SELECTED ICURR AND MUNISCOPE RESEARCH
Muniscope’s research service is staffed by experienced and knowledgeable researchers and produces custom reports on demand. Selected reports are available below in PDF format and abstracts can be viewed for most reports. Please contact the Research Coordinator if you would like to request a version of an existing report or commission a custom research report.
• Communications and Technology
• Economic Development
• Finance and Taxation
• Local Democracy
• Planning and Development
Communications and Technology
• Public Consultation Using the Internet
A briefing note on best practices from 15 Canadian and 9 American municipalities.
• Provincial Initiatives Aimed at High-Growth Municipalities
The frameworks that have been developed to support high growth municipalities differ greatly between the provinces, especially if you compare the growth frameworks for Central and Western Canada to those of the Atlantic Provinces. Rather than focusing on managing growth, the Atlantic Provinces must shift their focus to attracting growth and retaining their current population, this is because most of Atlantic Canada has been facing population decline during the last several years.
The generally accepted definition for growth across all jurisdictions is that it is an increase in the population; however, some provinces have developed a more finely tuned definition to suite their growth frameworks. For instance, Manitoba ties population growth together with different types of land uses; New Brunswick defines immigration as their primary measure of growth; and Alberta, Newfoundland, and PEI all define growth as an increase in the population as well as the economy. However, some provinces, such as British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Québec, and Nova Scotia do not define growth at all.
The frameworks that have been developed use policy and planning tools as opposed to funding/grant mechanisms to support high growth municipalities; this is true for every province apart from Saskatchewan. Under Saskatchewan's Planning and Development Act municipalities are allowed to prepare growth management strategies; however, Saskatchewan's highest growth regions, Regina and Saskatoon, are primarily supported through Urban Development Agreements that channel funding to the municipalities under a federal-provincial-municipal funding agreement. That is not to say that other provinces don't support high growth regions through funding. British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, New Brunswick, and PEI all make some level of funding available to help support their growth frameworks.
British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island all have growth frameworks that can be applied to any high growth municipality within the province. Under their municipal acts, British Columbia and Saskatchewan municipalities are allowed to develop their own growth strategies. While Alberta, New Brunswick and PEI have developed province-wide frameworks with growth initiatives.
Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland all have frameworks that are custom-made to a particular high growth region. In addition to their provide-wide growth framework, Alberta's Capital Region and the Calgary Region are in the process of implementing region-wide growth strategies. Manitoba and Nova Scotia have developed special legislation for their capital regions, giving their capital regions special powers and provisions to plan growth. Newfoundland has developed a strategic plan for Labrador, because the province recognizes the unique growth challenges that Labrador faces. Ontario is home to the fastest growing region in Canada, the Greater Golden Horseshoe, the province has developed a number of linked strategies that specially address growth within each upper, lower, and single-tier municipality within the region.
To help support municipal growth, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland have all established provincial Growth Secretariat's; through their Growth Secretariat's strategies and initiatives have been developed to bring growth back to the province.
Québec is the sole province that does not have any high growth framework or funding programs for high growth municipalities. Both Communautés métropolitaines (metropolitan planning agencies in the Québec city and Montréal regions) have a regional planning and development mandate. However, neither has produced a regional plan yet and their regional planning mandate is now under review.
• Effects of Trade Agreements on Municipalities
The report look at the impacts of the Canada-U.S. Softwood Lumber Agreement, the GATS, the NAFTAs, and interprovincial trade agreements and their effects on viability of Canadian municipalities and primary industry communities.
• Federal Climate Change Initiatives
A summary report of the various federal climate change initiatives.
• Municipal Management of Watershed and Sensitive Areas
A briefing note on provincial policies regarding development near the watershed or in environmentally sensitive areas. Both provincial and municipal policies are described.
Finance and Taxation
• Federal, Provincial and Territorial Grants and Loans to Municipalities
An analytical matrix by province of grants and loans which serve objectives similar to the Green Municipal Fund (energy, solid waste, sustainable planning, sustainable transportation, water and brownfields redevelopment.
