Archive for August, 2015

Mapping Montréal’s wild greenspaces

Sarah_Blog Author_EN


Have you ever been moving through a familiar urban environment in Montreal, only to be surprised by a piece of land you’ve never really noticed before? Perhaps upon closer examination, you find faint footfalls in the snow, or a dirt path crossing the space. You might see native grasses flourishing, or a colourful yarn-bomb wrapped around a tree. A rustle in the shrubs might indicate a rabbit or squirrel foraging for food. Most of all, you probably notice the silence – a feeling of removal from the adjacent bustle of city life. Wild City Mapping is a new initiative started by a collective of “artists, green space enthusiasts and geeks”.


Photo courtesy of Wild City Mapping


En Route to Paris: Quebec commits to reducing its GHG emissions by 80%. Should we be thrilled or skeptical?



Guest post by Sidney Ribaux, Équiterre Cofounder, executive director and spokesperson

Disclaimer: the views expressed in the following blog are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Foundation.

Last month, at the Climate Summit of the Americas in Toronto, Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard committed to an 80 to 95% reduction in the province’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050. In my opinion, this represents the largest commitment ever made by Quebec regarding climate change.

Several people are skeptical, however. They wonder how the Premier can set such an ambitious target while also investing in oil exploration on Anticosti Island and spending $500 million to expand Highway 19. Besides, these skeptics think, Couillard won’t be Premier in 2050 anyway.

I tend to believe in the Premier’s sincerity on this point. Here’s why.


Transforming the Table: What I learned from 22 Interviews with Leaders of the Canadian Food System


Sohpie Silkes_blog authorSeveral years ago, a group of Canadian organizations gathered to discuss one of their shared funding priorities: sustainable food systems. Hailing from across the country, this informal funders’ group began to contemplate how best to come together to share learnings and in some cases, support of strategic partnerships to deepen their impact.

Earlier this summer, the group commissioned a high level landscape assessment of the Canadian food system to help inform its work. As a Social Innovation Fellow in Sustainable Food Systems at the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, I had the unique opportunity to complete interviews in support of this assessment, which Eco-Ethonomics is conducting.



My questions included the following: When you think about the Canadian food system, what catches your attention? What are the key levers for change? How can we most effectively collaborate across sectors and regions to make lasting change?


I spoke with 22 leaders, actors and influencers who represent a spectrum of expertise within our national food system, from production, processing, distribution, and industry work, to the academic, non-profit, private, and government sectors. Some compelling themes emerged.


En Route to Paris: The key ingredient to a successful climate plan is a stronger carbon tax

Guest blog post by Matt Horne, Associate Regional Director, British Columbia, Pembina Institute

Disclaimer: the views expressed in the following blog are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Foundation.

Please increase B.C.’s carbon tax.

If I had only five words to share about B.C.’s forthcoming Climate Leadership Plan, those would be the five. Given I have a few hundred, I’ll elaborate a little.


B.C.’s carbon tax was implemented in 2008 and has proven to be an economic, environmental and political success. B.C.’s economy has outperformed the rest of the country, per capital fossil fuel consumption has dropped and all parties with seats in the legislature support the policy.