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Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on how Brad Wall is kicking Ontario while it’s down by demanding that it let stimulus funding leak out of a province which actually needs it – and how Saskatchewan and other provinces stand to suffer too if Wall helps the Cons impose similar restrictions across the country.

For further reading…- The Leader-Post reported on the Sask Party’s own rejection of the TILMA here, while Matthew Burrows noted Saskatchewan’s overall consensus not to pursue it here. – I posted here on the absence of any substantive differences between the TILMA which Wall rejected based on public (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: We Need To Do What These Guys Are Doing

“These guys” are the Brits.  What they’re doing is taking an inventory of their transportation infrastructure to assess its vulnerability to severe storm events caused by ‘early onset’ climate change.  The good news is that the Brits get it. They know climate change is real and that they’re going to have to adapt or else.  In other words, the Brits have concluded that infrastructure designed for Halocene conditions just can’t cut it in the Anthropocene.

Britain’s crumbling rail network is not built to “modern standards” and is at risk of a repeat of the severe disruption of last winter unless (Read more…) . . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: We Need To Do What These Guys Are Doing

Things Are Good: A Call to Think Bigger About Transit

The way we get around in North America is changing from a work-home orientation to a node based network with multiple destinations. At first cars were used to fulfil this but as traffic worsens we need to rethink how we all get around. The solution, of course, is to kick the addiction to owning cars.

This raises bigger questions about the role of TOD in shared transport networks. One of the reasons services like Uber and Lyft, not to mention autonomous cars, make some planners nervous is because they don’t have a fixed node associated with them. So how do (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Post-fight analysis: Round 1 to Jim Prentice as Wildrose comes out swinging over debt remark

Jim Prentice and Wildrose champion Rob Anderson square off in Round 1, as members of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce look on. Actual scenes from Alberta political discourse may not appear exactly as illustrated. Judge Dave gives Round 1 to Mr. Prentice. Below: The real Mr. Prentice and the real Mr. Anderson.

Well, it’s hard to know for sure, but I’d say the first open policy scrap between Jim Prentice, Progressive Conservative Premier Apparent of Alberta, and the Wildrose Opposition yesterday morning went to Mr. Prentice.

Leastways, by most accounts Mr. Prentice managed to sound like a grownup when he (Read more…)

PostArctica: Turcot “neighbourliness” Meeting on April 23 in Saint Henri

Info Citoyens

Comité de bon voisinage

Dans le but de faciliter les échanges avec les riverains des secteurs touchés par les travaux de Turcot, le ministère des Transports met en place un comité de bon voisinage. Ce dernier vise à maintenir un dialogue tout au long des travaux, aussi bien avec les résidents que les entreprises et les institutions touchés par le projet. Ces rencontres permettent de faire le point sur les travaux, d’aborder les préoccupations de chacun et de travailler à mettre en place des solutions communes.

Une rencontre d’information qui s’est tenue le 11 février 2014 a permis d’en apprendre davantage sur ce comité et de faire (Read more…)

PostArctica: Turcot “neighbourliness” Meeting on April 23 in Saint Henri

Info Citoyens

Comité de bon voisinage

Dans le but de faciliter les échanges avec les riverains des secteurs touchés par les travaux de Turcot, le ministère des Transports met en place un comité de bon voisinage. Ce dernier vise à maintenir un dialogue tout au long des travaux, aussi bien avec les résidents que les entreprises et les institutions touchés par le projet. Ces rencontres permettent de faire le point sur les travaux, d’aborder les préoccupations de chacun et de travailler à mettre en place des solutions communes.

Une rencontre d’information qui s’est tenue le 11 février 2014 a permis d’en apprendre davantage sur ce comité et de faire (Read more…)

PostArctica: How Climate Change Will Kill Us in the Dumbest Possible Way

Couldn’t agree more, stupid is our our story to the end…

AKIRA WATTS FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

When we’re not actively engaged in killing each other, watching TV, or occupied in other such entertaining diversions, one of humanity’s favorite hobbies is imagining that we live in the end times, with extinction lurking around every corner. I’ve never been a huge fan of this sort of thing. I tend to hold that, as Copernicus explained, we don’t occupy a privileged position at the center of the universe, nor do we occupy a privileged position in time, either at the beginning or (Read more…)

PostArctica: How Climate Change Will Kill Us in the Dumbest Possible Way

Couldn’t agree more, stupid is our our story to the end…

AKIRA WATTS FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

When we’re not actively engaged in killing each other, watching TV, or occupied in other such entertaining diversions, one of humanity’s favorite hobbies is imagining that we live in the end times, with extinction lurking around every corner. I’ve never been a huge fan of this sort of thing. I tend to hold that, as Copernicus explained, we don’t occupy a privileged position at the center of the universe, nor do we occupy a privileged position in time, either at the beginning or (Read more…)

The Progressive Right: Policy Proposal 36 – Sustainable Infrastructure Investments ( #lib14 #lpc #cdnpoli #NoPickeringAirport )

There are a great number of prioritized policies up for debate at the 2014 Liberal Biennial Convention in Montreal. To go into each one, would need a month’s worth of blog posts.