• Equalization Scheme Formulas
Municipal equalization schemes - designed to help correct the imbalance created by differences in the tax base of municipalities - are found in half of the Canadian provinces and territories. British Columbia, Ontario, Québec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nunavut all offer grants and funding programs to their small and medium sized municipalities to help fix this imbalance. These grants are intended to help pay for operating and service costs.
Formulas used to distribute funding to municipalities differ greatly between provinces. For instance, the formula used by British Columbia is based on three different components, but funding is mostly determined by the size of the population. Nunavut's formula is also based on three different components; however funding is largely based on the community's ability to raise revenue.
Ontario and Prince Edward Island use similar formulas which consider the municipal assessment base relative to a provincial average. Generally, the formula measures the average assessment value per household in the municipality against the provincial average; municipalities whose average assessment falls under the provincial average qualify to receive funding. The amount of funding municipalities are eligible to receive is then based on how far away their assessment average falls from the provincial average.
Similar to Ontario and PEI, Québec's formula also measures a municipality's tax base against a standard tax base. However, the province uses a weigthing factor and increases the aid to some municipalities located in the 20 poorer regional municipalities.
Finally, New Brunswick's formula is based on the expenditure base of their local service districts as well as their fiscal capacity. The fiscal capacity of each municipality is calculated by the province.
• Municipal Property Tax
A detailed review of the property tax across Canada in tabular format identifying assessment types, classes and rates, provincial oversight, purposes for which the tax may be used, etc.
• Provincial Grants in Lieu of Taxes (Full Report)
A comprehensive report detailing the various provincial and territorial approaches to grants in lieu of taxes, including a table of amounts paid by province as well as relevant legislative excerpts.
• Destination Marketing Fees and Hotel Taxes
A brief report on the policies in place in six Canadian provinces.
• Property Tax Relief for Seniors
A national scan of provincial and municipal programs offering property tax relief to seniors. Includes a table of municipal programs in Ontario and excerpts of relevant legislation.
• Ground Ambulance and Highway Rescue Services
A national summary of the various ambulance and highway rescue services across Canada. Includes a comparison table for each, as well as responses to questions about authority, service delivery and funding.
• Accessory Apartment Regulations in Census Metropolitan Areas in Canada (Full Report)
Identifies and documents zoning provisions for accessory apartments in municipalities within the 6 proposed and the 27 existing census metropolitan areas in Canada, covering permitted uses and regulatory criteria. For the purpose of the study, accessory apartments are defined as a self-contained dwelling that is accessory in use to the principal dwelling, which can be located either within the primary dwelling or in an accessory building on the same lot.
• Homelessness: Towards a Strategy for Nunavut
This report was produced in support of a new homelessness strategy for Nunavut and includes a description of distinguishing characteristics of the territory in the context of housing and homelessness, a survey of provincial legislation relating to the provision of public housing, several selected homelessness strategies and an annotated bibliography. The report concludes that "Housing First" is the approach to homelessness being adopted at the community level by most jurisdictions, but that the unique nature of homelessness in Canada's North will dictate modifications to that model.
• Municipal Measures Aimed at Creating Affordable Housing
A comprehensive report on the various mechanisms available to municipalities to create affordable housing including inclusionary zoning, bonusing, waiver or deferral of impact fees, fast-track permitting and alternative development standards. Various Canadian examples are presented.
• Affordable Infill Housing Initiatives
Details are reported on the few Canadian examples of infill housing programs as identified in Regina and Nipawin, Saskatchewan and Winnipeg, Manitoba.
• Ranking Tools for Infrastructure Projects
For the most part, infrastructure programs have a pre-determined envelope from which they can fund municipal projects. However, municipal needs and demand for infrastructure funding is often greater than the available resources. In order to assure an optimal allocation of resources, provincial and federal governments have implemented tools that allow them to rank municipal applications and projects and to make sure that the funding is allocated according the provincial priorities. This overview presents how each jurisdiction deals with this issue and what kind of tools they use to evaluate municipal applications when funding is limited.
