Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) are man-made substances that were once heavily used in pesticides and insecticides, but were restricted in 2001 due to their toxic nature. Air and ocean currents carried many of the pollutants to the arctic where they became trapped in the ice. A new study has shown that climate change and the READ MORE
The Conference Board of Canada has released a new report titled, How Canada Performs: Is Canada becoming more unequal? The study shows that while income gap has been a trend for 33 years, it has accelerated since 1993. The study uses median income to gauge whether or not incomes have been increasing amongst low and medium income and the READ MORE
A new report takes an independent look at 27 North American Cities and rates their environmental performance. The US and Canada Green City Index reports on 9 key areas in urban sustainability; CO₂, energy, land use, buildings, water, waste air and environmental governance. Each city is provided with an environmental profile that examines in detail areas where the city excels or READ MORE
According to a new repor t published by KPMG, that assesses the current value of BC’s green industry and directions it may go, BC’s green economy sector is forecasted to be $2.5 billion in 2011, a 57 percent increase compared to 2008. In contrast to the service sector, green jobs pay decent salaries. The average salary for READ MORE
At the recent FCM (Federation of Canadian Municipalities) annual conference, nearly two thirds of municipal delegates voted to make CETA (The Canadian European Trade Agreement) a topic of debate. Although trade negotiations are not typically a part of FCM discussions, the parameters of CETA directly impact the ability of local governments to protect local procurement READ MORE
Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union Canada has been negotiating a new trade agreement with the European Union, an agreement that could hurt local governments. The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) could take away your municipalities’ right to have buy local & buy Canadian policies, increase your administrative READ MORE
From 1974-1978, residents of a small Manitoba town received a guaranteed income. The income was enough to make sure the town’s 13,000 residents never dropped below the poverty line. It was part of an experiment called MINCOME and was intended to help assess the value of Canada’s social security system. The experiment was shelved in READ MORE
Despite a lack of action from senior governments, several Canadian municipalities are looking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Halifax and Vancouver are both launching pilot projects that will allow homeowners to retrofit homes with energy efficient appliances, insulation, doors and windows, and heating systems without paying the costs up front. Low interest loans are being READ MORE
Columbia Institute Executive Director, Charley Beresford, argues last month’s intensive floods, tornadoes and hurricanes should serve as reminder that we can’t wait any longer to start actively reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and energy use. A report released by the Columbia Institute, This Green House: Building Fast Action on Climate Change examines the role Canadian READ MORE
Municipal financing makes changes easy and affordable for homeowners A new study – This Green House – Building Fast Action on Climate Change and Green Jobs by the Columbia Institute – reveals that modest investments in energy conservation in homes can save homeowners thousands of dollars, and dramatically and rapidly reduce greenhouse gas (GHG)emissions in READ MORE
Every three years Metro Vancouver conducts a street homelessness survey, with volunteers combing the streets, alleys, and parks looking for individuals sleeping outside. This year’s count showed Vancouver’s street homeless population fell by 82% compared with the survey conducted in 2008. The city has made a concerted effort to provide more shelter beds while waiting READ MORE
Environment Canada has just released an Executive Summary of the 1990-2009 National Inventory Report, the Canadian Government’s 2011 Submission to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Find the report here .
In a recent poll by the Columbia Institute, 15.8% of British Columbians have named housing and homelessness as the most important problem facing their community, up from 14.3% last year. Columbia Institute Executive Director Charley Beresford says “These numbers show a rising concern about housing and homelessness in communities across BC. They are a call READ MORE
From 1990 to 2008 CO2 emissions in developed countries have stabilized, but emissions in developing countries have doubled. The study finds that emissions from the production of traded goods and services have increased by (26%). Most developed countries have increased their consumption-based emissions. The net emission transfers via international trade from developing to developed countries READ MORE
Transportation Transformation lays out a 30 year plan for transportation in BC and shows how the movement of goods, services and people can transform the way we live, creating jobs and a better quality of life while greatly reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and the impact of climate change. Read CCPA report here .
