Category Archives : Leadership

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

More local governments considering divesting from fossil fuels

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

Canada’s trade minister says ‘little flexibility’ needed to conclude EU talks

“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

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

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

Jamie Biggar – 2013 Centre for Civic Governance Forum

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

The Science Behind Climate Change – Video

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

Request for Workshop Proposals – BC Civic Governance Forum

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

Kingston considers living wage motion

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

Municipal E-voting Used in Halifax Municipal Election

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

Applications are now being accepted for Next Up: A Leadership Program for Young People Committed to Social and Environmental Justice

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

Cities push for B.C. Residential Tenancy Act amendment

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 municipalities raise CETA concerns, demand exemptions

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

Whistler passes motion opposing Northern Gateway pipeline

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

Female members of Rob Ford’s executive are threatening to quit unless he changes his leadership style

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

Northern opposition to pipeline grows- Smithers BC rejects Enbridge proposal

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

Prince Rupert is now the third BC municipality to reject the Enbridge pipeline

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

Cowichan’s new school board chair signals a shift in politics

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

New Brunswick on track to meet climate change goals

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

Voting for on-reserve First Nations in Saskatchewan will be easier with new rules

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 Creek – BC’s first municipality to create a carbon fund

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

City of Surrey uses multiple approaches to combat crime

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

Plans to make Vancouver greenest city in world

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

“From the Ground Up” Centre for Civic Governance Forum Generates Ideas at the Tyee

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 .

School Lands Bylaw in Cowichan Valley

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

City of North Vancouver Greenhouse Gas Local Action Plan

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