British Columbia and Alberta have the highest number of provincial infrastructure programs available within Canada. The programs offered by British Columbia and Alberta are most often directed towards specific types of infrastructure, whereas programs available in other provinces can be applied to a broader range of infrastructure projects. Additionally, the programs offered by British Columbia and Alberta require projects to meet more criteria to qualify for funding; this can probably be attributed to the narrow scope of infrastructure categories available for funding.
Interestingly, not all provinces use formal criteria to rank programs. Nova Scotia, for example, does not have a formal ranking tool and Québec does not have one for all programs. Among provinces that use their own tool to evaluate and rank infrastructure project applications, the most common method is through an application based process where applications are measured against predetermined criteria. Saskatchewan's Infrastructure Growth Initiative and PEI's Building Canada Fund 'Community Component (BCF-CC) are two examples of programs that assign points to specific criteria, and then use the points to determine project ranking (see appendix). However, in some cases, projects are ranked by an oversight committee that evaluate each project proposal and the oversight committee usually recommends projects for funding.
In terms of the federal BCF- CC, most provinces require projects to meet the same general criteria; although some provinces, such as BC and PEI, have negotiated a different process for evaluating and ranking projects. However the BCF-CC requires that every project falls within a specific project category, regardless of province. Manitoba, PEI, and New Brunswick are the only provinces that only offer federal infrastructure programs, and some provinces have yet to finalize their agreement with Canada on the BCF-CC.
• Municipal Infrastructure Funding
A detailed study of municipal infrastructure funding with an overview of mechanisms including full cost recovery, property tax, fee for service and other models. The focus of this report is primarily on sewer and water-related infrastructure. International examples are reviewed and the Canadian situation is examined in depth. Includes multiple tables and a bibliography.
• Electronic Voting Practices in Canada
A summary report including a literature review, rationales for implementing e-voting, legislative excerpts and selected metrics.
• First Nations Local Government Participation
• Local Government Campaign Finance
A national scan in tabular format showing rules of disclosure, expense and contribution limits, public financing and enforcement in municipal elections.
• Local Government Delegation Powers
A brief report on legislation establishing municipal councils authority to delegate.
• Appealing a Zoning Amendment: Citizen Recourse
A review of pertinent legislation across Canada.
• Intra-municipal dispute resolutions mechanisms
Most dispute resolution programs deal only with intermunicipal disputes such as boundary issues, conflicts regarding annexation and amalgamation, disputes over shared services and facilities, etc. However, it appears that programs designed to mediate disputes among local elected officials or between council members and the municipal staff are uncommon in Canada.
The only comprehensive provincial program to address intra-municipal disputes is the award-winning Local Dispute Resolution Initiative from Alberta. This program addresses almost all types of conflicts involving municipalities and provides mediation services and grants to municipalities to help them integrate conflict resolution procedures in their daily operations. Saskatchewan also offers two options to municipalities: the Dispute Resolution Office and the Municipal Advisor. The former is a mediation service that is not specifically designed for municipalities, but is available to them. The Municipal Advisor provides support and consulting services to municipalities on various matters, including conflict resolution.
Some provinces like British Columbia and Newfoundland and Labrador do not have specific programs, but can help local municipalities deal with conflicts. The BC Local Government Division responsible for intermunicipal conflict resolution may provide help to municipalities for other types of disputes. In Newfoundland, the Minister may intervene in the process, if he is asked to do so, to help solve a conflict within a municipality.
That being said, it appears that ministries and municipal associations prefer to educate local elected officials and don't have any specific programs for internal conflict resolutions. Some forms of dispute resolution training or courses are available to local elected officials in provinces such as Saskatchewan, Québec and Alberta.
• Municipal Annexation Process in Canadian Provinces
Annexation is one type of municipal restructuring. Its use varies by jurisdiction, but annexation remains overall, less frequently used than amalgamations. Unlike amalgamations, provincial governments tend not to provide incentives for annexation. Since one of the objectives of some provincial governments is to reduce the number of local municipalities, some provinces are providing grants to encourage municipalities to merge. Annexation, as defined by most provinces, does not result in a reduction of the local municipalities. The process is more one of redefinition of municipal boundaries.
