“Fixing Canada’s Housing Crunch”: Canadian Municipalities’ National Campaign Needs Your Help

The following video presents “Michael Shapcott – Affordable Housing and Homelessness in Canada November 20, 2012.”

  • Michael Shapcott is Director of Affordable Housing and Community Innovation at the Wellesley Institute, an independent, non-profit policy, research and social enterprise / innovation institute.
    • Shapcott has worked extensively in Toronto, in many parts of Canada, nationally and internationally on housing and housing rights, poverty, social exclusion, urban health and health equity.
      • He has worked with community and municipal officials in a dozen Canadian cities to develop local housing plans.
      • Shapcott has worked with Aboriginal housing and service providers nationally and in a number of communities to develop practical and effective strategies for Aboriginal housing under Aboriginal control.
      • He is co-author, with Jack Layton, of “Homelessness: The Making and Unmaking of a Crisis” (Penguin, 2008) and co-editor, with David Hulchanski, of “Finding Room: Policy Options for a Canadian Rental Housing Strategy” (CUCS Press, 2004).
    • He has worked on housing rights issues with the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.
      • He is co-chair of Canada’s National Housing and Homelessness Network.
      • He is active internationally with the Habitat International Coalition and has worked with community partners on housing issues in Beijing, Istanbul and Nairobi, as well as seven U.S. cities.
  • United Nations Human Rights: International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Part III, Article 11 states:
    1. The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to an adequate standard of living for himself and his family, including adequate food, clothing and housing, and to the continuous improvement of living conditions. The States Parties will take appropriate steps to ensure the realization of this right
  • Duration of video is 53 minutes:40 seconds.

This is an update to the following previous blogs:

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, Chair of the Big City Mayors’ Caucus at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) meeting in Ottawa (October 28, 2013), just launched the Fixing Canada’s Housing Crunch campaign.

Increasing Women’s Presence in Politics Via Toronto Regional Champion Campaign April 10, 2012

Increasing Women's Presence in Politics Via Toronto Regional Champion Campaign April 10, 2012. Above, City of Toronto Council Chamber.
Increasing Women's Presence in Politics Via Toronto Regional Champion Campaign April 10, 2012. Above, City of Toronto Council Chamber.

Gender inequalities exist in the political arena and are identified as follows:

  • Although women make up 52 per cent of the Canadian population, they make up only 21 per cent of municipal councils.
  • Canada has 24.8 per cent of women elected to federal parliament (76 of 307 seats).
  • At the municipal level,
    • Canada is at 24 per cent – 5,774 women out of 24,248 mayors and councillors.
    • In Toronto, of the 44 councillors, 15 (34 per cent) are women (2010-2014 term).

However, in order to reach the minimum of 30 per cent female representation required for public policy to realistically reflect women’s concerns (as defined by the United Nations) Canadian municipalities need at least 1,700 more women in elected office.

And in order to reflect the 52 per cent of the overall population that is female, at least 24 women would need to be elected to City Council in Toronto.

Therefore:

Continue reading “Increasing Women’s Presence in Politics Via Toronto Regional Champion Campaign April 10, 2012”

Expert Advisory Panel’s Reasons to Recommend Sheppard Avenue East Light Rail Transit

Option A considers a Light Rail Transit technology option for the Sheppard Avenue East Corridor. The route alignment provides 13km of rapid transit connecting the existing subway station at Don Mills to LRT running from Don Mills to Morningside. The proposed LRT line would provide 25 stops.
Option A considers a Light Rail Transit technology option for the Sheppard Avenue East Corridor. The route alignment provides 13km of rapid transit connecting the existing subway station at Don Mills to LRT running from Don Mills to Morningside. The proposed LRT line would provide 25 stops.

Some major partners involved with the Sheppard Avenue East Light Rail Transit project are:

Also, the Government of Canada, Province of Ontario and City of Toronto are bringing improved transit to North York and Scarborough.

