pressing. Below is a comparison of results from 2007 to 2011.* You will find a breakdown of responses on the following page. Social Infrastructure includes: Homelessness, Healthcare, Poverty, Immigration/Integration, Education, Lack of social services/sense of community, Childcare. Economic Bottom READ MORE
Canadians have on average paid less for food than people in other countries, but that will soon change. High transportation costs, low crop yields and export restrictions are responsible for recent spikes in food prices. Overall costs rose 4.5 % between November of 2010 and 2011, eggs rose 12.3% and potatoes rose 20.3%. The increase READ MORE
The Fredericton Region Solid Waste Commission will be selling the methane gas emitted from its landfill’s waste to NB Power. The methane will be converted to electricity, enough to run 2,000 homes. The 6 million dollar project is expected to generate 20 million dollars over 20 years . Read more at the CBC
Each year the Columbia Institute does polling on the local issues that British Columbians consider most pressing. This year we also asked British Columbians about their support for Living Wage policies and action on Climate Change. Click below to read the results. Attachment: Columbia Institute 2011 Polling.pdf
Despite the overwhelming evidence that shows that providing free healthy food to students results in an immediate jump in test scores alongside improved behaviour and reduced tardiness ,there is still no stable source of funding for such programs. Schools rely on donations from communities and businesses resulting in inconsistent delivery of programs. An article by Stephen 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
Students of Peterborough Collegiate and Vocational School (PCVS) are protesting the Administrative Review Committee (ARC) of the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board’s (KPRDSB) recent decision to close the school. The school is in Peterborough’s downtown core and students argue that closing down the school would violate the Province’s “Places to Grow Act,” which requires READ MORE
A report released by Canada’s Commissioner on the Environment, Scott Vaughan criticizes Environment Canada for failing to regulate and punish polluting industries. The report describes a lack of knowledge and consistency within the organization. Read more at the CBC.
A team of Russian scientists studying eastern Arctic sea ice has discovered large plumes of methane bubbling to the surface. It is estimated that hundreds of millions of tones of methane, a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide are locked in the Arctic permafrost. As climate change warms the planet these gases READ MORE
After complaints about the water started to flood in from residents of Pavilion, Wyoming, the EPA decided to do some testing. Results showed “that ground water in the Pavilion aquifer contain[ed] methane, benzene, other petroleum hydrocarbons and other chemical compounds.” The toxic chemicals are suspected to be the result of nearby fracking. The long list READ MORE
The poverty wealth gap is growing in the majority of the 30 OECD countries. In fact, two thirds of the countries have seen an increase in poverty and income disparity. A recent report by the OECD shows that inequality is growing in Canada, Germany, Norway and the United States. But incomes in Greece, Mexico and READ MORE
The election of long time trustee Eden Haythornthwaite to board chair, signals a dramatic shift in politics for the Cowichan school board. Haythonwaite is accustomed to being an oppositional trustee, often having her motions quashed. She has routinely voted against cuts to classrooms and her dedication to fighting for education has finally paid off. Haythonwaite READ MORE
A recent announcement that all city boards including school boards will be facing budget cuts of ten percent came as a surprise to many Toronto school boards. Two of the city’s largest boards had just met with the Mayor’s office to discuss coordination of services and cost saving measures days before the cuts were announced READ MORE
Enlisting architects, animators and more importantly residents, an NFB film titled One Millionth Tower , provides ideas for revitalizing Toronto’s aging highrises. Some of the ideas include eliminating first floor apartments to make room for cafes and businesses, creating a marketspace, and networks and paths linking to the towers to parks and community gardens. Residents featured in the documentary READ MORE
A new UBC study titled “Education and Crime over the Life Cycle,” examines the impact of education levels on reducing property crimes. Co-author Giovanni Gallipoli explains, “Our findings suggest that keeping kids in school, making them employable and improving their value in the labour market is nearly twice as cost-effective at reducing crime as simple READ MORE
Ontario’s auditor general is suggesting that school administrators start collecting data on students’ ethnicity, language and socio-economic status. The suggestion comes as several US states have found success in targeting programs to specific ethnic groups to raise graduation rates. The information would not be made public, but it could help administrators to fund and design READ MORE
As the Conservatives are getting ready to pass their omnibus crime bill, a report released by the Canadian Psychiatric Association reveals that more than 1 in 10 male inmates and nearly one in three female inmates held in federal penitentiaries have mental illness. The number has climbed steadily alongside the closure of mental institutions across READ MORE
Join us at our Centre for Civic Governance Forum for Progressive Governance in Harrison Hot Springs Friday March 30-Saturday March 31st. 2012. Joel Bakan at The Future is Local from Centre for Civic Governance on Vimeo . Equality and Public Education from Centre for Civic Governance on Vimeo . Local Is Global with Craig Keating and Alisdair Smith from Centre for Civic Governance on Vimeo . Funding Formulas: When More is Less and Less -Joan Axford from Centre for Civic Governance on Vimeo . Featuring: Joel Bakan is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law at the University of British READ MORE
Current emissions reductions targets are likely to create a warming of 3.5°C by 2020, far below the original pledge of 2°C lower. The Climate Action Tracker has done an analysis that shows what the financial and environmental risks are. The tracker is continually updating according to the latest information available. What the current analysis shows READ MORE
Several Canadian municipalities are looking at outfitting their trucking fleets with safety barriers. Cycling and pedestrian deaths from heavy trucks has gone down in Europe since guards have been implemented. The barriers cost approximately $1500 and Toronto councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker believes rails should be required despite the costs; “all of us accept today that READ MORE
According to the Globe and Mail, iPads, bring your own computer devices and twitter are the latest trends in education, while cursive writing and long division are going out of style. Unfortunately, there seems to be a lack of research validating computers over other basic skills. In fact, in the heart of Silicon Valley, many READ MORE
Edmonton is the first Alberta school board to develop a policy to make schools welcoming and safe for “students, staff and families who identify or are perceived as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, two-spirit, queer or questioning their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.” Read more in the Edmonton Journal.
Canada is becoming infamous for promoting the tar sands at the expense of climate change commitments. At the recent climate talks in Durban South Africa, Canada won four Fossil awards. Read more at the Climate Action Network.