For that reason, annexations are not encouraged by provincial governments, except in New Brunswick. However, some provincial governments such as Alberta and Québec, have standard practices when it comes to cases where a municipality annexes an area from another local municipality. They include standardized compensation in terms of tax revenues and, in Alberta, for infrastructure expenditures and bonds related to roads or bridges that are being transferred to the annexing municipality. Alberta's provincial government also provides grants to municipalities to help them pay for the cost of mediation.
The process leading to annexation is quite similar across the country. It usually starts with a resolution from the annexing municipalities and application to the Minister. In Québec, residents from the area to be annexed are asked to vote.
Conflicts are likely to occur in annexation initiatives. Most provincial acts contain comprehensive provisions with respect to intermunicipal conflicts resulting from annexations. Bottom-up approaches where municipalities are asked to negotiate an agreement (with or without the help of a mediator) seem to be the norm. Some provinces, such as Québec, Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario, have specific conflict resolution processes with respect to municipal annexation and all of them involve some form of public consultation and public hearings. In provinces with review or appeal boards (Ontario, Alberta, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia), they are also instrumental in achieving conflict resolution.
Municipal review or appeal boards usually only carry out public hearings and provide recommendations on a possible solution to the conflict. However, in Nova Scotia, the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board makes the final decision. Elsewhere, the Cabinet is usually the one making the final decision on the recommendation of the Minister responsible for Local Governments, while in Québec, the final decision belongs to the Minister.
• Municipal Boards in Canada
Only five provinces have put in place a municipal board: Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Québec. However, Prince-Edward Island and Nova Scotia have provincial bodies with wide mandates which include functions typically overseen by municipal boards elsewhere in Canada.
As for the three remaining provinces: in BC municipal board-like responsibilities are shared by at least three different structures. In New Brunswick there is a provincial assessment appeal board and a finance corporation, but there is no dispute resolution and mediation mechanism. Finally in Newfoundland, there is no dispute resolution and planning appeals mechanism, instead disputes are heard by regional appeal boards. However, all municipalities' long-term and short-term borrowing for capital investments are made through a single finance authority.
With respect to their mandate, there are substantial differences among the five province-wide municipal boards. For example, the Ontario Municipal Board and the Commission municipale du Québec do not review property assessments, and Alberta's Municipal Government Board does not deal with financing.
Among the five municipal boards, all of them have the status of administrative or quasi-judicial tribunals, but some municipal boards undertake wider range of local government-related functions. For example, Alberta's Municipal Government Board is responsible for conflict resolution for management authorities. The Manitoba Municipal Board may cancel or modify any building restriction affecting lands. The Ontario Municipal Board hears applications and appeals in land compensation matters. Created in 1932, Canada's oldest municipal board, the Commission municipale du Québec has the wider range of local government-related matters including, the power to take over municipal councils and replace local elected officials. Finally, the Prince Edward Island Regulatory Appeals Commission and the Nova Scotia Review board have regulatory powers with respect to public utilities.
• Municipal Reporting Requirements
A survey of provincial/territotrial statutory requirements for financial approvals / financial reporting to the Province, as well as information about how PTs manage, administer and enforce these requirements.
• New Town Legislation in Canada
Every province within Canada has developed in legislation a process to incorporate new municipalities with the procedure differing across the country. Some jurisdictions have developed legislation specifically for new municipalities, while others have one process that they use for all types of municipal restructuring, including incorporation, dissolution, annexation, and amalgamation.
Generally, every province requires an application to the appropriate authority, a study to be undertaken and a decision by the provincial government. However, the differences between provinces are found in who is allowed to submit an application for incorporation, who the approval authority is, and what needs to be submitted to the approval authority before a decision is made.
