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Home Policy Articles: Cities & Communities: Economic Development


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A Law Against Poverty: Québec’s New Approach to Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion popular

This article by Alain Noël examines Québec’s new Anti-Poverty Law (bill 112), which he considers moves Québec’s “social policy agenda farther from that of its neighbours and closer to the preoccupations of European countries.” He demonstrates that it is a law “drafted from below”, in that the basic framework it proposes originated not from government offices but from community groups and social actors. Noël then frames the poverty question into statistical terms, arguing that Statistics Canada’s poverty rates, which traditionally showed Québec to be the most poverty-plagued province in Canada, are misleading; by taking into account cost of living indicators, he shows, Québec and Ontario’s poverty rates are found to be more or less equal. Québec’s situation is thus comparable to that of the rest of Canada.

A Globalist Strategy for Calgary

Patrick Smith and Kennedy Stewart distinguish between “globalized” and “globalist” cities. Globalized cities respond to the forces of globalization and are shaped by external interests, while globalist cities are proactive, increasing their presence in the world and improving their economy.

Bamfield, BC: Wonderful Things Can Happen at the End of the Road

Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC) created the Office of Learning Technologies (OLT) in 1996 to encourage innovative, technology-based learning.

Being Realistic about Urban Growth

In this paper Christopher Leo and Katie Anderson compare and contrast policy requirements in urban centres with differing urban growth rates. Leo and Anderson specifically examine Vancouver and Winnipeg.

Big City Revenue Sources: A Canada-U.S. Comparison of Municipal Tax Tools and Revenue Levers

Big City Revenue Sources: A Canada-U.S. Comparison of Municipal Tax Tools and Revenue Levers, by Casey Vander Ploeg of the Canada West Foundation, contributes to the debate over the fiscal squeeze facing Canadian cities by exploring the tax tools and revenue levers available to Canadian cities and comparing these to tools and levers available to American cities.

Bread and Circuses: The Local Benefits of Sports and Cultural Businesses

John P. Palmer argues the economic benefits of sports or cultural businesses are not significant enough to justify government funding. Indeed, using the multiplier effect (also known as the “simple Keynesian multiplier”) that is often used to support investments in sports and cultural businesses, the author finds the effect to be either small, or in some cases, negative. The author also contends that sport and/or cultural businesses contribute little in the way of job creation.

Building on Our Strengths: Inner-city Priorities for a Renewed Tri-Level Development Agreement

In Building on Our Strengths: Inner-city Priorities for a Renewed Tri-Level Development Agreement, Jim Silver, of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, proposes a new inner-city funding agreement for Winnipeg. Silver’s argument draws upon interviews with representatives from 100 community-based, inner-city organizations, and is based upon what he sees as real gains achieved through the past agreement in confronting inner- city poverty. According to Silver, these gains ought to be sustained through the establishment of a new tri-level funding agreement for Winnipeg.

Community Economic Development Success Stories from Nova Scotia

In this community story Anne Makhoul highlights four rural communities that have developed successful projects using funds from ACOA Nova Scotia.

Community Renewal

Vibrant Communities is a pan-Canadian initiative aimed at developing local solutions to poverty reduction. This four-year initiative also seeks to improve quality of life for citizens within the designated communities.

Contestability: The Uncontested Champion of High-Performance Government

Mrozek and McIver contend that municipalities provide a range of expensive services often without knowing whether they are receiving full, efficient value for the public money that is spent. They continue that, at a time when municipal governments are struggling to make ends meet and to provide an acceptable level of services, the status quo in service provision is no longer acceptable. It is necessary, they argue, for municipal governments to ascertain whether the cost of a service is justified, and if it is not, to provide the service at the most efficient price.

Culture and Economic Competitiveness:  An Emerging Role for the Arts in Canada

Jason Azmier’s discussion paper Culture and Economic Competitiveness: An Emerging Role for the Arts in Canada, published by the Canada West Foundation, argues that arts and culture are an integral element of quality of life and economic competitiveness for cities.

