Category Archives : Reports and Studies

Dispelling the Myths about the Bundling of Construction Projects

“Our extensive research on the subject of the bundling of construction contracts discloses a common thread. The actual evidence of the impact of project bundling does not support the claims made about its benefits, including substantial costs savings. Furthermore, the analysis set out in this paper leads to the conclusion that the costs of bundled projects may be considerably higher.”   READ MORE

Flooding due to rising seas could cost $1 trillion by 2050, with Vancouver’s risk high, study says

“Coastal flooding could cost the global economy $1 trillion a year a few short decades from now due to the rise in sea levels caused by global warming if action is not taken now to stem the flow and Vancouver is one of the cities most at-risk for losses, says a new study.”   To read the full article on the Vancouver Sun click here.

Conservation could create 25,000 jobs by 2025, claims report by unions and environmental groups

“Slashing energy consumption by a quarter over the next decade or so could create 25,000 new jobs, concludes a report by a coalition of environmentalists and unions. The group, Blue Green Canada, maintains that curbing power use would add $3.7 billion to the economy and help cut the federal and provincial deficits by almost $2 READ MORE

Denying Climate Change Is Bad for Your Electoral Health

“Some good news for a change when it comes to global warming:  A new bipartisan poll  shows strong support among young voters for taking action about climate change. That’s incredibly encouraging. And it gets better: 79 percent say they are more likely to vote for someone who supports action on climate change, and 73 percent say they would voteagainst someone READ MORE

Climate change in 2012: record sea-level rise, Arctic melting, warmed oceans, report says

“A new massive U.S. study says the world in 2012 sweltered with continued signs of climate change. Rising sea levels, snow melt, heat buildup in the oceans, and melting Arctic sea ice and Greenland ice sheets, all broke or nearly broke records, but temperatures only sneaked into the top 10.”   To read the full article on CTV click here.

Climate change occurring 10 times faster than at any time in past 65 million years

“The planet is undergoing one of the largest changes in climate since the dinosaurs went extinct. But what might be even more troubling for humans, plants and animals is the speed of the change. Stanford climate scientists warn that the likely rate of change over the next century will be at least 10 times quicker READ MORE

Climate strongly affects human conflict and violence worldwide, says study

“Shifts in climate are strongly linked to human violence around the world, with even relatively minor departures from normal temperature or rainfall substantially increasing the risk of conflict in ancient times or today, according to a new study by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, and Princeton University.”   To read the full article on click here.

Why a Detroit-style bankruptcy is unlikely in Canada

“While Canadian cities have a number of funding hurdles to overcome on the horizon, the possibility of a Detroit-style bankruptcy of a Canadian municipality is unlikely. That’s the conclusion of a report by CIBC economic Warren Lovely, released Thursday, that looked at a number of metrics to gauge the overall health of Canadian municipalities.”   READ MORE

Detroit bankruptcy a cautionary tale for municipal workers

“Detroit’s emergency manager Kevyn Orr brought forth a bankruptcy filing that would give current and future retired city workers 10 cents on the dollar of pension benefits they had accrued.” “Experts feel the biggest threat to Canadian municipal pension plans is a looming bill of about $200 billion to replace aging infrastructure. If money is READ MORE

Canadian Energy Strategy Update

In July 2012, Premiers agreed to renew “A Shared Vision for Energy in Canada”.  At the July 2013 Council of the Federation meeting in Niagara-on-the-Lake, the Premiers leading the Energy Strategy discussions   tabled a report on their progress .  The  Premiers are targeting the summer of 2014 for release of the final product and say they are exploring further stakeholder READ MORE

One in eight Canadian households couldn’t access sufficient food in 2011: Report

Food insecurity in Canada is “a serious social and public health problem,” says a new report that found nearly one in eight Canadian households couldn’t access sufficient, safe and nutritious food in 2011. Click here to read the full article in the Edmonton Journal. Click here to read the study.        

Good health depends on wealth, new Canadian report finds

“Poverty is the No. 1 factor in determining whether Canadians live long, healthy lives, says a report from the Canadian Medical Association. The report makes a dozen recommendations on what actions governments and individuals can take to live healthier lives. First among them – eliminate poverty.”   To read the full article on the Globe and Mail click here.        

Physicians are calling for an action plan to reduce poverty

“Poverty is making Canadians sick, says a report released Tuesday by the Canadian Medical Association. The report, based on public consultations at six “town halls” in cities across the country last winter and spring, said factors such as poor housing, lack of access to healthy food and early childhood programs all affect health.”   To read this full article on the Windsor Star click here.  

