Green Infrastructure Better for Storm Water Control

Researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago have concluded that green infrastructure is better suited to deal with storm water runoff that the traditional use of curbs and gutters, detention ponds and storm sewers. Green infrastructure incorporates permeable pavement, green roofs and constructed wetlands to reduce the flow of pollutants into sewers and ultimately into rivers, streams, oceans and lakes.

Read more here.

Violence in Neighbourhoods Lowers Children’s IQ Scores

A murder in a neighbourhood often lowers the IQ scores of children within a 10 block radius. Although this dip in IQ seems to go back to normal after 10 days, the post-traumatic stress of children who live in violent crime-ridden neighbourhoods accounts for lower IQ scores and poorer academic performance. Read the full story in Reuters.

Canada EU Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) will jeopardize municipal water services and local procurement policies

Canadian Trade Lawyer Steve Shrybman presented a number of worrying scenarios at a dialogue session hosted by the Centre for Civic Governance last Friday at the FCM. He pointed out that the “The European Union has made a pointed request that drinking water services be included in the trade agreement, opening the door for big multinational firms to “stake” a claim in municipal water systems.” This would open the doors for the privatization and foreign control over water. The agreement also threatens the ability of municipalities to buy locally, and companies could no longer be favoured in the bidding process by their investment in the local community. So far, many municipalities seem to be unaware of the consequences of this binding agreement. Click here to read Shrybman’s report. Read more in the Toronto Star.

Local Elections Task Force Delivers its Recommendations

The BC Local Elections Task Force delivered its recommendations on improving local government elections yesterday. In their recommendations they highlighted the need for expense limits on local election campaign participants and the need for sponsorship information on all election advertising. Despite pressure from business groups the task force also recommended that corporations not be given a vote in local elections.

The Centre for Civic Governance submitted its recommendations to the elections task force in April. Strengthening Local Democracy.