Commentary

Millions of dollars each year are poured into our federal trade initiatives around the world and to a lesser degree our provinces follow suit, at least most of them do. And, while its fine to say that we should be relying on the services of the International Trade Ministry and our Foreign Trade Services and Consul offices, will it be sufficient to get us what we want (or as much as we want) – namely, more trade opportunities in more markets for our own local businesses and more Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) coming into our respective communities?

The final leg of our cross-Canada rail tour brought us from the interior of British Columbia to the beautiful west coast. Passing through the town of Hope BC, the site of one of Canada's infamous World War Two internment camps for Japanese Canadians, then continuing to wind through the endless Rockies, it became clear that much of British Columbia is still pristine wilderness, connected only by rail, the Trans-Canada Highway, and the province's vast river system.

In March of this year, PSD published an article entitled, "The Top 7 Most Intelligent Communities: How 3 Canadian Cities Made the List." This article was extremely well received. We have noted your enthusiasm for the subject, and have decided to build on this article by partnering with the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF), as well as the cities of Kingston and Stratford, to deliver an engaging and informative webinar entitled, "Small Communities, Intelligent Communities."

Featured Research Articles

Ontario is undergoing a reconfiguration of its electrical distribution system, with the province gently nudging municipalities to consider amalgamating their utility assets. The following experts consider the pros and cons of selling municipal utilities. The Sale of Norfolk Power: Council's Choice Dennis Travale, Mayor of Norfolk County Holding on to Power: Deciding the Fate of London Hydro Joni Baechler, City of London Considering the Consolidation of Ontario's Municipally-Owned Electrical Distribution Companies Dr. Philip R. Walsh, Ryerson University The Privatization of Municipal Utility Assets: A Legal Perspective Scott Stoll, Jody E. Johnson, & Jonathan Bright, Aird & Berlis LLP

Cities are important drivers of productivity, innovation, and economic growth. To achieve their full economic potential, they need to provide a wide range of services – "hard" services such as water, transit, and roads, but also "soft" services such as cultural facilities, parks, and libraries that will attract knowledge workers. Cities that fail to provide these services will lose their economic advantage. The challenge cities face is to raise enough revenue to deliver high quality public services that will attract residents and businesses in a way that does not undermine the city's competitive advantage.

Much has changed in Calgary since 1909 when its public transit system began as the Calgary Electric Street Car Railway serving a population of 30,000 people. Calgary is now home to over one million people with approximately 200,000 people living in the surrounding communities. Calgary Transit operates within the City of Calgary and serves approximately 500,000 customers every weekday on fixed route transit service, including buses and trains. It operates almost 1,000 buses/community shuttles, 193 light rail vehicles, and four maintenance facilities. It also operates Access Calgary to provide shared ride, door-to-door public transportation services for Calgarians with disabilities.