Every province has different rules in terms of who can submit an application for incorporation. British Columbia and Newfoundland only allow applications from the Minister; Saskatchewan, Québec, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island only allow applications to come from either the council of the municipality or from the residents of the municipality. Manitoba, Ontario, and New Brunswick allow applications from both the Minister and the council of a municipality.
In most cases, the Minister or the Cabinet is the approval authority for new municipalities. The only province where the Minister is not the approval authority is Nova Scotia, where the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board is the approval authority. In Saskatchewan, the Minister is the approval authority when there are no disputes with the application; if a dispute arises, the Saskatchewan Municipal Board takes over the process and becomes the approval authority. In Ontario, the Minister is the approval authority for upper and lower-tier municipalities. However, the Ontario Municipal Board is the approval authority for single-tier municipalities. In Manitoba, the Minister is the approval authority, but the recommendation for incorporation must come from the Manitoba Municipal Board.
In most provinces, the Minister or municipality is responsible for submitting an application to the approval authority along with a study on the proposed incorporation. Public consultation is usually an important component in the new town process. British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Québec, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland all require some kind of consultation with the public.
The process of changing the status of a municipality is different from incorporation within every province. Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland do not have any provisions in their legislation that deal with changing the status of a municipality. In British Columbia, Ontario, and New Brunswick, the status of a municipality is based on criteria that reflects either population, services provided or the structure of the municipality. Prince Edward Island is the only province where a municipality can simply submit an application to the Minister to have the status of a municipality changed.
• Governance Models for Certain Amalgamated Municipalities
Few provinces have in place specific provisions in their legislation that allows for special governance mechanisms for municipalities that are a result of an amalgamation of rural and urban municipalities. In fact, only Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario's legislation have such provisions. The Alberta's Municipal Government Act gives the province the flexibility to create 'specialized municipalities' with governance arrangements tailored to respond to the needs of the residents of the new municipality. At this time, Alberta counts 5 specialized municipalities that all have different characteristics.
Manitoba's Municipal Act contains transitional provisions which allow for restructuring to be tailored to specific circumstances. For example, newly amalgamated municipalities may levy a wider range of tax rates than other municipalities and can have a larger municipal council than allowed.
Ontario also has similar provisions in their Municipal Act, The only difference between this and Manitoba is that they are not meant to be temporary. The broad powers allowed to municipalities include the possibility for municipalities to fix the number of councillors they want (minimum of five members).
Finally, Québec does not have specific provisions in legislation, but the government has negotiated several custom arrangements with amalgamated municipalities over the years to best suit their needs. One of them is the creation of boroughs within large cities amalgamated in 2000-2001, as well as few small municipalities. The rational behind the creation of boroughs was to keep certain responsibilities and services under the control of former municipalities that were amalgamated against their will. For smaller municipalities, some English boroughs were created in place of former English speaking municipalities that were amalgamated with other municipalities. The Québec government also introduced the concept of agglomeration councils after the 2003 de-merger of several local municipalities that were forced to amalgamate under the previous government. An agglomeration council is a local instance composed of local elected officials from all member municipalities. It oversees certain 'agglomeration services and functions' that represent approximately 60% of municipal budgets. Up to now, agglomeration councils are highly contested and function poorly.
• Heads of Council—Special Powers
In Canada there are usually at least one or more pieces of legislation outlining the powers given to a municipal council and head of council in each province or territory. The purpose of this report was to determine if there are any special powers that are given specifically to the head of council of a municipality that are different from those given to councillors. The chief elected official is most often known as the mayor but may also be described as head of council, reeve, chair of regional board (as in BC) or chief executive officer.
For the most part, the powers given to the head of council that are different from those of the councillors are very similar across the country. For example, in most provinces and territories, mayors are given explicit powers to call for special meetings, and all of them were expected to be presiding over council meetings unless absent or explicitly excused due to such issues such as a conflict of interest. Another power granted to the head of council in most provinces and territories is the power to set up standing committees and the power to remove a person from a meeting due to misconduct. Also, it was observed that often it was not powers that were different, but duties or responsibilities that were required of the head of council. In many cases the mayor was required to perform a function rather than having the option of doing it, such as in the case of presiding over meetings, and providing leadership to council.
