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
More and more local governments and education institutions are facing questions about the impacts of climate change, and the risk of having money invested in fossil fuel companies. Mike McGinn, Mayor of Seattle, recently wrote a letter to the President of Harvard, outlining why Seattle decided to persue fossil-fuel divestment. You can read the full READ MORE
“Canadian trade minister Ed Fast says negotiations with the Europe Union are re-launching early next month in a final push to complete a comprehensive deal, adding all that is needed is a “little flexibility” on both sides. He gave no specifics but sources have said the major stumbling blocks include the EU’s reluctance to READ MORE
“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
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
“With political will, modern techniques and the latest ideas from cities and governments around the world, we have the capacity to reduce emissions and adjust to climate change at the same time. But we do need to act, and now would be a good time to start.” An op ed from David Miller. David READ MORE
Jamie Biggar’s Dinner Plenary at the Deepening Democracy Civic Governance Forum 2013: “In order to be able to address the massive challenges that are facing our society, we have to work on this crisis of declining trust. We need to bring people together, and build social trust, so that we can take collective action, and move from READ MORE
As global climate negotiations wrap up in Doha, it’s worth reminding ourselves of the science behind the push for climate action. You can view the video on our YouTube channel, by clicking here. Dr. John Fyfe is one of 150 Scientists contributing to the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports. The fifth “assessment report” will be published in 2013-2014. The forth “assessment report” was published READ MORE
Civic Governance ForumRequest for Workshop Proposals The Centre for Civic Governance’s dynamic BC Governance forum is happening March 23 & 24, 2013. We are requesting workshop proposals that are relevant to locally elected leaders, particularly workshops about climate action, social inclusion, social justice, citizen engagement, and the cultural economy. Proposals should include: An overview of READ MORE
Kington Ontario’s City Council will be voting this week on a motion calling for the city to begin work on a Living Wage policy for city employees and contractors. The motion from Councillors Bill Glover and Rob Hutchison follows up on recommendations from a CCPA Ontario report from 2011 . Living Wage policies are already in place with a number of local governments across READ MORE
E-Voting was used in the 2012 Halifax Municipal Election Electors received municipal notices in the mail before the start of advance voting. Security codes and other information were in those letters, which included the site of community voting stations for those who plan to cast ballots in two weeks. The civic and school board elections READ MORE
The sale of shark fin may soon be banned in Vancouver, Richmond and Burnaby as the three cities work together on a bylaw to have the Chinese delicacy removed from restaurant menus. Vancouver City Councilor Kerry Jang says it’s important the three cities put in a ban at the same time saying, “We wanted to make READ MORE
Applications are now being accepted for Next UpA Leadership Program for Young People Committed to Social and Environmental Justice Columbia Institute is a national partner for the Next Up Leadership program for young social change activists between the ages of 18 and 32. The program is offered in four cities across three provinces; Next Up BC READ MORE
North Vancouver is joining in the growing campaign against the sale of shark fin. Councillor Craig Keating introduced a motion asking for the preparation of a bylaw that would ban the possession, sale and distribution within the municipality. The motion also calls for the city to lobby the provincial and federal governments to ban shark fin outright. READ MORE
Edmonton’s Mayor Stephen Mandel signed a memorandum of understanding on June 4, 2012 to put in place a new state-of-the-art closed-loop paper and cotton recycling process that makes professional grade paper without using any chemicals, producing any harmful emissions or any by-products. Read more at the Edmonton Sun .
Toronto joins San Francisco, Seattle and Los Angeles as cities that have banned single-use plastic bags. Toronto city council passed a motion to ban the distribution of plastic bags effective Jan. 1, 2013. Read more at the Huffington Post .
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 .
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.
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
More and more Canadian municipalities are raising concerns about the impact of Canada-EU trade negotiations (CETA) on local government decision making and economic development strategies. In the last two weeks, Mississauga , Welland and Niagara Falls joined Hamilton, Toronto and a growing wave of Ontario local governments in asking the province for a “clear, permanent exemption” of their muncipality READ MORE
In a 29-12 vote, Toronto city councillors have thrown a wrench into Mayor Ford’s plan to reduce the city budget by contracting out all cleaning jobs. The council which would normally only look at contracts worth $20million or more, has voted to oversee all contracts. Councillors argued that contracts may still be outsourced, but that READ MORE
Whistler has joined several other BC municipalities in formally declaring its opposition to the Northern Gateway pipeline. Citing concern over the inherent possibility of environmental disaster, the council has agreed the benefits do not outweigh the risks. Counillor Jack Crompton believes the motion will send a strong message, “It says to the federal government, the READ MORE
Michelle Berardinetti and Jaye Robinson, councillors on Rob Ford’s executive are threatening to quit over Rob Ford’s leadership style which they have characterized as lacking “vision, strategy and plan.” They have also cited his overtly ideological approach, his unwillingness to seek consensus and premature focus on campaigning as contributing factors contributing to their wanting to READ MORE
Opposition to the proposed Enbridge pipeline is growing in Northwestern BC . The town of Smithers has joined Terrace, Prince Rupert and the Skeena-Queen Charlotte Regional District in formally rejecting the pipeline proposal, due to concerns that the risks associated with oil spills are too high in a region that is ecologically sensitive and dependent upon READ MORE
