Talking about Winter Walking: Winter Retrospective 1 of 3

During our work in the Bridgeland community over the last few months, we have heard a lot about difficulties residents face when walking in the neighbourhood during the winter, specifically difficulties seniors living in the neighbourhood face. This past January we followed the same route a local group of seniors “walk-audited” last autumn in order […]

Governance Indicator #4: Governance and Finance

by Byron Miller  A critical aspect of governance concerns the ability of democratically elected governments to actually implement the policies they adopt.   Having robust democratic decision-making at the municipal scale means nothing if, at the end of the day, municipal governments cannot carry out the wishes of their citizens.  Over the last three decades we […]

Governance Indicator #2: Cultural Diversity in Leadership Positions

The synopsis:  Representation by women is up, representation by First Nations is down, and representation by visible minorities is relatively stable.  None of these groups are represented in proportion to their share of the population, with First Nations being the most under-represented in leadership. Why is representation important? Representation is one-half of the equation in […]

Governance Indicator #1: Effectiveness of Planning

The idea behind this indicator of governance, Effectiveness of Planning, was to evaluate how effectively our municipal government sees projects through – from research, to consultation, to approval, to funding, to completion. As is often the case, no one data source fully captures this intent.  Looking at citizen satisfaction data provides a good start, however, […]

Good Governance: Surprising Lessons from the Nordic Lights

This past few weeks the usually yawn-inducing topic of governance has figured prominently in newspaper headlines. Of note, Mayor Nenshi was lauded for his decision to hold off on fundraising and concentrate on governing and yet criticized for the steep entry fee to his first fundraiser; and The Economist carried a special feature singling out […]

What Is Governance? And How Does It Impact Our Lives?

by Byron Miller  What is governance?  It’s not as easy a question to answer as we might think.  Most of us, when we think of governance, think of government.  We think of “the state” and the ways in which particular governments, elected by citizens, control the activities of the state.  Our elected “governments” play a […]

Democracy on the ropes

Good governance versus the black arts of persuasion Published December 13, 2012 by Noel Keough in FFWD’s Viewpoint. On December 10, city council’s legislative task force debated rules for reporting gifts to the mayor and council. We learned that though the mayor apparently has a stash of gifted coffee mugs and socks, and has never received […]