Policy Articles: Cities & Communities: Page 7
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.
Policy.ca gives you a window into current cities and communities policy debates in Canada.
In Toward Healthy Cities: Developing the Relationship Between Municipalities and Regional Health Authorities, Evan Jones, of the Canada West Foundation, proposes how municipalities and regional health authorities can work together to create healthy, vibrant communities.
In 1995-96, the Government of Alberta decided to outsource all the maintenance on its 15,000 kilometres of primary highways to primary contractors. Since then, neither the provincial government nor any other body has evaluated the current private maintenance program by comparing it with the previous government-run system.
In Urban Education: Exploring the Relationship Between School Boards and Municipalities, Evan Jones, of the Canada West Foundation, examines the history of cooperation between school boards and municipal governments.
In this paper Divay and Séguin address the spatial distribution of poverty and its effects. They also discuss issues related to fostering socially sustainable communities. The authors focus on Canada’s major urban areas, and specifically on the poor neighbourhoods of these centres. Divay and Séguin look at the neighbourhood effects of poverty, and address the question of whether living in a neighbourhood with a high concentration of poverty diminishes the life chances of a child or adult.
In this community story Anne Makhoul describes how two communities are combining arts initiatives with community economic development projects.
Even though Calgary has experienced growth and prosperity due to the booming oil and gas industry, the gap between its richest and poorest communities is growing contend Anne Makhoul and Eric Leviten-Reid.
Vibrant Communities Edmonton (VCE) was created in 2002. Its efforts are modeled after the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Re-Building Communities Initiative. This American not-for-profit organization focuses on the difficulties low-income families face in trying to improve their economic fortunes.
Vibrant Communities is a pan-Canadian project that seeks local solutions to reduce poverty and build more caring communities. Vibrant Communities Edmonton (VCE) was seen as a useful vehicle for informing Edmonton residents about the Alberta Child Health Benefit (ACHB).
Vibrant Communities Saint John (VCSJ) was founded in 2004 with support from its convenor organization, the Business Community Anti-Poverty Initiative (BCAPI). VCSJ’s 10-year goal is to bring poverty in Saint John in line with the national average.
Anne Makhoul explains how the Capital Regional District (CRD) passed a motion in November 2004 to create a Regional Housing Trust Fund (RHTF). Municipal governments and non-profit agencies can set up housing trusts to support affordable housing options. The author outlines the history of effort and steps to establish an affordable housing trust in the region, including the Housing Affordability Partnership (HAP) and the Quality of Life CHALLENGE.
Despite the presence of more than 350 high-tech companies, a vibrant insurance industry, and two universities, Waterloo Region’s poverty rate was approximately 11.3 percent in 2001. In this context, Anne Makhoul focuses her attention on the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) for low-income seniors, suggesting that as many as 3,000 eligible residents in Waterloo Region were not receiving the GIS.
In Whistler and the World: The Funding of Ski Resort Municipalities, Casey Vander Ploeg and Roger Gibbins of the Canada West Foundation explore municipal revenues in resort municipalities by focusing on one such community: Whistler, British Columbia.
In this community story Anne Makhoul explains how the communities of Whistler and Mount Currie used OLT funds to suit their specific needs.
Neil Bradford takes stock of the public policy response to what is termed, “the new localism” and the “cities agenda” in Canada.
This paper by Sherri Torjman, Eric Leviten-Reid and Mark Cabaj is written to examine the different roles that various sectors play in comprehensive community initiatives such as the Vibrant Communities campaign, which seeks to reduce poverty at a municipal level.
This paper explores the role various sectors play in comprehensive community initiatives.
This article by Neil Bradford attempts to clarify and outline “major issues, differing perspectives, and central debates in a rapidly evolving and complex field of policy inquiry and action”, i.e. urban issues. By doing so, Bradford aims to contextualize both historically and policy wise the choices Canadian cities face in the upcoming decades. The author underlines the fact, through statistical data, that cities are “the places where today’s major economic, social and environmental challenges most visibly intersect.” He concludes by mapping out four areas where further research and mobilization is needed. These are environmental sustainability, community economic development, social inclusion and an “economic cluster”, which encompasses issues such as urban planning and public/private cooperation.
The Frontier Centre’s Backgrounder Winnipeg’s Housing Bust examines the hypothesis that the value of residential property reflects the rate of economic growth. By extension, the article claims, slow economic growth implies low demand and lower house prices. The article finds that Winnipeg house prices increased by a rate of only 23 percent from 1986-2000, significantly lower than that of other major Western cities.
In this article Tatyana Teplova analyzes the implications the projected growth of the world economy will have on the city of Calgary.