In a unanimous vote, Prince Rupert City Council made a motion to formally oppose the proposed Enbridge pipeline. The council has adopted the same resolution that the Skeena Queen Charlotte Regional District (SQCRD) did over a week ago: “Therefore, be it resolved that the City of Prince Rupert be opposed to any expansion of bulk READ MORE
Northern BC’s city of Terrace voted 5-2 vote to formally oppose the proposed Enbridge pipeline, Northern Gateway. The city’s vote was motivated by two earlier UBCM resolutions which read, “B140 Opposing the shipping of tar sand oil in pipelines across northern BC for loading onto crude oil tankers and; B139 opposing any expansion of bulk READ MORE
The election of long time trustee Eden Haythornthwaite to board chair, signals a dramatic shift in politics for the Cowichan school board. Haythonwaite is accustomed to being an oppositional trustee, often having her motions quashed. She has routinely voted against cuts to classrooms and her dedication to fighting for education has finally paid off. Haythonwaite READ MORE
Toronto City Council just passed a bylaw banning the sale and use of shark fin. Ignoring the bylaw will result in a $5,000 fine for the first offence and up to $100,000 for a third offence. The ban is put in place in recognition of the perilous state the world’s shark population is in due READ MORE
The province of New Brunswick set a target to have greenhouse gas emissions at 1990 levels by 2012. The province is on track to meet its climate change reduction goals, a remarkable accomplishment given the economic growth in the province. The province worked with citizens and encouraged partnerships to achieve this goal. Some highlights of READ MORE
Many on-reserve First Nations don’t have government issued id which has made voting difficult or impossible in the past. Saskatchewan’s chief electoral officer is changing the rules in time for the upcoming election allowing people to vote if they have a witness on hand to vouch for their identity. Read more at the CBC.
Dawson City is one of many BC municipalities that have voluntarily signed on to be carbon neutral by 2012, but it hopes to achieve neutrality without purchasing carbon offsets. To reach this goal the city is setting aside $100 for every tone of carbon produced from its government offices, recreation facilities and trucking fleets. That READ MORE
August 20, 2011 Toronto, Ontario Dear Friends, Tens of thousands of Canadians have written to me in recent weeks to wish me well. I want to thank each and every one of you for your thoughtful, inspiring and often beautiful notes, cards and gifts. Your spirit and love have lit up my home, my spirit, READ MORE
Frustrated by Toronto Mayor, Rob Ford’s attempts to scrap 20 well-established citizen groups, several councilors are going ahead and forming their own committees and task forces so they can continue to address important civic issues from childcare to cycling infrastructure. Read more in the Toronto Star.
Two years ahead of schedule, Harrison Hot Springs, BC has just announced it has met its goal of going carbon neutral. The town took measures to reduce its corporate GHG emissions and also bought offsets to create a net -zero output. “By taking a leadership role in measuring and reducing corporate GHG emissions, the municipality READ MORE
During the past four years the city of Surrey has greatly reduced criminal activity by employing a variety of strategies: increasing police presence at hotspots for crime, creating more affordable housing, neighbourhood beautification and increasing community and school programs for youth. Surrey’s innovative crime reduction program is the result of “community partnerships, innovative programs and READ MORE
Several municipalities across BC already have cosmetic pesticide bans, but now there is a move to extend the ban province-wide. NDP leader Adrian Dix proposed the ban last week, and in a rare moment of agreement, it looks as though the Liberals are on side. Read more at the CBC . To find out more about READ MORE
Mayor, Dianne Watts of Surrey BC, has just won fourth place in the World Mayor Project . The project honours mayors from across the globe who’ve made their cities better places to live.
On July 6th, former Vancouver Mayor, Art Phillips received the Freedom of the City Award. Under Mayor Phillips, the City of Vancouver adopted socially and environmentally progressive policies that laid out the foundation for what is today one of the most livable cities in the world. Mayor Phillips and his party rejected the plan to READ MORE
The District of Tofino is developing bylaws that would severely restrict franchised fast-food chains from opening up shop in the town. Restrictions will be made on everything from decor to carbon footprint to the use of non-local ingredients. These bylaws are intended to preserve Tofino’s unique character. Read the full story in The Vancouver Sun .
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
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
Tyee Editor David Beers and Tyee Blogger Colleen Kimmett attended our annual governance forum at Harrison Hot Springs March 6th and 7th. While David gave a very good presentation on working with the media, Colleen interviewed the politicians and posted her stories about green ideas , sustainable development and climate fatigue .
On May 14, 2008 the Cowichan Valley Regional District passed bylaw amendments that restrict the use of school lands, in the hopes of discouraging school closures. The bylaws prevent the sale of school lands for private development in order to keep the lands for public use. Read an article from the Vancouver Sun about the role parents played in getting the bylaw READ MORE
The City of North Vancouver released its Greenhouse Gas Local Action Plan in February 2005. The Plan outlines how to reach the City’s interm target of a 20% corporate emissions reduction and a 6% community-wide emissions reduction by 2010. Focusing on building retrofits, new building design guidelines, Smart Growth land use planning, and transportation demand management, the City hopes to READ MORE
Esquimalt’s environmental advisory committee has decided to replace Round-up with steam to rid its public sidewalks of weeds. The town doesn’t expect that using steam will cost much more than a few thousand dollars extra a year. This is the first step in a move towards a full pesticides by-law in Esquimalt. Click here to read READ MORE