Canada Steps Backward on Climate Policy, Study Says

Canada is the only country out of 33 developed and developing nations to have taken a step backward in terms of climate legislation over the past year, ending 2012 with fewer policies related to climate change than it had last January, according to an international study published on January 14, 2013. Click here to read a Wall Street Journal article on the study. Click here to read the full study from GLOBE International.  

More Bang For Our Buck – A new study from Blue Green Canada

This new report from Blue Green Canada  shows if the $1.3 billion in government subsidies, now given to the oil and gas sector, were instead invested in renewable energy and energy efficiency, Canada would create more jobs: 18,000 more.  The full report is available for download here.   You can also read media stories covering the report, from The Vancouver Sun and The Star .

UN says slow pace of carbon cuts brings catastrophic climate change closer

The world is straying further away from commitments to combat climate change, bringing the prospect of catastrophic global warming a step closer, a UN report said on Wednesday. The warning came as nearly 200 governments prepare to meet in Qatar forinternational climate negotiations starting next Monday. The gap between what world governments have committed to READ MORE

Twenty year plan needed to fix crumbling infrastructure, says FCM

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) is calling on the Government of Canada to develop a twenty year plan with predictable funding to fix its crumbling infrastructure. In it’s recommendations to the Governmentof Canada’s Long-TermInfrastructure Plan Consultation , the FCM is calling for measures that include long-term and predictable infrastructure funding; investment to leverage additional funds; renewal and improvements to the Gas Tax and the Building Canada READ MORE

Depleting natural gas reserves makes no sense for the province – Study

A new Climate Justice Project study from the BC office of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives warns that “BC’s water and hydroelectric resources are at risk of being depleted by industrial users, thanks to lax reporting requirements and extremely low water prices”. The study identifies gaping holes in key information relating to the water that major industries use. For example, of the READ MORE

2012 Living Wage for Metro Vancouver calculated at $19.14/hour

The 2012 living wage calculation for Metro Vancouver has risen to $19.14/hour. This represents a 33% increase over the 2011 living wage of $18.81/hour. The increase was driven by a number of factors that changes over the course of a year, including: shelter costs rose by $76/month, childcare fees rose by $33/month and MSP premiums READ MORE

“Generation Queer” – a resource for educators

Generation Queer, Sexual and Gender Minority Youth in Canadian Schools , provides an overview of LGBTQ youth-related research, a current picture of homophobia in Canadian schools and ideas  for helping to build the “resiliency of sexual and gender minority youth “in schools . Read more on the Alberta Teachers’ Association website. 

Toronto’s chief medical officer recommends lowering speed limits to save lives

Toronto’s speed limits are well above the national average and the city has a high rate of pedestrian deaths and injuries (In 2010, 20 pedestrians were killed and 2,050 were injured). A reduction in speed limits to 30km/hour on residential streets and 40k/hour on all other streets could save lives, says Toronto’s chief medical officer, READ MORE

Students from public schools do better in university math and physics

A study published in the International Journal of Science Education provides good news for parents with children in public schools; students from public schools outperform in the fields of math and physics at university. Furthermore, students from East Vancouver outperformed students from Westside schools. Read more in the Vancouver Sun.  Find study here .

Canadians willing to be taxed more to reduce wealth gap

According to a recent poll commissioned by the Broadbent Institute , the majority of Canadians support higher taxation if money is dedicated to reducing the growing income gap. The survey, conducted by Environics Research, asked 2000 Canadians if they would agree to higher taxes to reduce poverty. Here are some of the survey findings: 83 per cent READ MORE

Climate Change impacting mental health

A report issued by the US National Wildlife Federation explores the relationship of extreme and erratic weather and mental health. The report concludes that climate change is leading to severe depression, anxiety and even suicide amongst those who have been impacted by floods, tornadoes, storms, droughts and other extreme weather events. Children the elderly and the poor feel the impacts READ MORE

Equinox Blueprint: Energy 2030 – A technological roadmap for a low-carbon, electrified future

Imagine a world with abundant, clean energy. How different would our human civilization be with fewer energy limitations – less risk of climate change, no peak oil, and more renewable ways to provide power to an exploding global population? To explore this future, the Waterloo Global Science Initiative (WGSI) launches the Equinox Blueprint: Energy 2030 READ MORE

UBC students of architecture and planning band together to envision Vancouver of the future