A study produced by B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS and St. Paul’s Hospital and published by the medical journal The Lancet, has shown that Vancouver’s safe injection site, Insite, has contributed to a 35% reduction in overdose deaths in the area near the site, compared with a 9% drop elsewhere in the city. The READ MORE
According to a recent study by the CCPA , Canada’s corporate taxes have lead to a $50% increase in profits for corporations, but sadly, created very few new jobs. Corporate taxes in 2009 were 20% lower than in 2000 and have lead to an annual loss of $12 billion to Canada’s general revenue. Read study here. READ MORE
A new report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) and Sierra Club BC states that the BC carbon tax is “revenue-negative” and increases social inequality. It argues that instead of funding corporate tax cuts, revenues from the tax should be spent on climate change investments such as public transportation and green job creation. READ MORE
“ Vancouver 2020: A Bright Green Future ” is the City of Vancouver’s action plan for becoming a world leader in environmental sustainability by the year 2020. A sustainable Vancouver is a community that unites short and long term economic, social and environmental well-being, thereby enhancing the quality of life for current and future citizens. The report, which was written by READ MORE
In 2006 Professor Sir Nicholas Stern, a world expert in economics and climate change, released the “ Stern Review: The Economics of Climate Change “. This extensive report addresses the economics of moving towards a low-carbon global economy, stating that the benefits of strong, immediate climate action far outweigh the financial costs of a business-as-usual approach. Stern provides the economic evidence to READ MORE
Distored work-life balance is a public health crisis and a has a negative impact on the economy. The stress of prioritizing responsibilities in the home and in the workplace has become a major issue for Canadian adults. Find out more information in the week-long series in The Globe and Mail .
The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) has just released a report on Climate Justice and BC’s food system titled “Every Bite Counts” . The report suggests a new framework is in order for BC’s food system and that we can no longer rely on the market to deliver food that supports local economies or is nutritious or READ MORE
Surrey business leaders, education leaders and Mayor Diane Watts have joined together to appeal for more education funding. Surrey has the largest public-school district in the province and the local board of trade has argued that education is a cornerstone of a stable economy.The Surrey board of trade recently released a paper titled Education Today, Productivity Tomorrow . Read READ MORE
The OECD has released a report describing how taxes – a key policy tool– are being used to encourage local and global environmental goals. It draws on case studies from the UK, Israel, Sweden, Spain, Japan and others. Download the executive summary here .
A report commissioned in 2008 by FMC (Farmers’ Market Canada ) has found that farmers’ markets have an economic impact of $3.09 billion dollars annually on the Canadian economy. The study also shows that 62% of Canadians feel that buying directly from farmers is extremely important. Read the study here .
A recent study from the Neptis Foundation, titled “Growing Cities,” examines the very different trends in city planning and growth in Toronto, Vancouver, and Calgary. Vancouver is touted as the densest city with the least urban sprawl, thanks in part to proactive city planning in the 1960s and 70s. Calgary has the highest degree of urban 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
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
Dr. Steffen Böhm and Siddhartha Dabhi’s new book, “Upsetting the Offset: The Political Economy of Carbon Markets”, challenges claims about carbon markets and carbon offsetting schemes. The authors argue that these schemes haven’t significantly reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and have actually worsened the problem. Download the book here .
“How Canada Performs: A Report Card on Canada compares quality of life in Canada with peer countries, and publishes comparisons in a report card that measures the following categories: Economy, Innovation, Environment, Education and Skills, Health, and Society. In the most recent report, Canada received one “B”, 2 “C”s and 9 “D”s. Countries with the READ MORE
Blair Redlin of the Canadian Centre for Policy Altnernatives (CCPA) argues that the biggest threat to the Canadian economy and job market is apparently the U.S. government’s “Buy American” provisions. Stephen Harper is telling Canadians that in order to entice the U.S. to give up these provisions and maintain trade agreements, Canadian municipalies and provincial READ MORE
The District of Nanaimo has included greenhouse gas emissions targets in its Regional Growth Strategy. This decision is ideal because reducing emissions requires collaboration and cooperation, two key aspects of any Regional Growth Strategy. This move is important as it will allow for more effective, standardized management of greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption. Read READ MORE
The Frontier Centre has recently raved about the values of Alberta’s primarily commercial-based childcare system, while contrasting it against Manitoba’s and Saskatchewan’s not-for-profit systems. Some have criticized this judgement, arguing that commercial systems are discriminatory and government funding should be preferentially provided to not-for-profit systems. Read the full article at the CCPA .
Why are school districts cutting staff and laying off teachers? A new research report, finds growing evidence that the funding formula does not cover the costs of public education, can be read here .
