Category Archives : Topics


Vancouver Technical school’s market garden to be a Canadian first

Under a new agreement between the Vancouver School Board and Fresh Roots Urban Farms, a non-profit society that promotes urban agriculture, Vancouver Technical School will be creating a 1,000 square meter garden on the school’s property in September.  The Van Tech garden  is expected to not only provide a valuable learning opportunity for students, but yield READ MORE


Turning Rubble into Roads

The City of Edmonton Aggregate Recycling Programs recycles concrete, asphalt and other similar materials from reconstruction projects, private demolition and household renovations free of charge. The program provides an economical source of recycled material Edmonton then uses to construct and maintain streets and sidewalks, saving the city more than $15 million.  Read more at the Municipal Information Network.


Autism advocate raises concerns over inclusive education

The New Brunswick government will invest $62 million over the next three years to improve inclusive education.  Autism advocate and Fredericton lawyer Harold Doherty is questioning the education department’s plans around autism by pointing out that some children with autism cannot function properly in a mainstream classrooms.  “It’s a philosophy, it’s not an evidence based approach READ MORE


The Nature of Leadership: Ideas for Building Inclusive, Sustainable Communities

The Nature of Leadership: Ideas for Building Inclusive, Sustainable Communities is the third volume in the “Innovative Strategies Leadership Series” for locally elected leaders. Inspired by conversations at our Centre for Civic Governance forums, this handbook highlights leadership stories from across the country and beyond. It relates stories of individuals and communities who are boldly confronting the myriad READ MORE


A Day in the Life of Our Taxes

Public health care, garbage pick up, safe food, clean water, public parks, emergency services, higher learning, the chance to live in great communities with the hope of reaching our personal dreams. It’s time to start having the conversation about what our taxes contribute to a healthy society.  See the video from the CCPA


Vancouver School Board releases results of public consultations

The Vancouver School Board has released the results of surveys conducted as part of its public consultation process.  The board will be discussing the results, including whether or not to redevelop properties in the face of declining enrolments and provincial funding as well as the introduction of a balanced school calendar. Read more at the Vancouver Sun READ MORE


Anti-bullying bill says schools must allow ‘gay-straight alliances’

All schools, including those in the Catholic system in Ontario, won’t be able to stop students from calling anti-homophobia clubs “ gay-straight alliances” if changes to a proposed anti-bullying law are passed. The amendment is being applauded as a step forward for human rights, giving students the right to name their own clubs. Read more at The Toronto Star 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


Nanaimo Provides Incentives for Water Protection and Green Building

Regional District of Nanaimo is now providing incentives to residents interested in reducing their energy usage and emissions, and protecting water.  Nanaimo also renewed its Green Building Incentive Program to encourage residents to invest in energy efficiency, emission reductions and green building practices.  Read more at the Municipal Information Network


What’s the Big Deal About CETA?

Canada-Europe Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is generating serious questions and concerns from local governments across Canada.  Municipalities, local government associations and school boards have passed resolutions expressing concern about the CETA’s potential impact local public services and decision making which could undermine public control key municipal services. Read more from the Columbia READ MORE


Fraser’s Institute accused of including incorrect data in school rankings study

Kamloops-Thompson school district leaders are calling foul on the Fraser Institute for including incorrect data in their school rankings study. The Institute has been called to task for ranking the mean income of Chase at $103,000 despite knowing that the C.D. Howe Institute lists Chase’s mean income at $40,000. The district also accuses the Institute READ MORE


Local Governments and CETA

The Centre for Civic Governance has been tracking developments in the Canadian European Comprehensive Trade Agreement and in particular potential impacts on municipalities. Our latest Trade and Policy Update provides information on the likelihood of increased legal and administrative costs, the threats to local decision-making and the potential for the privatization of municipal water services. READ MORE


“Generation Queer” – a resource for educators

Generation Queer, Sexual and Gender Minority Youth in Canadian Schools , provides an overview of LGBTQ youth-related research, a current picture of homophobia in Canadian schools and ideas  for helping to build the “resiliency of sexual and gender minority youth “in schools . Read more on the Alberta Teachers’ Association website. 


City of Surrey tracks progress towards Sustainability

The City of Surrey is launching a dashboard that allows the community to track the City’s progress towards sustainability. Some of the indicators tracked include: proximity of homes to amenities like schools and parks median income for immigrants amount of farmland in food production daily household water consumption Read more at the city’s website.


Students from public schools do better in university math and physics

A study published in the International Journal of Science Education provides good news for parents with children in public schools; students from public schools outperform in the fields of math and physics at university. Furthermore, students from East Vancouver outperformed students from Westside schools. Read more in the Vancouver Sun.  Find study here .


BC secondary students develop a taste for fresh local food

BC secondary students are sharpening their palettes, culinary skills and appreciation for local, seasonal, and nutritious food in a program called Take a Bite of BC . The program delivers donations from 42 local B.C. farms, food producers and industry associations twice a month to participating schools. Currently 37 schools are participating. According to cofounder, Lindsay Babineau, “Each of the READ MORE


Faced with declining enrollment Toronto School Board may have to close 171 schools

The Toronto School Board is considering closing171 schools to deal with a significant drop in enrollment. While the student population has dropped by 71,000 students, many worry that closing schools will have serious consequences for students, families and neighbourhoods. Trustee Cathy Dandy called closing schools “the most wasteful, inefficient, myopic thing any government can consider, READ MORE