Easing urban traffic congestion no simple task

Cities are establishing taxes on electric cars and other low-emission vehicles to reduce traffic and raise infrastructure funds

Easing urban traffic congestion no simple taskThe state of Oregon recently became the latest devotee of a variation of congestion fees. The system falls short, even if the goal is worthy. It’s a sort of tax on road use more commonly directed at motorists and commercial vehicle drivers who access the central area of a city. Those drivers presumably add to…

We can’t obliterate history, no matter how hard we try

If historical figures with 2020 attitudes could be found, renaming familiar streets and place names wouldn’t be so daunting

We can’t obliterate history, no matter how hard we tryWinnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman is determined to pursue his name game – renaming, removing and rewriting history. Among his targets is Bishop Grandin Boulevard – the mayor doesn’t like the late Bishop Vital-Justin Grandin’s attitudes. If Bowman succeeds, the next logical renaming would be St. Vital – also named after Grandin, who was an important…

Crime rises along with police budgets, yet cities are no safer

Toronto is a perfect example of a municipal system out of touch with effective policing. More money and new processes don't result in less crime

Crime rises along with police budgets, yet cities are no saferPolice services are once again hard at work preparing annual budget submissions for the next fiscal year. The cost of policing continues to mount year after year, and the justifications seem to repeat year to year as well. The budget for Canada’s largest municipal police force, the Toronto Police Service (TPS) now exceeds $1.2 billion,…

Winnipeg’s statue cleansing a distortion of history

The mayor is misreading the events of the Northwest Rebellion and romanticizing a nasty moment in our country’s history

Winnipeg’s statue cleansing a distortion of history“The red coats we know, but who are those little black devils?” This was the question posed by a Métis prisoner after the Battle of Fish Creek. Thus was born the nickname of the military unit that would later be known as the Royal Winnipeg Rifles, one that had been sent west to help crush…

Why won’t you clean up after your dog?

Clearly signs don’t work; video surveillance isn't effective; handing the culprit a bag only works if you witness the event; and enforcement is hit or miss

Why won’t you clean up after your dog?When my husband and I set out to find a new home in a new community, we were delighted to buy a wonderful acreage that backed onto a municipal trail head. It seemed perfect. Since I work from home, I’d be able to get a daily walk in without ever having to jump into the…

Municipalities, utilities on the front lines of extreme weather

Smart Energy Communities are not only more resilient, they also create new opportunities for local economic development, lower energy costs and a cleaner environment

Municipalities, utilities on the front lines of extreme weatherBy Aida Nciri and Eddie Oldfield QUEST Canadian municipalities and energy utilities are on the front lines of the impacts of climate change. A recent report by the Insurance Bureau of Canada highlights the financial costs of climate change, with insured damage for severe weather events reaching $1.3 billion in 2019. Of the top 10…

Epidemic of illegal firearms overwhelms Canadian cities

Corrections institutions are merely holding facilities with few effective rehabilitative programs. They must have programs for safe, effective reintegration

Epidemic of illegal firearms overwhelms Canadian citiesAn analysis by the CBC covering two decades of homicide statistics for Winnipeg reveals a major shift in the types of weapons used. It’s happening across the country. Winnipeg had 44 homicides in 2019, more than in any other previous 10-year period. Police seized 1,771 guns in 2018, up from 1,195 in 2017 and 825…

Municipalities must take the lead in getting the lead out

The astonishing levels of lead in Canada’s drinking water requires action. That means taking simple measures at the local level, aided by federal incentives

Municipalities must take the lead in getting the lead outBy Paz Gómez Research Associate Frontier Centre for Public Policy Canadians have been exposed to a silent health hazard for more than 40 years: high levels of lead in tap water. Although a clear case of municipal mismanagement, Toronto shows the issue can be handled at the local level with minimal federal oversight – given…

The Coronavirus – 1918 all over again?

We are no better prepared than we were for the great influenza pandemic of 1918

The Coronavirus – 1918 all over again?Clusters of a dozen or so deaths may get nonstop “if-it-bleeds-it-leads” press coverage. But the lack of preparedness for the really, really big threats may be met with virtual radio silence – until panic breaks out. The worst, possibly existential, threat is the stealthy, invisible one that multiplies exponentially –  in the accurate sense of…
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