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.
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
The Scottish Government and Crown Estate have announced multi-million pound plans for wave and tidal energy projects. These projects are expected to provide power for up to 750 000 homes, create new businesses and jobs, and attract inward investment. Read the full story at the Edie Legal Resource Centre .
The loss of $63.5 million in federal funding and launch of full-day kindergarten may cause the collapse of Ontario’s child care system. In the absence of federal funding, thousands of childcare subsidies will be cut and parent fees will rise. All other provinces managed to avoid cutting services. Read the full story in The Toronto Star .
The Islands Trust Council, a federation of local governments representing BC’s islands, has launched a project aimed at increased food security. The council aims to support food security by creating policies that relate to land-use planning, development, environmental conservation, and socio-economic sustainability. Read the full story at CivicInfo BC .
In a 7-2 vote, Richmond council approved setting aside $59.2 million for the purchase of the Garden City lands. Although Mayor Malcolm Brodie didn’t like the terms of the deal, he said a deal’s been brokered with the Musqueam Indian Band and the Canada Lands Company, and it wouldn’t be appropriate for him to vote READ MORE
At first glance it may seem as if Canada has achieved gender equality, however a look at the economy indicates this is not true. Women are underresprented in high-level management and the natural sciences, and continue to earn lower wages than men. Some think this is attributed to women’s roles as the primary caretakers of READ MORE
The BC Budget 2010/11 allocates $69 million for justice and policing operations, but ignores the collapse of environmental law enforcement across the province. Past and recent cuts to the Ministry of Environment have reduced the capacity of Conservation Officers to enforce environmental laws and protect BC’s air, water and wildlife. Read the full story at READ MORE
"Connecting to Communities" May 14-15, 2010 Kingbridge Conference Centre, King City, ON Forum Keynote: Marshall Ganz Marshall Ganz teaches community engagement at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and the Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations. His work draws on experience as an organizer in the civil rights movement, as well as READ MORE
A new report finds that the environmental damage caused by the world’s biggest companies would cost $2.2 trillion if they were held financially accountable. The majority of these costs are attributed to greenhouse gas emissions and pollution; social and consumptive impacts were not included. Externalities of this scale could threaten global markets if not addressed. READ MORE
Cleveland is looking to benefit economically, socially and environmentally from the Evergreen Cooperative Laundry (ECL) and other large-scale co-op groups. Co-ops are committed to providing living wage jobs and low carbon footprints. Scholars have discussed using the Cleveland model to develop a national mass transit and rail system in the U.S. Read the full READ MORE
Since 2002, 176 schools have been closed in BC, and over 50 more closures are threatened over the next few years. However, demographic models suggest that closures are only a quick-fix solution. School-age populations have dropped significantly in the last several years but are expected to increase rapidly in the coming decades, meaning schools must READ MORE
The rate of ocean acidification is up to 10 times faster now than it was 55 million years ago, when dinosaurs inhabited the Earth. The oceans are predicted to become so acidic that they will soon become uninhabitable for many types of organisms, especially deep seafloor varieties that are vital in the marine food chain. READ MORE
West Coast Environmental Law expressed concerns regarding the latest draft of Metro Vancouver’s Regional Growth Strategy, entitled “Metro Vancouver 2040: Shaping Our Future” . They are concerned that the weak language in the Plan will prevent the region from reaching its goals, and recommend that the region commits to a meaningful set of commitments that will be more likely to achieve READ MORE
Eco-conversion is a socio-political idea that eluded the climate negotiations in Copenhagen, but has potential in Haiti. Eco-conversion requires a global solidarity for a creative future, and the aid provided by the U.S., Spain, and France is one example of this. Eco-conversion can heal Haiti, and extend globally to help the climate change crisisRead the READ MORE
This report reviews scientific and technical literature on climate change and biodiversity in B.C., and provides scientific support for ecosystem conservation as part of a climate action plan. It recommends a climate conservation network comprising at least 50% of B.C.’s land base, and notes that laws and land tenure systems must be altered to accommodate READ MORE
The New Westminister Board of Education voted unanimously to cease bottled water use in school facilities and promote public water use through an educational program. CUPE staff and trustee Lori Watts were behind the motion. Read the full story at the CUPE website .
THANK YOU TO ALL OF OUR PARTICIPANTS! WE ENJOYED ANOTHER INSPIRING FORUM: Powerpoint presentations: Children and Cities, Seniors and Cities Presentation by Juan Torres New Directions in Economic Development Presentation by Elvy Del Bianco Presentation by John Restakis [em]Powering Communitites Presentation by Eric Hunter The Jeckyll and Hyde of "Resilience" Presenation by Bill Rees Carbon Offsets Presentation by Briony Penn Engaging Your Community on Climate Change: An integrated Approach to Addressing Complex Issues Presentation by Kerri Klein Municipal Finance Presentation by Neil Monckton Prosperity for Everyone: Living Wage READ MORE
Youth environmentalist and filmmaker Slater Jewell-Kemker spoke out at the Anti-Prorogation Rally at Parliament Hill in Ottawa on January 23rd. Watch the her speak on YouTube .
George Heyman, Executive Director of Sierra Club BC, ends the “Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament” rally with a stirring speech on what our democracy really means. Over 1000 people gathered at the Vancouver Art Gallery January 23 for the rally. Watch the speech on YouTube .
Manitoba’s “Packaging and Printed Paper Stewardship Regulation” includes the “Guideline for Plastic Bags”, and establishes a target to decrease single use bags by 50% within the next 5 years. In the spring of 2010, Multi-Material Stewardship Manitoba (MMSM) will release a new mandatory industry program to target packaging, printed paper, and plastic bags. New options READ MORE
Forest industry unions and top environmental groups proposed a plan for the BC government to conserve more forest, reduce wood waste, and promote the wise use of forest products, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The report “Managing BC’s Forests for a Cooler Planet: Carbon Storage, Sustainable Jobs and Conservation” was released today and is expected to give BC a leadership role in finding the sustainable solutions that were READ MORE
In the wake of failed climate negotiations in Copenhagen, more people are looking to bottom-up approaches to climate activism. However, these small-scale contributions will not be enough to successfully address global climate change. The poor nations, who are the true victims of climate change, should propose the international framework necessary to target this global problem. READ MORE
Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the IPCC, warns that climate change skepticism will increase hardships for the world’s poor. Climate change skepticism is expected to increase in 2010, particularly in the U.S. and Australia. Allowing skeptics to delay climate change action will only exacerbate the impacts of climate change, particularly in developing countries. Read the full READ MORE
A new study predicts that global sea levels could rise by up to 9 metres in the coming centuries, even if the world manages to keep temperatures to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Previous studies underestimated sea level rise because they failed to account for accelerated ice sheet melting. The 2 degree figure is READ MORE
Jamie Biggar is a student at the University of Victoria and member of the Canada Youth Delegation. She attended the climate change conference in Copenhagen, and wrote a letter to environmental law professor Michael M’Gonigle regarding her experiences and insights. Read the full letter in The Tyee .
Author and journalist Naomi Klein spoke at the Copenhagen Klima Forum on ecological debt. Watch the video segment or read the transcript at Democracy Now! .
Our Executive Director, Charley Beresford, is in Copenhagen for the Climate Summit. She’ll be sending regular reports on issues raised and progress made along the way to a new agreement. Check back often to get the inside scoop. Charley Beresford, Executive Director of the Columbia Institute, arrived in Copenhagen December 9th, where she is READ MORE