research urban issues

To research urban issues the following will be helpful. There are many sources of cite links here:

This page is based on material contributed under CC-by by Lars Stroustrop at Green Party of Canada Living Platform. It has been updated as of November 2005.

Related Federal Departments and Programs

Department of Finance, 2005 Federal Budget

2005 Federal Budget in Brief (PDF)

2005 Federal Budget Plan (technical document) (PDF)

Selected themes from the budget:


A New Deal for Canada's Communities
The Economy
Achieving a Productive and Sustainable Economy
The Environment
Moving Towards a Green Economy
KPMG Highlights of the 2005 Federal Budget (PDF)
Green Budget Coalition Recommendations for Budget 2005 (PDF)

Infrastructure Canada

Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund

“Directed to projects of major federal and regional significance in areas that are vital to sustaining economic growth and enhancing the quality of life of Canadians.”

Infrastructure Canada Program (ICP)

“Created in 2000 to enhance infrastructure in Canada’s urban and rural communities and to improve quality of life through investments that protect the environment and support long-term community and economic growth.”

Infrastructure Canada:
Research and Analysis Division.

Infrastructure Canada Research Strategy (See also Research Gateway)

“This integrated strategy has three components: Knowledge generation, policy community building, and knowledge dissemination and transfer.”

The National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy (NRTEE)

Environmental Quality in Canadian Cities: The Federal Role (PDF) 2003

Ecological Fiscal Reform and Urban Sustainability: An Analysis of Federal Policies (PDF) August 2002

Cleaning up the Past, Building the Future: A National Brownfield Redevelopment Strategy for Canada (PDF) 2003

Natural Resources Canada:
Office of Energy Efficiency, Commercial and Institutional Buildings, New Buildings Program.

Commercial Building Incentive Program (CBIP)

“Natural Resources Canada's Commercial Building Incentive Program (CBIP) offers a financial incentive for the incorporation of energy efficiency features in new commercial/institutional building designs.”

Industrial Building Incentive Program (IBIP)

“The Industrial Building Incentive Program (IBIP) extends the precepts of the Commercial Building Incentive Program (CBIP) to the industrial sector.”

Natural Resources Canada:
Office of Energy Efficiency, Government.

Federal Buildings Initiative (FBI)

“Natural Resources Canada's Office of Energy Efficiency offers the FBI to help federal departments and agencies reduce energy and water consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Other levels of government, institutions and private-sector firms also draw on the FBI's experience for help in designing their own energy efficiency programs.”

Natural Resources Canada:
Office of Energy Efficiency

Other Incentives and Rebates

Transport Canada

Strategic Highway Infrastructure Program
“The five-year Strategic Highway Infrastructure Program (SHIP) was created to renew and enhance Canada's highway infrastructure, focusing on projects of national scope. $500 million for strategic highway construction improvements on the National Highway System (NHS); $100 million for national system integration initiatives.”
Moving On Sustainable Transportation (MOST)

“Transport Canada has established the Moving On Sustainable Transportation (MOST) Program to support projects that produce the kinds of education, awareness and analytical tools we need if we are to make sustainable transportation a reality.”

Urban Transportation Showcase Program (UTSP)

“UTSP is a Transport Canada initiative under the Government of Canada's Action Plan 2000 on Climate Change. The Program aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the implementation of showcase demonstrations in communities across Canada and through the dissemination of information.”

Review of International Urban Transportation Policy Frameworks, Strategies and Governance Models (PDF report)

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Mortgage Insurance

The CMHC offers mortgage insurance enabling Canadians to purchase their own homes for as little as 5% down. Special arrangements and discounts are available for non-profit housing projects and energy efficient housing and renovations.

Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program (RRAP)

“RRAP programs help low-income Canadians, people with disabilities and Aboriginals live in decent, affordable homes. These programs also support renovations to rooming houses and rental units to increase the availability of housing for those in need.”

The Centre for Public/Private Partnerships

“The centre brings together the public and private sectors, non-profit organizations and private citizens to produce housing for low-to-moderate income households.”

ACT (Affordability and Choice Today)

“Affordability and Choice Today (ACT) is a national program designed to stimulate regulatory reform in Canadian municipalities, leading to greater affordability, choice and quality in housing. ACT grants are available to community teams made up of builders, developers, renovators, architects, planners, industry association staff, municipal staff, non-profit and consumer groups and others.”

Federal House In Order Initiative

“The Federal House in Order (FHIO) initiative is the federal government's plan for reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) within its own operations in line with the National Implementation Strategy on Climate Change.”

Lead Departments: Environment Canada, Natural Resources Canada, Public Works and Government Services Canada.

Estimates – Plans and Priorities / Annual Reports

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Infrastructure Canada

Natural Resources Canada

Transport Canada

Related Municipal Organizations and Programs

Federation of Canadian Municipalities

Affordability and Choice Today (ACT)

“Affordability and Choice Today (ACT) is a national program designed to stimulate regulatory reform in Canadian municipalities, leading to greater affordability, choice and quality in housing. ACT grants are available to community teams made up of builders, developers, renovators, architects, planners, industry association staff, municipal staff, non-profit and consumer groups and others.”

