Commentary

Did you miss the 2015 AMO Conference in Niagara Falls? Want to know what Ontario's municipalities are talking about? PSD's Official Conference Review is an invaluable resource for AMO delegates to share with their colleagues what they learned/discussed at the conference. The Review also functions as a holistic conference summary for those who were not able to attend. Read more...

At less than 4%, the unemployment rate in San Francisco is at an almost unprecedented low. As I walk to my office from the transit station each morning, I pass hordes of enthusiastic, mostly young "techies" streaming into the headquarters of Uber, Square and Twitter. These magnet employers offer excellent compensation, stock options, free snacks and meals (including wine and beer on tap), and on-site amenities like dry cleaning. Some even allow workers to bring their dogs to the office. As if that's not enough to attract the best employees, these companies are world-renowned, offering exciting opportunities in the forefront of new technology. How is a relatively staid public employer, grinding along in a highly-regulated civil service environment, to compete for top talent? Read more...

Across Canada there are thousands of undeveloped properties left vacant due to health, safety and environmental concerns. Many of these properties are former industrial sites occupying highly desirable land. The redevelopment of these sites could be extraordinarily valuable for municipalities, and thus they are looking for the guidance and resources to proceed with redevelopment. Read more...

Featured Research Articles

Aadhya spends her weekdays working in a deputy minister's office writing ministerial briefings. It's a high pressure job with lots of responsibility. If she makes a mistake and gets details wrong there could be serious political consequences. Aadhya has to be at the top of her game to get her work done well and produce the results she hopes to achieve, but she has a problem - she often gets tired and feels drained even after having a break, which compromises her effectiveness. In today's high-velocity, unrelenting work environment, what's the best way for Aadhya to make sure she's always in top form and producing the best work she's capable of? One key method is for Aadhya to ensure that when she's away from work she effectively recharges her batteries so when she returns to work she's in the best possible shape to get her job done well. Read more...

Urban areas and other municipalities the world over are rightly considered the engines of society, culture, and the economy. Towns and cities serve as hubs for commerce, public services, and amenities (universities and hospitals), and other human capital intensive activities. Without them, our human world would be nearly entropic. The requirement for these conurbations to exist depends primarily on one thing: money. That money arrives from taxes and fees. Determining the best form and level of tax is a tricky political and economic endeavor that - at times in history - has been raised to the level of blood sport. Read more...

All successful organizations must evolve to meet a changing environment. Canada's Public Service is no different. It is adapting to meet Canada's needs, while respecting our code of values and ethics to maintain public confidence in the integrity of the federal Public Service. Over the past several years, our focus has been on renewing and transforming the federal public service, delivering on a dynamic policy agenda, and re-engineering many of our internal and external services. We have made significant progress in positioning our institution for the future. Read more...