Readers of my blog will know that I have long advocated against the development of a new international airport in the City of Pickering. Unfortunately, the policy proposal I authored to Protect the Pickering Lands and subsequently prioritized by Central Region did not make it to the biennial.

The proposal to build an airport is irresponsible. In the absence of a business case, it represents a dangerously reckless (Read more…)

Things Are Good: More Evidence That Streetcars and Light Rail Improve North American Cities

In Toronto there is a crack smoking mayor who believes that streetcars and light rail are an urban blight. The evidence that rail-based transit is an economic boom to cities in North America continues to grow and more cities on the continent are benefiting from political decision (not made while smoking crack). It’s nice to see rail transit making a resurgence in cities that have invested billions into inefficient auto infrastructure.

Within prime walking distance from streetcar stops, commercial permits in neighborhood areas got roughly 20% more frequent for every 100’ closer to stops. Crucially, distance to streetcar stops was (Read more…)

the reeves report: Ontario to roll out Green Bonds in 2014

GO workers wait ahead of announcement from Ontario government about green bonds (Oct. 30, 2013)

Ontario made a small splash in the financial world at the end of October when Premier Kathleen Wynne and two top cabinet ministers announced the province was set to become the first Canadian jurisdiction to issue “green bonds,” a debt tool for governments to raise money solely to fund environmentally friendly initiatives.

“These bonds will help attract institutional investors, and they will be competitively priced based on what the market bears,” said Finance Minister Charles Sousa at the announcement.

Craig Alexander, senior vice president (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Andrew Jackson writes that Canada needs far more investment in infrastructure – rather than the austerity that’s constantly being prescribed by the Cons: The fiscal policy choice we face is often miscast as one between austerity to deal with public debt and short-term Keynesian-style stimulus. But the real choice, Mr. Summers argues, is whether or not to finance public investments that would have positive long-term impacts on both the economy and on public finances.

Take the case for repairing or replacing Canada’s crumbling basic municipal infrastructure, some 30 per cent of which is (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Changing Car-Based Infrastructure for Walkable Communities

The suburbs are designed for cars as opposed to people and this is a problem that has surprising side effects from personal health issues to an increase in violent deaths. So how do we modify the suburbs to stop these side effects? In this TED talk, Jeff Speck explores what can be done.

How do we solve the problem of the suburbs? Urbanist Jeff Speck shows how we can free ourselves from dependence on the car — which he calls “a gas-belching, time-wasting, life-threatening prosthetic device” — by making our cities more walkable and more pleasant for more people.

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on how P3 structures create a divergence of interest between short-sighted governments and the general public – and a few policy fixes to ensure we don’t lose value or accountability as a result of politically-motivated choices to use them.

For further reading…- The Saskatchewan NDP introduced its P3 accountability legislation (PDF) here.- And Murray Mandryk has some questions of his own about the Saskatchewan Party’s reluctance to subject P3s to any oversight or accountability.

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Thomas Walkom notes that the Harper Cons’ latest EI cuts look to amplify the pain of unemployment in Ontario while serving the broader purpose of forcing workers to conclude their federal government doesn’t care if they go hungry: The great irony is that these days hardly any jobless qualify for EI to begin with.

Latest figures from Statistics Canada show that only 37.6 per cent of unemployed Canadians qualified for employment insurance in August.

In part, that’s because the nature of work is changing. More people have the kind of jobs (such (Read more…)

Things Are Good: The Types of Cyclist Change Thanks to Bike Sharing

Bixi is a bike sharing program that started in Montreal but the concept exists in cities around the world. In Montreal where there are more bicycle commuters every year,researchers at McGill University surveyed cyclists before and after Bixi began. They were able to identify the types of cyclists that ride and their commitment to commuting via bicycle.