In each province and territory the special powers, duties or responsibilities were described as outlined in the respective legislation.
• Multiple Restructuring
Unlike in United States and most OECD countries, provincial governments in Canada have the authority to modify, merge, create and annex local governments, almost at will. Between 1995 and 2001, major municipal mergers happened within some of the country's largest metropolitan areas, considerably modifying the municipal landscape of Montréal, Toronto, Ottawa and Halifax. However, some of these recent examples have shown that doing so without the support of local population can be a perilous adventure for any government.
Every province has legislation pertaining to municipal restructuring. However, few currently have specific pieces of legislation or provisions pertaining to multiple or province-wide restructuring, except for incentive measures for voluntary mergers or amalgamations. Our review shows that provincial governments tend to enact legislation whose only purpose is to provide modus operandi for multiple restructuring. Once they are over, the legislation is repealed. That is what Ontario and Québec did in the most recent multiple restructuring reforms. In both cases, these pieces of legislation followed long consultation and elaboration processes.
In terms of international examples, the most relevant, although dated, example is probably Japan. Twice over the last 150 years, Japan has opted to proceed with massive municipal amalgamations that led to a significant decentralization of responsibilities. In the United States, amalgamations are fairly rare since state legislatures can't impose restructuring upon local governments. However, there have been over 30 cases of city-county consolidation involving several local governments where local communities voted in favour of restructuring through plebiscites.
• Signage Bylaws in Canada and the U.S.
A survey of selected bylaws and relevant jurisprudence relating to signage bylaws restricting commercial signage.
• Municipal Conflict of Interest (in French)
A table outlining practices and legislation relating to conflict of interest at municipal council.
• Municipal Business Practices
A national summary of legislation governing municipal council procedure.
• Municipal Contracts with Not-for-Profit Organizations
The result of a survey of provinces on their policies, procedures and legislation governing municipalities contracting with not-for-profit organizations.
• Training for Municipal Officials
A broad overview of the various training and professional development initiatives in place in Canada for both elected municipal officials and senior local government officials.
• Private Encroachment on Municipal Property
A survey of policies and regulations relating to encroachment. An overview is presented followed by a description of different practices in twenty Canadian municipalities.
• Senior Staff Attraction and Retention Measures in Small Rural Municipalities (Full Report)
The paper looks at senior staff attraction and retention measures that are applicable to rural municipalities. It presents the results of a survey of municipal associations, interviews with government officials, and a literature review. The report also includes innovative measures from larger municipalities that may be relevant to smaller rural municipalities.
Planning and Development
• Green Belts
The briefing note compares the characteristics, management practices and outcomes of various greenbelt initiatives including Ontario (Toronto and Ottawa), British Columbia (ALR), the United States (Portland, Miami-Dade, Virginia Beach) and Europe (U.K. and Holland). A survey of selected bylaws and relevant jurisprudence relating to signage bylaws restricting commercial signage.
• Growth Projection Tools
An overview of various tools used by PT ministries and municipalities. Includes descriptions of some of the new software available, as well as the more conventional approaches recently used by Ottawa, Regina, Metro Vancouver, Halifax and Ontarios Greater Golden Horseshoe which rely on demographic, employment and housing data, for example.
• Regional Planning Tools in Selected Metropolitan Areas
The briefing note compares planning, fiscal tools and relevant legislation in Vancouver, Toronto, Portland and Minneapolis-St. Paul, London, Paris and Hanover.
• Incentives for and Enforcement of Regional Plans in Canada, the U.S. and Europe
A briefing note on the mechanisms in place in Ontario, British Columbia, the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany to promote the implementation of regional plans.
• Bibliography on Rescaling and Regional Cooperation (Full Report)
This is a bibliography that covers the topics of rescaling, municipal restructuring, regional governance, regional revenue and tax sharing mechanisms and regional co-operation among local governments in Canada. The report includes documents taken in large part from
the Muniscope library and includes documentation produced by municipalities,
provincial governments, think tanks as well as academic experts.
