Day: June 19, 2013

Eight Reasons Why Public Consultations are Overrated

Public Consultation has become the flavor du jour in City Halls across the country. The promise is of new democratic age wherein citizens can have more say in shaping their cities. Brianna Heinrichs looks under the hood to discover some awkward mechanics which, taken together, mean public consultations are more public relations than consultation and more likely to shape public perceptions than municipal policy.


Local Leadership versus Local Leviathan

Voters rarely give local government the levels of attention afforded to higher orders of government, yet the stakes are just as high. Left unattended, municipal government can achieve fiscal blow-outs that should be just as concerning as those at other levels. Dan Albas tells of how a principled and creative approach arrested Penticton’s blow-out, and how neighbouring municipalities fared in copying the approach.



What is it about rank-ordered lists that capture our attention? We appear helpless before the Siren call of any list promising the “greatest”, the “biggest” or “the best.” Given Canada’s urban nature, it is unsurprising that Maclean’s magazine – famous for its ranking of Canada’s universities – just days ago released its list of the “Best Communities in Canada 2019”. It’s good fun ridiculing this list’s absurdity for, as everyone knows, Toronto is hands-down the “best community.” In this interview/essay, David Seymour looks at two prominent urbanists – Richard Florida and Joel Kotkin – and examines their competing visions for what, ideally, makes for a prosperous and flourishing city.


The Rise and Fall of Capitalist Montréal

Amongst endless stories of corruption and decline, it is easy to forget how economically powerful Montréal once was. One time Montréal resident Olivier Ballou reviews a new account of growth and decline that, like the city itself, fails to grasp the importance of open markets for continued growth and prosperity