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.

Port Moody bylaw bans sale of shark fin

Port Moody City council voted unanimously on May 22, 2012 to ban the possession, sale, trade and distribution of shark fin products, a move mayor Mike Clay hopes paves the way for other municipalities to follow suit. Read more at

Economists describe climate change as a ‘market failure’

Greenhouse gas emissions are a side-effect of economically valuable activities. Most of the impacts of greenhouse gas emissions are “external” to the market and do not fall on those conducting the activities leaving future generations or people living in developing countries to pay the cost. Read more at The Guardian.

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.

Los Angeles bans use of plastic grocery bags

On May 23, 2012, Los Angeles became the largest city in the United States to adopt a ban on plastic bags at super-market checkout lines.  On a 13-1 vote in favour of the ban, this decision handed a major victory to clean-water advocates who sought to reduce the amount of trash clogging landfills, waterways and the ocean.  Read more at the Vancouver Sun.

Rio+20 Earth Summit

On June 20 -22, 2012, nations gather in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,  20 years after the first UN sanctioned gathering focussed on sustainable development. Check out our new briefing note “Rio +20 – Why it matters for local governments.”

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Cities deserve bigger share of tax dollars

The recently formed BC mayor’s caucus calls for reform to the current ad hoc municipal funding system.  Mayors from 86 municipalities insist the current system need to be replaced with one that gives cities more certainty over funding so they can partake in long term planning that will better communities. Read more at The Globe & Mail. 

The Saskatchewan Advantage Should Include Housing

With incomes unable to keep up with soaring rental costs, Councillor Pat Atkinson calls for partnership among the federal, provincial and municipal governments to address the problem of low vacancy rates and high demand for rental properties in Saskatchewan. Read more at The Star Phoenix.