Executive director and founder, Sustainability CoLab.

Dreaming Bigger: A Green New Deal for Canada

Climate scientists have sounded the alarm. How we respond today will seal fate of our natural ecosystem & economic prosperity

Climate scientists have sounded the alarm.

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a special report this past fall, saying we have until 2030 to cut global carbon emissions in half if we hope to sustain human life on this planet.

In Canada, the economic cost of climate breakdown has been estimated at $21 billion to $43 billion by 2050. The devastating impacts of extreme weather events are now all around us: from wildfires in British Columbia, to flooding in the Maritimes, to extreme heat waves in Quebec. In 2018 alone, the insured damages for severe weather events across the country were already $1.8 billion.

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A funny thing happened on the way to the climate summit

Turns out that a low-carbon economy is not only on the way, but already underway.

On April 13 in Québec City, the province of Ontario joined the ranks of Québec, California, and a swath of European nations, announcing their plans to implement a cap-and-trade system for pricing carbon and reducing the province’s greenhouse gas emissions. This comes as a welcome and critical step in the Province’s ongoing attempts to address climate change and foster a sustainable economy for Ontario. Of course, as expected, the announcement has been met with some criticism – from the political opposition and pundits alike, to the media and international community and more – and it will surely continue as we approach the looming federal election. There are lengths to go to map out the specifics of Ontario’s cap-and-trade system. We can expect rounds of intense debate, lobbying, and consultations in determining how the province will set up this system. This conversation is crucial and it must be focused on ensuring that the system is as efficient, equitable, transparent, predictable, & effective as possible.

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Not another article about bike lanes

By Mike Morrice
Instead, a reminder to keep an open mind that traffic changes may benefit everyone involved.

Last week, while riding my bike to work, I was pulled over. The experience was, of course, jarring. I was riding in the right lane, looking to the left at the police car slowly driving alongside me, lights flashing, when I saw the stern look on the officer’s face as he pointed towards the side of the road. My heart raced. My head filled with questions. “What did I do wrong?”

It turns out, the officer pulled me over for obstructing traffic. I had been riding in the middle of the right lane on a four-lane road. The officer recommended that if I don’t feel safe riding next to the curb, I should instead ride on the sidewalk. As a cyclist, he said, he does the same. We had a 20-minute conversation, and by the end, the officer decided not to charge or warn me with anything.  I’ll spare you the details, but I later found out that the legitimacy of the officer’s concern rests on clause 147.1 of the Highway Traffic Act, which determines whether someone is riding with “practicable” space.

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