Do Cities Create Wealth? A Critique of New Urban Thinking and the Role of Public Policy for Cities

In the past few years, there has been a plethora of papers and reports arguing that cities are crucial to the national economy’s overall health. Patrick Luciani explains how politicians have embraced this idea and placed it at the fore, along with health care and taxation (especially in the June 2004 federal election campaign).

Economics, Equity and Urban-Rural Transfers

Changing technology, patterns of trade, and prices have created a situation that, if left unchecked by decisive government action, would result in a migration from rural to urban areas. An important question that this raises is whether the government should take an active role to discourage migration, subsidizing agriculture either through direct payments or through the provision of infrastructure, that otherwise would not be justified?

Framing a Fiscal Fix-up: Options for Strengthening the Finances of Western Canada’s Big Cities

In Framing a Fiscal Fix-up: Options for Strengthening the Finances of Western Canada’s Big Cities, Casey Vander Ploeg, of the Canada West Foundation, examines policy options for municipal financing.

Gentrification in West Broadway? Contested Space in a Winnipeg Inner City Neighbourhood

Silver examines the Winnipeg inner city, noting that the decline of urban inner cities since the 1950s has resulted in increased rates of poverty and crime, deterioration of residential facilities, lowering of property values and reduction in tax value of these areas.

Housing and Transportation in Montreal – How suburbanization is improving the region’s competitiveness

In his report, Wendell Cox contends Montreal’s superior transport infrastructure and its land use policies give the city a new advantage.

Innovation and CED: What They Can Learn From Each Other

This paper explores the concepts of innovation and community economic development (CED) then discusses the interrelatedness of these concepts in practice. Recommendations are made based on the findings.

Learning Communities in the Monashee

Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC) created the Office of Learning Technologies (OLT) in 1996 to encourage innovative, technology-based learning.

Lillooet is Learning

Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC) created the Office of Learning Technologies (OLT) in 1996 to encourage innovative, technology-based learning.

Municipal Finance and the Pattern of Urban Growth

Enid Slack argues that the problem of urban sprawl can best be controlled by “removing distortions in the property tax system,” as well as by employing user fees and development charges to support, rather than work against, planning objectives. She cites studies showing that higher-density, downtown neighbourhoods have much lower development costs, and actually contribute to reducing the overall costs for services. Accordingly, Slack posits that urban sprawl must be controlled as it is costly to society.

North End Winnipeg’s Lord Selkirk Part Housing Development: History, Comparative Context, Prospects

In this paper Jim Silver explores the North End Winnipeg public housing development in the Lord Selkirk Park neighbourhood.

Performance and Potential 2004-05: How Can Canada Prosper in Tomorrow’s World?

This report examines some of the major developments the Conference Board believes will affect Canada’s economic, social and environmental performance in the years ahead. This report is one in a series of Key Findings from the Conference Board of Canada. The project director of this report is Charles Barrett.

Property Taxes on Business and Industrial Property in British Columbia

Robert L. Bish discusses the impact that property taxes can have on the number of new businesses that invest in a particular geographic area, as well as the success rate of those already situated in the jurisdiction.

Safety and Security Issues in Winnipeg’s Inner-City Communities: Bridging the Community-Police Divide

Comack and Silver interview 45 residents and business people, in addition to 17 community workers, in three inner-city Winnipeg neighbourhoods to assess the state of safety and security. From this, they suggest that globalization, migration of Aboriginal peoples to the cities, and the growing number of immigrants have resulted in a “concentration of racialized poverty” in Winnipeg’s inner city.

Seeking Sustainable Livelihoods: Constructing a Role for Community Economic Development in Technology-Cluster Growth

In this article Edward Jackson and Rahil Khan propose the use of community economic development as a means of stabilizing employment in areas where technology clusters are prevalent.

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