Category Archives : Local Economy

Buying Local in Metro Vancouver

Metro Vancouver is a powerful purchaser in the region. In 2012, the total payments to Canadian suppliers by the regional district – over 750 – was over $800 million. The regional district’s current Sustainable Procurement Procedures and Green Procurement Procedures, focus on the conduct of suppliers and contractors relating to environment attributes of products and READ MORE

Buying Local: Tools for Forward-Thinking Institutions

One of our popular resource guides, Buying Local: Tools for Forward-Thinking Institutions, details specific policies and practices for economic development through local purchasing. Earlier this year, we released a study detailing the economic impact of local purchasing – the first study of its kind in Canada. Using office supply procurement in B.C. as an example, the study measured READ MORE

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

Fostering public spaces – without breaking the bank

Public Spaces Matter   “Great public spaces transform an ordinary city into a destination. They are what draw people to visit, do business and live in them. They are investments in the economy of a city – and fortunately, they don’t need to cost that much money. With creative rezoning and re-designating municipal lands, cities can READ MORE

The power of purchasing – The economic impacts of local procurement

Procurement by private and public sector institutions is a major force in the economy. In BC, local governments and school districts alone spend more than $6.7 billion annually on procurement. How – and where – procurement dollars are spent can have important economic, employment, social, and environmental impacts. This report uses the example of office READ MORE

There’s news on the CETA front, and it’s not so good.

There’s news on the CETA front, and it’s not so good. We’ve been following the CETA (Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement) negotiations between Canada and the European Union since 2010, starting with a legal analysis of early leaked documents, commissioned by our Centre for Civic Governance at Columbia Institute. That analysis, by trade lawyer Steven READ MORE

‘Reverse boycott’ to help eatery go greener

Vancouver’s Cascade Room will be the target of a “Carrotmob” that organizers hope will draw hundreds of customers eager to reward the restaurant’s commitment to environmentally friendly renovations.  A Carrotmob is a social-media driven reverse boycott in which people reward socially responsible businesses with their patronage in a one-day spending blitz.  Read more at the READ MORE

CETA’s municipal implications “ringing alarm bells across the country” (Toronto Star)

An article in today’s Toronto Star warns that municipal procurement provisions in CETA are “ringing alarm bells across the country” and  that the proposed Canada-EU trade deal’s “effects on Toronto could be serious.” The Star article quotes a recent City of Toronto staff report warning that CETA could impact Toronto’s hiring, local food procurement, strategic procurement and transit READ MORE

Ontario municipalities embrace local food

With support from the Greenbelt Foundation and the Province of Ontario municipalities and public institutions across Ontario are initiating local food policies to encourage local food being served in daycares, schools and hospitals. The Broader Public Sector Investment Fund: Promoting Ontario Food provides funding for connecting local food to communities. Read more at Broader Public Sector Investment READ MORE

BC municipalities worry CETA will impact their buy-local policies

The buy local movement is picking up steam in BC. Local procurement policies are viewed as a way to strengthen communities, both economically and socially. These policies could be undone, however by the negotiated CETA agreement, which seeks to give European companies the equal access to local economies. Despite the severe ramifications for local industries READ MORE

Serrania del Darien Rainforest in Columbia to be protected through carbon credits

The Acandi peoples of Columbia are about to become the first community in Columbia to manage and care for forests through conservation offsets. With the help of Anthropologist, Brodie Ferguson, they expect to be certified under the “Climate, Community and Biodiversity (CCB) Alliance’s REDD standard, a voluntary market scheme to reduce planet-warming emissions from deforestation READ MORE

Now Look Who’s Big on Buying Local

Campaigns aimed at supporting local economies are gaining popularity, especially in BC. Writer Darren Barefoot has made a commitment to buy only Canadian products and services for an entire year, and the BC chapter of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) announced its “ Ten Percent Shift Campaign ” to encourage British Columbians to shop locally. Read the READ MORE

“Buy American” bogeyman: Instead of fretting about US purchasing policies, we should focus on stimulating Canada’s economy

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

Going Local: Inspirational Stories of Local Government and Local Economy in BC

Going Local— Inspirational Stories of Local Government and Local Economy in BC showcases 12 stories of local governments that are working to improve their local economies and enhance the quality of life in their communities. As communities face the future, local government leaders are asking themselves what they can do to protect and strengthen their READ MORE

Slower Economic Growth for Canada’s Small & Mid-Sized Cities

The Conference Board of Canada has released its Summer 2008 Metropolitan Outlook, a ranking of the economies of small and mid-sized census metropolitan areas (CMAs). The report finds that all small and mid-sized CMAs except Thunder Bay and Saguenay will experience slower growth this year. The cause for the economic slowdown is blamed on the READ MORE

Investing in a Better Future: A Review of the Fiscal & Competitive Advantages of Smarter Growth Development Patterns

This 2004 report from the Brookings Institution Center on Urban and Metropolitan Policy makes the case that more compact development patterns and investing in projects to improve urban cores could save taxpayers money and improve overall regional economic performance.