Fourteen UBC students studying architecture and planning have been working on a project that projects Vancouver into the future – 2050 to be precise, and asks the question what would Vancouver, as a sustainable city look like? The students have taken into account a number of factors including population growth, an aging demographic, migration and READ MORE

Report on Leaked CETA Documents shows threat to Water Services

A briefing note on recently leaked CETA documents shows that Canada and the provinces are failing to protect drinking water and wastewater services from trade rules that would encourage and lock in privatization. In contrast, the EU’s CETA offer specifically protects it’s own water and wastewater services. To read the full report from the Council READ MORE

Canada’s best paid executives make 189 times what the average Canadian makes

According to a study by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, in 2010 the top 100 best paid executives made a salary 189 times greater than the average Canadian income, $8.8 million compared to $44,366. For most Canadians wages have stagnated or gone down when accounting for inflation, but Canada’s top CEO’s wages have increased READ MORE

Fracking – a likely source of groundwater contamination

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

What will it cost if the world warms 3.5 degrees?

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

Municipalities and the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) 101

The Centre for Civic Governance has been tracking developments in the Canadian European Comprehensive Trade Agreement and in particular potential impacts on municipalities. Our latest Trade and Policy Update provides information on the likelihood of increased legal and administrative costs, the threats to local decision-making and the potential for the privatization of municipal water services. READ MORE

Climate Scientists find extreme variation in day-to-day weather patterns

Ecosystem and climate stability are being threatened by erratic day-to-day weather, according to Princeton University researchers. Climate Change models typically consider the average weather per month, and do not show the variability that takes place. The Princeton researchers developed a new computer that could analyze data on a daily basis capturing the sometimes extreme variability. READ MORE

Climate Change Vulnerability Index shows cities and countries most at risk

A map generated by the risk-assessment risk analysis and mapping company Maplecroft, looks at 193 countries and highlights those that will be worst off due to climate change. The index takes into account the following factors: population concentration, development, natural resources, agricultural dependency and conflict.  Principal environmental analyst at Maplecroft, Charlie Beldon says the impacts READ MORE

Power really does rest in the hands of the few

A study that seeks to go behind ideology to study the connections of the powerful has revealed that the global economy only has a handful of players. Conducted by complex systems theorists at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich the study “examined the connections between 43,000 transnational corporations [and] has identified a relatively READ MORE

Report finds P3’s substantially more expensive than the public option

Forensic accountant, Ron Parks has co-authored a report that evaluates four P3 projects completed in BC, The Canada Line, Sea-To-Sky Highway improvements, the Diamond Ambulatory Care Centre and the Abbotsford Regional Hospital for their financial costs. His findings show that P3’s are substantially more expensive than the public option due to hidden costs. While publicly READ MORE

The impact of CETA on Hamilton Ontario

Stewart Trew of the Council of Canadians has written a report that outlines some specific impacts the proposed CETA (Canadian European Union Trade Agreement) will have on Hamilton’s job sector as well as the social and environmental impacts. From banning buy local policies to privatizing public services, the agreement will limit the power of municipalities READ MORE

High youth unemployment, climbing obesity rates, and a population in debt- the new Canadian Vital Signs Report

The new Vital Signs report is out and it doesn’t paint a pretty picture. Although Canada’s youth unemployment hasn’t reached the same crisis levels as some European countries, it is still high at 16%. The NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) phenomena could potentially manifest serious social unrest and economic problems if not addressed READ MORE

New CCPA report makes recommendations to help reduce “energy poverty”

The CCPA’s report “Fighting Energy Poverty in the Transition to Zero-Emission Housing,” examines the impacts increased energy costs are having on low income households. The term “energy poverty” is used to describe households who are not able to meet their basic energy needs due to rate increases. The report’s recommendations include: keeping  a two-tier system READ MORE

When communicating climate change, beware the “boomerang effect”

A recent study looking at Republican American’s reactions to climate change found that climate-related events that were in distant places received little in the way of support or empathy. In fact, when Republicans were asked to support climate change initiatives based on disasters happening in distant places they were found to be more steadfast in READ MORE

Traditional playgrounds are not the cure for declining activity amongst children

The belief that adding more traditional playgrounds will encourage activity amongst children has proven to be a false assumption. A study that used GPS (Global Positioning System) to examine the link between environment and activity levels amongst children has shown that traditional playgrounds do little to promote activity. The large metal structures are often intimidating READ MORE

Emissions from Canada’s oil sands make greenhouse gas reduction targets impossible

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

Biodiversity plummeting despite increase in protected habitat

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