The study found that cycling demographics are changing rapidly. In a 2008 Montreal study, conducted before Bixi and the growth of bike paths, 65 percent were men and 35 percent women. But in 2013, the study included 60 percent men and 40 percent (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On consistent rules

Bill Curry reports that many Canadian municipalities are wondering why Rob Ford has access to funding streams not available to anybody else: Ottawa’s $660-million gift to Toronto for a subway extension will come from a program that does not yet exist, leaving Canada’s other cities confused as to how they can get in on the action.

Mayors and municipal officials scrambled this week to understand the broader implications of Finance Minister Jim Flaherty’s surprise announcement on Monday that Ottawa would help finance a subway extension in the Toronto suburb of Scarborough.

Now, the broader implications seem to me to be (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Toronto Condo Developers Want More Bike Sharing, Less Focus on Cars

Despite repeated efforts by Toronto’s mayor to make transportation in the city worse, things are improving. Local condo developers are finding ways to build condo towers that don’t require more parking than the building needs (an archaic law in the city wants room for two cars for every bedroom built). They are using the cash saved from not building room for cars to build infrastructure for bicycles – which the condo buyers are asking for.

Other cities around the world already do this and it’s thanks to the effort of the developers and councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam that Toronto benefits from (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Green Roofs Assist in Flood Prevention

Yesterday Toronto got more rain in two hours than it normally does in a month which meant some serious flooding happened. This got me thinking of a program that Toronto (alleged crackhead) Mayor (busted for DUI) Rob (loves pollution) Ford (reads while driving) cancelled. The cancelled program promoted green roofs to help with flood control while lessening wear on existing infrastructure.

So the ineptitude of the current Toronto mayor got me thinking of how things could have been different with forethought of climate change. It’s worth noting that Rob Ford spent the (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Chicago Wants to be a World Class Bicycle City

Chicago politicians understand that people in their city commute sustainably via bicycles and that this is a great component to their transit planning. What’s more is that by building proper infrastructure for cyclists they can draw people to the city and show the world what the future looks like – again. Over at Roads Were Not Built For Cars they provide a very interesting historical perspective on the bicycle in Chicago and how it relates to cities today.

“Bicycling is an integral part of Chicago’s transportation system. Every day, thousands of people bike on our streets, whether it is to (Read more…)

Walking Turcot Yards: Transport Quebec warns motorists: stay away from Turcot Interchange this weekend

It was built below specs and has been poorly maintained. Saving on maintenance costs in the first 3 decades created full time maintenance contracts that has cost, and will cost taxpayer’s, over 100′s of million of dollars to maintain a structure that is scheduled to be torn down. Somebody has done alright with that. But not you and me.

By Billy Shields Global News

MONTREAL – Transport Quebec announced a series of closures this weekend as it ramps up badly needed work on the Turcot Interchange.

Starting at 10 p.m. Friday until 5 a.m. Monday, the (Read more…)

Walking Turcot Yards: Goverment Talking Corruption Free Turcot

To say I am behind the times on Turcot would be an understatement. Seems I have drifted into focusing a lot of my online attention into relaying the ongoing tragedy that is our federal government under Stephen Harper via Facebook and occasionally Twitter in recent years. Of course it is all interconnected when you follow the dots.

A non corrupt Turcot? It sure is an interesting concept, pretty much a fantasy actually. But all of us in Quebec owe the Charbonneau Commission a big tip ‘o the hat for showing us how corrupt the City of Montreal has been.

. . . → Read More: Walking Turcot Yards: Goverment Talking Corruption Free Turcot

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Michael Harris takes aim at Stephen Harper’s thugocracy: There is little that Stephen Harper has done that other prime ministers before him have not. But no one has used closure, time allocation, committee secrecy or omnibus legislation to a degree that renders Parliament itself irrelevant.

And he has done some other things that no prime minister ever has. He is the only one to have been found in contempt of Parliament. And has any federal government ever tabled a budget without also tabling the Planning and Priorities report? If the government’s spending details

. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Paul Krugman discusses how a myopic focus on slashing taxes and services figures to cheat future generations out of desperately-needed social structure: You don’t have to be a civil engineer to realize that America needs more and better infrastructure, but the latest “report card” from the American Society of Civil Engineers — with its tally of deficient dams, bridges, and more, and its overall grade of D+ — still makes startling and depressing reading. And right now — with vast numbers of unemployed construction workers and vast amounts of cash sitting . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

calgaryliberal.com: Alberta Liberal and Federal Liberal Cooperation? Lets Go.

I was talking to one of my friends around the the university the other day and I brought up Raj Sherman’s interview in the Calgary Herald on some form of cooperation between the two Liberal parties in Alberta. It was an off-hand comment and I didn’t really expect a conversation to come of it. He [...]