Welcome to Briefing Notes, a curated sampling of trending policy issues, public leadership and best practices shaping our communities.


Paris Climate Agreement to take effect on November 4

More countries join agreement, paving way for full implementation of historic accord to address climate change. Read more

A "Top Ask" for ramping up low carbon communities

Justin Trudeau gives provinces until 2018 to adopt a national carbon price plan - one of our Top Asks! Read more / Read Top Asks for Climate Action

BC cities seek to end oily investments

At UBCM last week, the motion supporting a clean investment choice received robust support. The move reflects the global shift to clean energy investment, which is now larger than fossil fuel investment. Read more

How do child care costs compare in Canada?

Take a look at how day care and university tuition fees stack up in Canada... here's a hint: they're more than tuition! Read more

Confronting violence against indigenous women and girls

The "Moose Hide Campaign" brings hope to the dangerous plight of girls and women across Canada. Here's what David Suzuki and Faisal Moola have to say. Opinion

Higher Alberta minimum wage benefits workers and employers

The hike to Alberta's minimum wage over the weekend to $12.20, part of an incremental increase to $15 in 2018, has certainly unleashed plenty of unfounded furor. Read more

Vancouver to become first major city in Canada certified as living wage employer

"Becoming a certified Living Wage Employer sets Vancouver apart as a city that strives to ensure all families have the opportunity and economic security to thrive." Read news release

Getting ready for World Climate Week

From to 16 October 9-16, people from all over the world will come together for World Climate Week, build awareness about climate action through UN climate talk simulations. You can participate by running your own World Climate SimulationLearn more

What is the potential impact of TPP for local governments?

Canada and other Pacific countries struck a deal to create the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a free-trade area spanning the Pacific (the largest trade zone in the world). Here are two links related to how Canadian local governments could be affected: How to save trade from Itself / Implications of TPPA for local government


Download report in French and English

Once outsourced municipal services are coming back in house

Back in House Why local governments are bringing services home says that across Canada and around the world public services that were once outsourced are now finding their way back in-house to municipalities, mainly because using in-house services has a better price tag. Simply put: Privatizing services hasn’t delivered the benefits that were promised. Read report


"Opinion: Like London and Paris, Sooke BC Is Voting Privatization Out of Style," The Tyee, September 21, 2016
"Decades of outsourcing services raised, not cut, municipal costs," Metro News, September 20, 2016
"Winnipeg should consider benefits of in-house waste collection," rabble.ca, September 20, 2016
Wastewater operation takeover saving thousands, Sooke district staff says," Sooke News Mirror, September 16, 2016


On Tuesday, October 18, we will share highlights from “Our Future: Seniors, Socialization and Health.” The report, with input from eight seniors centres in Metro Vancouver, spotlights how municipalities are the frontline step in seniors health by offering a wide variety of programs that help keep seniors healthy and independent and delay/prevent seniors from requiring more costly health care services. The briefing will be held at at the South Granville Seniors` Centre, RSVP required.


High Ground 2017 (March 31 to April 1),
Coast Plaza Hotel, 1763 Comox Street, Vancouver BC


Tomorrow is World Day for Decent Work. On this occassion, SHARE, our Responsible Investment partner, just released “Valuing Decent Work: How do retail companies measure up?" The report reveals that Canadian retail companies do not provide the same level of transparency regarding their approaches to decent work as their global peers. Op-Ed  /  Read the report

The 2016 Green Jobs BC Conference will be held from November 24-25, 2016 at the Anvil Centre in New Westminster, BC. Now in its third edition, the conference will convene a diverse range of individuals and organizations from across the province around a shared vision for green jobs in the new economy. Registration is now open.


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. Our programs focus on Civic Governance, Leadership Initiatives, Responsible Investment, and Scholarship Administration. Registered in 2000, the Institute is a charitable organization. www.columbiainstitute.ca/ 

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