Mayor Gregor Robertson has put forward a plan to make Vancouver “the greenest city in the World “. Plans include shaping Vancouver into a hub for green jobs and sustainable industry, and shifting towards a green economy. Plans also include the establishment of pedestrian- and cyclist-friendly corridors in the city core. Read the full report READ MORE
The Program on Water Governance (PoWG) conducts basic research on water management, engages the wider community in outreach and education on water issues, and facilitates dialogue on water governance between universities, communities, government, NGOs and the private sector. The PoWG is co-hosted by the Department of Geography and the Institute of Resources, Environment and Sustainability at UBC.
A study by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) concludes that Canadians enjoy a high quality of life because of public services funded by tax money. In most cases Canadians are better off with the public services the taxes fund than they are with tax cuts. Read the full article at CCPA . Use the READ MORE
Scientific research suggests that socioeconomic status affects cognitive development and performance in children. Poverty causes social and biological stress that may affect the brain, causing low academic performance among children and youth living in poverty and impaired memory as adults. Read more about the findings of this study at Wired Magazine .
The B.C. government intends to spend $3.1 billion rebuilding and expanding the Port Mann Bridge and connecting Highway 1 routes. Sustainable design researchers at U.B.C. found that for the same cost, the government could finance a light rail system providing connection to residents in Surrey, White Rock, Langley, and Delta. The proposed rail system would READ MORE
Half of B.C.’s most threatened rivers are at risk from “green energy projects” according to a report released from the Outdoor Recreation Council of B.C. In the absense of comprehensive provincial strategies, private run-of-river power proposals and urban and industrial development are threatening the health and biological integrity of sensitive river ecosystems. Read report here . READ MORE
The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives is proposing a one year $ 33 billion dollar economic stimulus package that would create 407,000 new jobs, boost the economy by 3% and protect those hardest hit by recession. Unlike the contents of the Conservative’s upcoming budget, the CCPA is not propsing any tax cuts. Read more here.
Despite having a strong economy for the last decade, British Columbia has the highest poverty rates in the country. The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) has laid out a Poverty Reduction Plan that would reduce poverty in the province by one third after four years and eliminate street homelessness within 5 years. The plan calls for action in 7 key READ MORE
According to a recent poll conducted by Environics Research for the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives ( CCPA) , an overwhelming majority of Canadians believe action should be taken by all levels of governmnet to reduce poverty levels. Among the key Findings • Above all, Canadians believe now is the time for action: 77% say that in a recession, it’s more important READ MORE
According to a recent report by the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) poverty and inequality levels rose 12% between 1995-2005, the years during which the study was conducted. The report suggest that Canada’s spending policies are responsible, citing cuts to unemployment insurance and family benefits. Read report summary here.
As more municipalities consider banning bottled water from municipal facilities, Canadian university and college campuses are moving in the opposite direction. A new report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) titled “Corporate Initiatives on Campus: A Snapshot” reveals that since the implementation of beverage exclusivity contracts with Coke and Pepsi, drinking fountains are on the decline.
Two scientists from the BCGEU and the Sierra Club have put together this report which looks at ways in which BC can reach global equity in greenhouse gas emissions in 2100. This was done through identifying a 92-year global carbon budget, then calculating a BC budget for the same period based on BC’s population as READ MORE
The New Economics Foundation has released its latest Happy Planet Index , which shows the relative efficiency with which nations convert their natural resources into long and happy lives for their citizens. The more efficiently they do this, the better the score. The top 6 scorers on the Index (in order) are: Vanuatu, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, Panama, READ MORE
The BC Provincial Health Services Authority has just released this new guide , designed to help local governments create more food secure communities. According to the guide, improving food security involves integrating health, economic, ecological, and social factors. The guide includes such topics as community gardens, farmers’ markets, making food access easy through neighbourhood planning, supporting local food READ MORE
On June 2, 2008 the Federation of Canadian Municipalities released findings from its latest study which looks at the impact of infrastructure spending on the economy and on government tax revenues. The study concludes that property taxes discourage consumer spending more than equivalent sales or income taxes and leads to the stifling of job creation. When the federal government cuts READ MORE
The Polis Project on Ecological Governance is an initiative of the University of Victoria which aims to understand the structure and dynamics of urban water use. The project includes several objectives relevant to local government, including developing innovative governance options that promote sustainable water management, developing water law and policy decision-making tools, and examining urban and emerging water issues in Canada. READ MORE