The Sheppard Avenue East Light Rail Transit (LRT) project in Toronto will have the following features:

  • A 12km light rail transit for customers to travel on Sheppard Avenue between Don Mills Subway Station and Meadowvale Road
  • LRT will enter a tunnel just west of Consumers Road, travel under Highway 404 and connect directly to the subway level at Don Mills Station
  • Bus service on Sheppard Avenue East, east of Don Mills Road, will be replaced with environmentally friendly, modern electrically-powered light rail vehicles (made by Bombardier) operating in dedicated transit lanes, at street level in the centre of Sheppard Avenue East, separated from traffic

Transit City is an initiative to build eight new Light Rail Transit lines across Toronto to accommodate population growth and economic development with the following futuristic highlights:

  • Transit City routes will be accessible to customers with all levels of mobility
  • Provide transit users with a high level of customer service and seamless connections with existing and future transit services
  • Bombardier’s Light Rail Vehicles to be used on all Transit City projects will have significant service improvements, including:
    • Fast boarding from multiple doors
    • Proof of Payment (no tokens)
    • Fully accessible
    • Travel at 50-60 km/h
    • Increased capacity (280 passengers/vehicle)
    • zero emissions on the street
  • Construction activities have started to build a convenient connection with GO
  • Transit at the Agincourt GO station
  • The Sheppard East LRT will be completed and service will begin in 2014.
Above, Conceptualization of Sheppard Avenue East LRT.
Above, Conceptualization of Sheppard Avenue East LRT.

This project will transform Sheppard Avenue East and provide transit users with many improvements and benefits including:

Continue reading “Expert Advisory Panel’s Reasons to Recommend Sheppard Avenue East Light Rail Transit”

2014 Federation of Canadian Municipalities Sustainability Conference & Trade Show’s Host: Charlottetown, PEI

2014 Federation of Canadian Municipalities Sustainability Conference & Trade Show's Host: Charlottetown, PEI
2014 Federation of Canadian Municipalities Sustainability Conference & Trade Show's Host: Charlottetown, PEI

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) programs address the following concerns:

  • Green initiatives:
    • Green Municipal Fund: $550M fund by the Government of Canada to support municipal efforts to improve air, water and soil quality
  • Affordable housing
    • Affordable housing units by removing a significant number of regulatory barriers.
  • Women in local government
    • The United Nations defines 30 per cent as the minimal percentage of women required for government to reflect women’s concerns.
    • Women represent 16 per cent of mayors and 25 per cent of councilors in Canada, for an average of 24 per cent.
      • In absolute terms, of 23,821 elected officials, 5,734 are women.
    • Based on current statistics, Canada would need 1,412 more women in elected office today to reach the 30 per cent target.
      • That means increasing the number of women in municipal government by roughly 100 every year for the next 15 years.
    • FCM wants to help close this gender gap.

Also, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities programs provide an opportunity for Canadian municipalities to share know-how and resources domestically as well as overseas through international development initiatives.

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) Sustainability Conference & Trade Show is FCM’s annual Sustainable Communities Conference and Trade Show, which provides municipal leaders with proven solutions for sustainable community development.

Continue reading “2014 Federation of Canadian Municipalities Sustainability Conference & Trade Show’s Host: Charlottetown, PEI”

Congrats Toronto: ‘Toronto Walking Strategy’ Wins Award

'Toronto Walking Strategy' Wins Award
'Toronto Walking Strategy' Wins Award

Toronto, Ontario, Canada: News Release

February 9, 2011

Toronto Walking Strategy wins FCM Transportation Award

The City of Toronto’s Walking Strategy has won an award from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) for excellence, leadership and innovation in the transportation category.

Approved by Toronto Council in 2009, the Walking Strategy is a 52-action blueprint for making Toronto a great walking city. The program aims to build a physical and cultural environment that supports and encourages walking – with vibrant streets, parks, public spaces and neighbourhoods where people will choose to walk more often.
Continue reading “Congrats Toronto: ‘Toronto Walking Strategy’ Wins Award”