By Robert Duffy Read this article on The Tyee at: https://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2012/05/03/Secrets-of-CETA/ The proposed Canada-Europe Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is generating serious questions and concerns from local governments across Canada. CETA, a sweeping trade and investment deal, is currently in its tenth round of negotiations, and the Canadian government believes it could be READ MORE
With childhood obesity rates climbing at alarming rates, Onatrio explores multiple interventions aimed at different aspects of healthy living including healthier cafeteria selections and increases to daily physical activity for students. Read more at The Globe and Mail .
Facing a $110 million dollar shortfall this year, some Toronto District School Board trustees say the district can’t balance its books and roll out full-day kindergarten at the same time. Read more at the Toronto Sun .
The Vancouver School Board has released the results of surveys conducted as part of its public consultation process. The board will be discussing the results, including whether or not to redevelop properties in the face of declining enrolments and provincial funding as well as the introduction of a balanced school calendar. Read more at the Vancouver Sun READ MORE
Port Moody City council voted unanimously on May 22, 2012 to ban the possession, sale, trade and distribution of shark fin products, a move mayor Mike Clay hopes paves the way for other municipalities to follow suit. Read more at canada.com .
Greenhouse gas emissions are a side-effect of economically valuable activities. Most of the impacts of greenhouse gas emissions are “external” to the market and do not fall on those conducting the activities leaving future generations or people living in developing countries to pay the cost. Read more at The Guardian .
Almost half of all Ontario high schools are still charging students course fees, despite guidelines introduced by the province last fall telling them not to, says an annual report on the state of education. Read more at The Toronto Star .
All schools, including those in the Catholic system in Ontario, won’t be able to stop students from calling anti-homophobia clubs “ gay-straight alliances” if changes to a proposed anti-bullying law are passed. The amendment is being applauded as a step forward for human rights, giving students the right to name their own clubs. Read more at The Toronto Star READ MORE
On May 23, 2012, Los Angeles became the largest city in the United States to adopt a ban on plastic bags at super-market checkout lines. On a 13-1 vote in favour of the ban, this decision handed a major victory to clean-water advocates who sought to reduce the amount of trash clogging landfills, waterways and READ MORE
On June 20 -22, 2012, nations gather in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 20 years after the first UN sanctioned gathering focussed on sustainable development. Check out our new briefing note “Rio +20 – Why it matters for local governments.” Publication Download: RIO+20.pdf
Richmond city council has unanimously passed a motion banning genetically modified plants and crops from being grown in the city making Richmond the first predominantly agricultural jurisdiction in B.C. to enact such a ban. Read more at the Vancouver Sun.
The recently formed BC mayor’s caucus calls for reform to the current ad hoc municipal funding system. Mayors from 86 municipalities insist the current system need to be replaced with one that gives cities more certainty over funding so they can partake in long term planning that will better communities. Read more at The Globe & Mail.
With incomes unable to keep up with soaring rental costs, Councillor Pat Atkinson calls for partnership among the federal, provincial and municipal governments to address the problem of low vacancy rates and high demand for rental properties in Saskatchewan. Read more at The Star Phoenix.
Eighty-six British Columbia Mayors are meeting in Penticton this week to discuss the increase in costs being downloaded to cities, and how they can respond. Canadian cities only receive 8% of the tax base, and as budgets get cut elsewhere, they are having to deal with more and more costs in their communities. Not only READ MORE
Canadian NGOs and labour unions have sent an amicus curiae submission to the World Trade Organization (WTO) that calls for respect of Canada’s international climate change obligations and seeks to address Canada’s failure to properly defend Ontario’s Green Energy Act. Read more at United Steelworkers .
B.C. engineers have now expressed concern that Trade Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement (TILMA) will result in poorer public infrastructure. Read more at The Tyee .
City counsellors call for a united voice in requesting the provincial government review the Residential Tenacy Act. Politicians from 33 municipalities agreed the act subjects tenants to a costly, time-consuming, and ineffective system that is difficult to navigate due to its bureaucratic and legal complexity. The resolution put forward by Judy Villeneuve, Counsellor from Surrey, calling for READ MORE
Agenda 9:00 am Registration 9:30 am Welcome 9:45 am Panel – Municipal role in Home Energy Retrofits – WE CAN DO IT! 11:00 am Break 11:15 am Panel – A Climate Change Action Charter for your municipality? 12:30 pm LUNCH 12:45 pm Key Note Speaker – Economist Jim Stanford 1:30 pm Panel – A Living READ MORE
Sam Magavern, a volunteer attorney for the City of Buffalo Living Wage Commission will be joining Hamilton Wentworth school board Trustee Alex Johnstone and Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction Director Tom Cooper on a panel on A Living Wage at the Centre for Civic Governance at Columbia Institute’s The Sharing of Good Ideas! forum on READ MORE
Sam Magavern: Sam Magavern co-directs the Partnership for the Public Good and teaches at the SUNY Buffalo Law School and the Cornell University ILR School. He has served as the compliance coordinator and as a volunteer attorney for the City of Buffalo Living Wage Commission. Tom Cooper: Tom Cooper is Director of the Hamilton Roundtable READ MORE
Regional District of Nanaimo is now providing incentives to residents interested in reducing their energy usage and emissions, and protecting water. Nanaimo also renewed its Green Building Incentive Program to encourage residents to invest in energy efficiency, emission reductions and green building practices. Read more at the Municipal Information Network .
A Halifax councillor wants the provincial government to look into limiting rent hikes before demand for housing rises and is calling on the Halifax Regional Municipality staff to look at the pros and cons of re-establishing provincial rent controls, which were abolished in the 1980s. Currently, only BC, Manitoba, Ontario and PEI limit the size READ MORE
A Place to Call Home: Edmonton’s 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness inspired by the Housing First principle that providing people with housing and supports prepares them to successfully build a new life for themselves. The City of Edmonton and the Government of Alberta have all worked in collaboration to house and support 1789 Edmontonians READ MORE
Canada-Europe Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is generating serious questions and concerns from local governments across Canada. Municipalities, local government associations and school boards have passed resolutions expressing concern about the CETA’s potential impact local public services and decision making which could undermine public control key municipal services. Read more from the Columbia READ MORE
Saskatoon joins a number of other Canadian cities in passing a bylaw allowing seniors on fixed incomes to defer increases to property taxes enabling them to stay in their homes longer. Read more at News Talk 650.
Citizens are encouraged to take advantage of the City of London’s efforts to gather input when it comes to creating a vision for London’s future through the ReThink London project. The city is asking London residents to share their ideas on how to make the city a better place to live, work, play and visit through READ MORE
Kamloops-Thompson school district leaders are calling foul on the Fraser Institute for including incorrect data in their school rankings study. The Institute has been called to task for ranking the mean income of Chase at $103,000 despite knowing that the C.D. Howe Institute lists Chase’s mean income at $40,000. The district also accuses the Institute READ MORE