Green Municipal Funds (GMF)

(Related Federal Government Departments: Environment Canada, Natural Resources Canada.)

Green Municipal Enabling Fund (GMEF)

“GMEF offers grants up to $350,000 for cost-shared planning initiatives, feasibility studies and field tests.”

Green Municipal Investment Fund (GMIF)

“Through GMIF loans, municipal governments and private sector partners can build innovative environmental infrastructure. Municipal governments borrow at a low, preferred rate. Loans cover 15 to 25 per cent of the capital costs of qualifying projects. The Funds also offer a combination grant and loan of up to 50 percent of the capital costs for highly innovative pilot installations.”

Related NGOs and Research Organizations

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA)

FastFacts: New Deal: Better, But Not Quite There
(April 26, 2004)

More than Money: The New Deal for Cities and a Federal Urban Lens (September 2004)

Canadian Housing and Renewal Association

Research and policy options on affordable housing along with publications on sub-topics like population health, subsidies, alternative financing, and energy efficiency.

Building Housing, Building the Nation:
Toward a National Housing Strategy for Canada
National Symposium, Ottawa, June 21-22, 2004 (PDF)

(Executive Summary available on CHRA website)

Canadian Urban Institute

Established to connect and convene urban decision makers in Canada and internationally to share policy experiences and research on urban issues. The site has publications on brownfield issues, smart growth and urbanization.

Centre for Integral Economics

This is the organization that advised the City of Winnipeg on its ambitious tax-shifting plan in that city’s original “new deal.” Information on municipal tax-shifting and other tools to redirect the market towards better environmental performance.

Canadian Policy Research Network

A non-profit policy research and dissemination network, and home of the Urban Nexus, a site featuring reviews and summaries of recent studies and reports on current urban policy issues and related links.

David Suzuki Foundation

Understanding Sprawl, A citizen’s guide (2003) PDF

Fiscally Green

A website by the Pembina Institute for Appropriate Development dedicated to gathering and disseminating information on ecological fiscal reform in Canada.

Green Budget Coalition

Many NGOs have taken part in this project to provide analysis of federal budgets and costed out alternative budgets.

The Green Pages

A huge directory of environmental news and information divided by region and by topic.

Institute of Urban Studies

The Institute of Urban Studies (IUS) was created at the University of Winnipeg as an educational and an applied research centre, examining urban development issues in a prairie and national urban context, including inner city, environmental urban sustainability, Aboriginal and northern concerns, and community development issues. This site links to the Institute’s many publications.

Journal of Urban Affairs

The Journal of Urban Affairs is the official journal of the only international professional organization for urban scholars and practitioners, the Urban Affairs Association.

The Sheltair Group

Private consultant company specializing in urban sustainability, green building, resource management, and building science. Sheltair helped the city of Vancouver develop its award winning sustainability plan, citiesPLUS, and developed a guide to green infrastructure for the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

The Sierra Club of Canada

Sprawl Hurts Us All! A guide to the costs of sprawl development and how to create livable communities in Ontario (PDF report) February 2003

Statistics Canada – Use of Land Resources

“Despite Canada's size, agricultural land is a scarce resource in this country. Less than one percent of our land is high-quality farmland. And the vast majority of this farm land is located within 160 kilometres of our largest cities.”

Transport 2000

“Transport 2000 Canada is a non-profit organization whose primary purpose is research, public education and consumer advocacy. It promotes environmentally-sound transportation solutions and gets actively involved in a wide range of issues such as: public transportation, safety, accessibility, energy efficiency, protection of the environment, intermodal cooperation and government regulation.”

Victoria Transport Policy Institute

Independent research organization with lots of information on making public transit cost-effective.

Media Articles and other Background

Ontario Tackles Urban Sprawl – (Jim Adair, Realty Times,
July 15 2004)
Save Our Cities – A background piece on the issues
(Mary Janigan, Macleans magazine, June 2002)
Lay Budget Tracks to Kyoto – An article recommending a reduction of capital cost allowance (CCA) on key investments. (Christoper Jones, director of the federal-provincial government liaison for the Railway Association of Canada, February 22, 2005)

Relevant Policies of the Major Parties

Conservative Party of Canada

Policy Statement, September 8 2004 (PDF)

See Section 22: Infrastructure and Section 36: Contaminated Sites

Web Site/The Issues: Investing in Infrastructure

“The Conservative Party will fight for infrastructure investments. We will redirect federal gas taxes into roads and other critical infrastructure.” (02-24-2005)

New Democratic Party

Web Site/Platform: Building our municipalities with a real deal

Liberal Party

Web Site/Issues/Cities: [http://www.liberal.ca/issues_e.aspx?id=6|Cities and Communities