Category Archives : Economy

Economic factors influence a community’s capacity for resilience against future social, political and environmental challenges. The themes present in this category include green jobs, local economy, wealth gap, and trade agreements.


BC municipal leaders show strong support for keeping water public

}At the Union of BC Municipalities conference, municipal leaders passed the Blue Communities resolution, “the resolution asks for the federal government to provide funding for public water infrastructure and delivery projects and “unhook” funding for water infrastructure and maintenance projects from public-private partnerships (P3s).” Most BC municipalities have publicly owned water facilities and leaders want READ MORE


French River Ontario passes CETA resolution.

French River, also known as Rivière-des-Français passed a resolution on September 21st to negotiate an exemption for municipalities from the CETA trade agreement. The municipality is concerned that the agreement will disrupt the flow of social services, local jobs, local procurement policies and control over waste and water facilities. The council was motivated to closely READ MORE


Municipal Living Wage 101

A handful of Canadian municipalities have implemented living wage bylaws, and many more are on the verge of implementing the policy. Municipal living wage bylaws are legally enforceable policies ensuring that workers employed by a city and those contracted using municipal funds will be paid enough to meet basic family living expenses. Municipal living wage READ MORE


Norwood adds its name to growing list of municipalities calling for an exemption from CETA

Norwood Ontario has passed a resolution calling on the provinces and the federal government “to negotiate a clear, permanent exemption for local governments” from the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement. Like other municipalities, Norwood is concerned the CETA agreement will impact their ability to procure goods and services locally and that they would 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


Edmonton embarks on ambitious green plan

A comprehensive sustainable growth plan for Edmonton was approved by city council on July 20th. “The Way We Green describes a future Edmonton that is carbon-neutral, generates zero waste, is significantly less dependent on fossil fuels, has clean air and water, is able to withstand and bounce back intact from a range of possible environmental READ MORE


Closed-door CETA negotiations may be handing over local water rights

BC municipalities are becoming increasingly concerned about CETA negotiations that are taking place behind closed doors. It appears that the trade agreement between Canada and the European Union would give limit the right to procure local goods and services and would give large multinationals access to local water contracts. Squamish councillor Patricia Heintzman has pointed READ MORE


Green City Index Report

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


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


Report on BC’s green industry predicts huge growth for 2011

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


Pickering Ontario on the verge of implementing “fair wage” policy

On June 13th city councilors voted to recommend a “fair wage” policy for contracts over S1 million. Workers affected by this policy would likely be those in the construction trades. The policy is supported by Terry Dorgan, an agent of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 894, who believes the policy “promotes safety on READ MORE


Home CETA: A hot topic at gathering of municipal leaders

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


New resource guide essential reading for local officials considering P3 projects

“P3s are complicated and politically contentious. They shift the role governments play in the delivery of public services and infrastructure,” says Charley Beresford, Columbia Institute’s Executive Director. “On balance, our research shows that P3’s do not support the public interest.” columbiap3_eng_v8-webpdf.pdf


CETA

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


Hope for reducing greenhouse gas emissions

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


CETA: A hot topic at gathering of municipal leaders

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


Energy efficiency home retrofits slow climate change and save canadians thousands on energy bills: Report

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 Canada. 


Energy Efficiency Home Retrofits Slow Climate Change and Save Canadians Thousands on Energy Bills: Report

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


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


Facing the Challenge: Strategies for Green and Inclusive Recovery

“Inspiring thinking”“Gives me a sense of possibility” Since its launch two years ago, the Columbia Institute’s successful forums Sustainable Communities, Leadership Matters and Communities in Action brought together Mayors, Councillors and School Trustees from every region across Ontario to discuss key issues and imagine creative ways to improve public policy. With the massive economic change READ MORE


Emissions from the production of globally traded goods and servives increased by 26% between 1990 and 2008

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


CETA absent from party platforms during 2011 election

Canada is currently negotiating the biggest free trade contract since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), yet it has been invisible on the campaign trail. The Conservative government has been involved in negotiations with the European Union regarding the Canada-European Trade Agreement (CETA) since 2009. The deal, which is intended to be negotiated by READ MORE


Markham’s local food policy is making a difference

Ontario’s Local Food Champions report recognizes Markham Ontario as being the first municipality in Ontario to develop a local food policy. Highlights of the policy include:• Cutting edge food service model bringing more Ontario food into a municipally run cafeteria• In 2008 Markham committed to procuring no less than 10 per cent Local Food Plus READ MORE


U.S. programs show how home energy retrofits can boost the economy

In the US, government investment in energy efficiency and retrofitting programs has helped stimulate economic activity, create jobs in the green building sector, and reduce carbon emissions. Portland has been particularly successful with such programs, and non-profits, government agencies, and energy providers have partnered together to provide retrofit financing to homeowners. The Pembina Institute looks READ MORE


Trade agreement percieved as threat to Canadian water systems

A report from the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) and Council for Canadians expresses concern over the proposed Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) currently being negotiated between Canada and the European Union. The report states that EU negotiators want Canadian municipal water utilities to be included in a chapter on public procurement, which READ MORE


Money-losing carbon tax must be fixed: CCPA, Sierra Club

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


Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) Resolution – CETA – September 2010

Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) Resolution – CETA – September 2010 October 2010, the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) pass a resolution calling on the provincial government to negotiate a clear, permanent exemption for local governments from CETA. WHEREAS the Canadian government has entered into negotiations with the European Union for a comprehensive READ MORE


Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) Resolution – CETA – September 2010

September 2010, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) pass a resolution calling on the federal government to respect municipal autonomy in trade negotiations with the European Union. MUNICIPAL IMPACT OF CANADA AND EUROPEAN ECONOMIC PARTNERSHIP TRADE AGREEMENT WHEREAS The Government of Canada has entered into negotiations with the European Union for an EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic 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


Canada EU Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) will jeopardize municipal water services and local procurement policies

Canadian Trade Lawyer Steve Shrybman presented a number of worrying scenarios at a dialogue session hosted by the Centre for Civic Governance last Friday at the FCM. He pointed out that the “The European Union has made a pointed request that drinking water services be included in the trade agreement, opening the door for big READ MORE


Municipal Procurement Implications of the Proposed CETA Agreement

Trade lawyer Steven Shrybman (Sack, Goldblatt, Mitchell LLP), prepared this paper on Municipal Procurement Implications of the Proposed Comprehensive and Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) Between Canada and the European Union for the Centre for Civic Governance in May 2010. This report highlights the potential loss of ‘buy local’ policies through current trade discussion between Canada READ MORE


Planning a Post-Carbon World:The City of North Vancouver and the 100 Year Plan

The City of North Vancouver’s "100 Year Sustainability Vision" highlights what is likely one of the first attempts to use greenhouse gas reduction targets as part of the long-term design of a city. The project looks at North Vancouver’s expected growth, and aims to increase residential and job density while maintaining aesthetic appeal. 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