• Triple Bottom Line
The implementation of triple bottom line reporting in local governments varies from municipality to municipality. In general, most of the provincial and other upper level governments have some kind of sustainability statements, strategies, policies or even legislation, but none have the actual concept of triple bottom line reporting as a requirement in regulations. Many policies are similar to the triple bottom line concept in that they require the consideration of the environment, the economy as well as society to be taken into account when planning and making decisions on development. In Canada, the best examples of the implementation of triple bottom line at the municipal level can be seen in British Columbia examples, most notably in Victoria with the Dockside Green Development as well as in Calgary and Hamilton.
Triple bottom line reporting is still in its early stages in that there is no defined way of applying the concept; each municipality tailors it to their needs and so it is difficult to determine whether it is a successful concept and one that more municipalities should consider. The monitoring requirements are also something to be taken into account as not only is this a new way of reporting, but it is also more time consuming and requires more effort and resources. The reporting is also not a onetime event. It needs to be done on an ongoing basis and compared to previous reports to determine the progress and success of the initiative. Finally, having dedicated staff is also important, as senior level management seem to be the driving force behind the successful implementation of triple bottom line reporting.
• Commuting Patterns in Selected Canadian Cities
A statistical analysis of commuting patterns in Toronto, Montréal, Vancouver, Ottawa-Gatineau, Calgary, Edmonton, Québec City, Winnipeg and Hamilton, including means of transportation, distance travelled and commute time with detailed charts and graphs for local municipalities in the Québec City area.
• An Overview of Selected Canadian Transit Strategies
Across Canada only two provinces have prepared strategies on public transportation: Ontario and Québec. Ontario does not have a single public transit strategy, rather they discuss transit and land use policy within several different provincial plans. Québec is the only province that has prepared a strategy that sets province-wide goals and targets for public transit; however, their strategy does not include any land use policies. It is important to note that even though other provinces do not have provincial transit strategies, it does not mean that they don't plan for public transportation at all. For example, transit orientations might be included in broader and more general transportation strategies. Unfortunately, our research didn't allow us to verify that hypothesis.
There are six regional strategies that are comparable to the Halifax-Dartmouth commutershed: London, ON; Waterloo, ON; Windsor, ON; Winnipeg, MN; Saskatoon, SK; and Victoria, BC. All of these strategies have the common goal of trying to increase public transit usage within the region. London, Windsor, and Saskatoon set quantifiable goals and targets to be achieved within the timeframe of the plan. In comparison, Waterloo, Winnipeg and Victoria's strategies create flexible objectives to be achieved. Other regional systems, i.e. Brampton, Hamilton, and Durham Region, that have commutersheds similar to Halifax-Dartmouth were not included as their transit services mostly cater to travel to and from Toronto.
In all cases, land use policies relating to public transit are not found within the transit strategies, but rather within complementary growth plans and official plans. In Victoria land use policies and transit orientations seem to be the most integrated. The process in BC's Regional Districts, as well as in Québec's communautés métropolitaines, is that land use planning documents come first and they become the overarching planning document that sectoral planning documents are based on.
Finally, consultation on the strategies was mostly held between transit authorities or authorities responsible for the strategies and stakeholders. Unlike most land use planning exercises where municipalities or other responsible bodies hold public consultations and information sessions, transit strategies consultation process seems to be mainly focused on stakeholders. In Victoria there were three different stakeholders committees involved at different levels. Other strategies were less descriptive and didn't elaborate on what their consultation process were or who consultation was with.
• Dust Suppressant Alternatives
A report on selected alternatives to chloride products for dust suppression on rural roads including product descriptions, application rates and methods, and costs.
• Sustainable Transportation Strategies
A briefing note including extracts from relevant legislation in Metro Vancouver, Ontario, Québec, New Brunswick and Washington State.
• Canadian and International Transit Data
A compilation of data showing trends in public transit investments, comparisons of investments in Canada, G8 countries and selected OECD countries, trends in ridership as well as a summary of recent public transit stimulus initiatives.