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Home Policy Articles: Cities & Communities: Page 2

In order for individuals and families to prosper, it is important that the community in which they live can meet all of their physical, cultural, social, and economic needs. To that end, cities and communities across Canada must be equipped with, among other things, a diversity of cultural and social resources, adequate infrastructure, provisions for emergency situations, and sustainable economic development plans. Much of the debate surrounding cities and communities policy centres on whom exactly is responsible for providing and maintaining these services. gives you a window into current cities and communities policy debates in Canada.



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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.

Building Our Cities: The Importance of Immigration

In this brief report Sandra Lopes discusses the ways in which the federal government could work to include immigration in its cities agenda. Lopes explains that the report is based on research the Public Policy Forum collected over a two-year period while working on immigration-related issues. Lopes believes that by addressing immigration issues at a local level, Canada can increase its prosperity by effectively utilizing human and social capital.

Celebrating Access at the Toronto Public Library

In her community story Anne Makhoul describes the success of the Toronto Public Library (TPL), the second-busiest library in the world next to Hong Kong, which also houses the second largest collection of materials in North America.

Church’s end-of-life teaching is a gift to be shared

In this brief article, Bridget Campion describes her first case as a clinical ethicist.

Cities and Communities that Work: Innovative Practices, Enabling Policies

Neil Bradford argues that innovation – applying the best ideas in a timely fashion to emergent problems – is an urgent priority in the private, public, and voluntary sectors. At the same time, he notes that, attention is increasingly being paid to those cities which demonstrate an institutional capacity to engage in collaborative learning processes – in other words, those most adaptive and innovative.

Cities at the Crossroads: Addressing Intergovernmental Structures for Western Canada's Cities

Cities at the Crossroads: Addressing Intergovernmental Structures for Western Canada's Cities, published by the Canada West Foundation, examines what author Denis Wong contends is an increasing demand for mechanisms enabling the three levels of government to work together for vibrant cities.

Community Action in Saint John: Making a Difference in the Lives of Young People

The Business Community Anti-Poverty Initiative (BCAPI) in Saint John is a Vibrant Communities convenor agency concerned with the welfare of teenagers who are pregnant or have children. Anne Makhoul explains that BCAPI began in 1997 in response to the high rate of poverty in Saint John.

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

This report explains how community problems might be solved through careful resources use and the strategic involvement of local government.

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.

Comprehensive Community Initiatives

This paper is written to introduce the Comprehensive Community Initiative which entails finding effective local level solutions to social and economic problems.

Congestion Relief: Assessing the Case for Road Tolls in Canada

Robin Lindsey argues that the implementation of road tolls on Canadian roads, highways, and urban centres merits serious attention.

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.

Controlling Irregular Migration in Canada: Reconciling Security Concerns with Human Rights Protection

This article by François Crépeau and Delphine Nakache examines recent developments in Canada (following the events of September 11, 2001) regarding migration control.

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.

Culture and Recreation: Links to Well-Being

This short paper by Sherri Torjman links culture and recreation to the health and wellbeing of both individuals and the communities they live in.

Culture and Recreation: Links to Well-Being

Sherri Torjman explores how culture and recreation contribute to the health and well-being of individuals and communities. This paper is part of a series on Vibrant Communities, a pan-Canadian initiative that seeks local solutions for poverty reduction.

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).

Drop by Drop: Urban Water Conservation Practices in Western Canada

This report seeks to raise awareness and understanding about urban water issues. The authors adopt an urban focus because eight out of 10 westerners live in urban areas, and municipal governments are key players in the delivery and treatment of water.

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?

EPCOR: A Study of Ownership, Accountability, and the Public Interest

As Diana Gibson explains, EPCOR was founded on Edmonton’s power and water utilities, yet operates in other provinces and in the US.

Fair Fares Calgary Celebrates Reduced Fare Transit Passes

On August 1, 2005, Calgary’s City Council opted to give reduced fare transit passes to residents who receive benefits from the Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH) program. Subsequently, it decided to issue these passes to all low-income residents in Calgary beginning in January 2006. Vibrant Communities Calgary will work with Calgary’s municipal government and Alberta’s provincial government to develop a long-term funding solution.

Fighting the Odds: Rural Development Strategies for Western Canada

Many areas of rural Canada are in decline due to jobs lost through job-automation technology and commodity price declines. People migrated from these communities as jobs disappeared. Jason Azmier and Lisa Lozanski suggest this decline is felt in urban and rural areas throughout Western Canada.

Financing City Services: A Prescription for the Future

Increased funding responsibilities for Canadian cities, reduced provincial grants, and a corresponding increase in reliance on own-source revenues over the past 12 to 15 years have changed the fiscal environment in which cities now operate. At the same time, Harry Kitchen argues, cities have become increasingly important players in the competitive global economy.

First Nations and Métis People and Diversity in Canadian Cities

This article by Evelyn Peters analyzes ways to recognize and accommodate First Nations and Métis diversity in cities.

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