Welcome to the latest edition of our e-newsletter, Briefing Notes, a monthly compilation of news, articles and reports covering the most recent issues and trends shaping our communities.


CI to Hold Reception at UBCM with David Suzuki Foundation as Lead Sponsor

The Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) is happening in Vancouver next week and, on this occasion, the Columbia Institute is holding an evening networking reception with more than 100 guests. This year, we are happy to welcome the David Suzuki Foundation as a Lead Sponsor of the event. 

Mark your calendars with new date for Columbia Institute & Partners in the Home of Africa fundraiser  

The date of our joint fundraiser has been moved from Thursday, October 8 to Monday, November 30, 2015. All proceeds raised at the event will support the sustainable community development, education and leadership building projects in Canada and Ethiopia. Tickets: $75/person, $750 for table of 10.



Residential energy efficiency retrofit financing

Energy efficiency retrofits offer a fast and affordable way to cut GHG emissions, conserve energy and save consumers money on their utility bills. Money invested in retrofitting stays in the local economy and retrofit programs result in jobs and training opportunities. Learn more about the benefits of retrofit financing in our Backgrounder.



How Newcomer Canadian parents adjust to schools

As students across Canada return to school and parents resume their school routines, here is an interesting article about new parents adjusting to Canadian schools in Asian Pacific Post. Read more 

Ten Years after Katrina, New Orleans' all-charter school system has proven a failure

A recent study compared charter schools in Louisiana – mainly from the city of New Orleans – to Louisiana public schools ten years after Hurricane Katrina and found that the gap between charter and public school performance in Louisiana was the largest of any state in the country. Check out this 3-month investigation by In These Times. 


Municipal leaders across Canada respond to crisis facing Syria

At the recent Federation of Canadian Municipalities meeting in Fredericton, members unanimously passed an emergency recommendation to co-ordinate the efforts of cities and communities across the country to aid Syrian refugees. Read more

"Cities have become places of unparalleled ecological experiment"

With the proposed UN’s Sustainable Development Goals on the table for discussion at the UN General Assembly later this month, the Huffington Post explores how nature conservation and the environment intersect with urbanism. Read more

Low-carbon cities are a US$17 trillion opportunity worldwide

New research from the New Climate Economy finds that investing in public and low emission transport, building efficiency, and waste management in cities could generate savings with a current value of US$17 trillion by 2050. These low-carbon investments could also reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 3.7 Gt CO2e per year by 2030, more than the current annual emissions of India. Learn more about these new opportunities:

Canada’s affordable housing crisis

The Globe and Mail reported that one in five Canadian renters face an affordable housing crisis, spending more than half their income on shelter costs. Take a look at the study behind this data.

Global investors with more than $4.6 trillion in assets see opportunity in Alberta’s focus on better climate regulations

More than 120 concerned investors signed a letter to the Premier of Alberta encouraging the government’s push towards improved provincial carbon policies. The initiative was co-organized by CI’s Responsible Investment partner, SHARE (Shareholders Association for Research and Engagement), and NEI Investments. Read more


CI Executive Director, Charley Beresford, spoke to Burnaby Now about how Canada’s labour movement has joined environmental organizations to push for a greener economy through the organization Green Jobs B.C. Read the article


GreenJobs BC contributes to B.C.'s climate leadership plan

GreenJobs BC made a submission to the province's Climate Leadership Plan this week. All steering committee members signed on -- including Columbia Institute, Pembina Institute, BC Federation of Labour, David Suzuki Foundation, BC Government and Services Employee Union, Sierra Club,Unifor, Organizing for Change, COPE 378, and International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allie Workers Union - Local 118 -- making the case for Jobs AND the economy. Click here for BC's climate discussion paper.


10th Columbia Institute Reception at Union of BC Municipalities

September 22, 2015, 7:30 to 9:30 pm, YWCA, 535 Hornby Street, Vancouver

Fundraiser for Partners in the Horn of Africa and Columbia Institute

November 30, 2015, Ukrainian Orthodox Centre, 154 East 10th Ave, Vancouver

10th Centre for Civic Governance Forum

April 1-2, 2016, Harrison Hot Springs, B.C.


About the Columbia Institute

The Columbia Institute is a Vancouver-based, Canada-focused public policy think-tank with a mission to foster inclusive, sustainable communities. This work is rooted in our belief that communities who value social justice, the environment and local economy are healthier, happier places to live. Our programs focus on Civic Governance, Leadership Initiatives, Responsible Investment, and capacity building through scholarships. Registered in 2000, the Institute is a charitable organization. www.columbiainstitute.ca/ 

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