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Preserving Innovation While Building A Sustainable Economy

Posted on September 9, 2010
Can ways be found to strike a reasonable difference between achieving public goals and meeting private needs? That's the question that prompted the Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario (RCCAO) to put together a new report, to be released this month at the first session in the CUI's new Urban Leadership Seminar Series. The report provides a detailed discussion as to why common practices in governments and broader public sector procurement in Ontario in relation to construction leads to reduced competition for government work and higher [...]

Canadian Jurisdictions Bring Home Energy Report Cards

Posted on August 19, 2010
According to the Canadian Energy Efficiency Alliance’s (CEEA’s) 2009 National Energy Efficiency Report Card, Ontario’s Green Energy and Economy Act (GEA) has helped the Province go from an A in 2007 to an A+ (for January 2008 to December 2009). The Report Card evaluates the federal, provincial, and territorial governments on their energy efficiency performance every two years. This year, CEAA president and CEO, Ken Elsey, says he’s happy with the progress being made across the country. "This is the first year that we've seen three provinces receive [...]

CPPIB Increases its Stake in Ontario Toll Road

Posted on July 16, 2010
The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) put in a $3.5 billion bid this week for the Highway 407 expressway north of Toronto. The multi-billion bid to Sydney-based Intoll Group would drive up CPPIB’s shares in the asset to 30 per cent. Andre Bourbonnais, CPPIB's senior vice-president for private investments, told Reuters in an interview that the 407 is one of the world's top assets in its class and fits the pension administrator's strategy to invest in assets with stable, long-term revenue streams. Bourbonnais told Reuters, "It fits squarely [...]

BCIT Engineering Grads Can Now Gain CEAB Accreditation

Posted on June 29, 2010
The British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) has produced its first batch of graduates out of its new degree program in Civil Engineering. This is the first time the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board (under the guidance of Engineers Canada) has granted accreditation to a non-university Civil Engineering program. Don Wright, BCIT president, says, "This is a very important milestone for Civil Engineering at BCIT." The BCIT Bachelor of Engineering in Civil Engineering (B.Eng.) is the first engineering program at BCIT to be accredited, evolving [...]

Coal: Fired

Posted on June 23, 2010
The Government of Canada is proposing a policy that would have power companies closing their coal-fired facilities once they’re 45 years old, or the end of their power purchase arrangements, whichever is later. Companies would be prohibited from making investments to extend the lives of those plants unless emission levels can be reduced to levels equivalent to those of natural gas combined cycle plant. The TransAlta Corporation responded by reminding everyone that, back in 2009, it got funding towards the development of "clean coal" technology. "TransAlta [...]

For-Profit Telecoms Could Cost Municipalities Money

Posted on June 23, 2010
As the federal government considers open the door to foreign investment in Canada’s telecommunications sector, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) is worried about how that could affect municipal taxpayers. “Existing legislation already undermines the ability of municipal governments to manage our roads and recover costs, this costs taxpayers millions,” said FCM President Hans Cunningham in a release. “A decision to open the industry to foreign ownership could add millions more to this bill. Our taxpayers should not be subsidizing for-profit [...]

Municipalities Look for Flexibility on Stimulus-Funded Project Deadlines

Posted on June 15, 2010
The House of Commons Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities (TRAN) met today as a part of its study into the impact of the federal government’s deadline of March 31, 2011 for Infrastructure Stimulus Fund (ISF) projects and December 31, 2010 for the completion of projects funded through the Recreational Infrastructure Canada Program (RinC) and the Water and Wastewater Pipeline Renewal Program (PRECO). Among the witnesses were representatives from the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) and the Federation of Canadian [...]

New Report: Municipalities Already Have The Tools to Fight GHG Emissions

Posted on June 15, 2010
Toronto and Region Conservation Authority’s (TRCA's) Community Transformation Group has commissioned two new reports: a technical document, Getting to Carbon Neutral: A Guide for Canadian Municipalities, and the companion piece, Climate Change Mitigation: A Strategic Approach for Cities.  The papers were produced in collaboration with researchers from the Sustainable Infrastructure Group at the University of Toronto to help municipalities understand their options when looking for ways to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The technical report puts [...]

Sustainable LivingHomes Now Available in Canada

Posted on June 9, 2010
Prefab sustainable building company, LivingHomes, is now building homes in Canada through a partnership with Manitoba-based fabricator Conquest Manufacturing Ltd. The first four LivingHomes will be built by new, Toronto-based developer, Nexterra Green Homes. There has been more interest in Canada for sustainable design and for modern architecture than most any country in the world, says LivingHomes CEO Steve Glenn. LivingHomes uses high volume, factory production which increases quality while reducing cost, schedule, and construction waste-- compared to [...]

Big City Mayors Say "Partnerships" Many Times

Posted on May 28, 2010
As a prelude to FCM's annual conference and expo this week, the  Big City Mayor’s Caucus (BCMC) held a press conference yesterday to talk about how Canadian governments can tackle the infrastructure deficit. In a word: partnerships. The  mayors called for partnership among all three levels of government. Caucus Chair and mayor of Kitchener Carl Zehr called Canadian cities “urban economic engines;" the front-line of projects funded by the federal government’s stimulus funding. “We shouldn’t have to wait for an economic crisis to get governments [...]
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