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Public Policy Service

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Fixing America’s Roads and Bridges: The Path Forward

Transportation is a critical aspect of the US economy but capital investments in this important infrastructure are not keeping pace. In this policy brief, CED recommends actions to address the challenges facing America’s surface transportation system.

Report | 20 pages | May 2017 | The Conference Board, Inc.

Green Infrastructure: Planning for Urban Resilience

Green infrastructure (GI) refers to the natural spaces and ecosystems within cities that maintain biodiversity as well as support a range of ecosystem services, including regulating summer heat extremes, natural storm water management, reduced flood risk, improved air quality and pollution capture. GI can comprise a number of elements, including: parks, treelined and forested areas, wetlands and green spaces, native plants, as well as built elements, such as green roofs and walls. So why should cities think about and plan for these GI networks? How can cities give greater priority to green infrastructure in their plans and policies? How will investments in green infrastructure help address other policy objectives, such as reduced emissions and climate adaptation? Join Dr. Andrew Gonzalez, Canada Research Chair in Biodiversity Science at McGill University, as he addresses these questions and discusses the importance of green infrastructure within cities. This presentation will highlight the science and strategies implemented to design and establish the regional green infrastructure network around Montreal, drawing out its role in a wider process of climate adaptation.

Recorded Webinar | April 2017 | The Conference Board of Canada

Healthy Outcomes for Canadian Seniors: Not a Cost Curve to be Bent

In this 60 minute webinar, Isobel MacKenzie will focus on debunking some of the myths about seniors and highlight some of the policy challenges facing all levels of governments to ensure that incentives align with desired outcomes.

Live Webinar | April 2017 | The Conference Board of Canada

The Transformation of the Health System: The Critical Role of Boards of Directors

This briefing examines the important role that governance plays in health care transformation by researching the governance systems in three provinces (Alberta, British Columbia, and Ontario) that have taken distinct approaches to health care governance.

Briefing | 34 pages | March 2017 | Jenny Santos | The Conference Board of Canada

La transformation du système de santé : Le rôle essentiel des conseils d’administration

Ce compte rendu de recherche examine le rôle important de la gouvernance dans la transformation des soins de santé en étudiant les systèmes de gouvernance de trois provinces (Alberta, Colombie-Britannique et Ontario) qui ont adopté des approches distinctes en la matière.

Résumé | 36 pages | March 2017 | Jenny Santos | Le Conference Board du Canada

Is There Value in Adding Value? The Economic Impact of Alberta’s New Sturgeon Refinery

The Sturgeon Refinery in Alberta is nearing completion and is expected to begin operations in the fourth quarter of 2017. This is the first refinery to be built in Canada in decades. Financed based on long-term supplier commitments and a unique financial/risk structure, this refinery will process 78,000 barrels of diluted bitumen per day, and its main output will be low-sulphur diesel fuel. In what ways will the construction and operations of the refinery generate economic impacts across Alberta and Canada as a whole? What are some of the unique technical and financial aspects of this project? What makes this project work? If you have followed the public discourse in Alberta on the project, you may be surprised at the answers.

Recorded Webinar | March 2017 | The Conference Board of Canada

Communities First: Ensuring People-Driven Economic Development in Canada’s Arctic

Canada’s Arctic is vast. Yet despite making up over 40% of our landmass and being home to more than 100,000 people, Canada’s north remains somewhat of a mystery to most of us. Indeed, this huge geographical area is still most commonly thought of in the same terms that were used by the Canadian pianist Glenn Gould in his 1967 radio documentary, The Idea of North: “[L]ike all but a very few Canadians … I’ve had no direct confrontation with the Northern third of our country. I’ve remained, of necessity, an outsider, and the North has remained for me a convenient place to dream about, spin tall tales about sometimes, and, in the end, avoid.” However, as the Earth changes, so too must our attitudes towards our great northern territories. The fine print of new business development models and government policies, have tended to view the advent of human-driven climate change as the opening of an imaginary “final frontier” that is now ripe for extraction and, ultimately, exploitation.

Recorded Webinar | March 2017 | The Conference Board of Canada

Major Project Agreements and Indigenous Communities: Finding the Win-Win

Indigenous groups and industry organizations are increasingly negotiating Major Project Agreements for some of Canada’s largest natural resource and infrastructure projects. These agreements aim to clarify both parties’ interests, objectives and commitments for what may be a multi-decade relationship between communities and industry proponents. More than 400 of these agreements have been concluded since 1995 in the mining sector alone, yet there remains a knowledge gap on which qualities and agreement characteristics make for the best possible outcome for both parties. So what exactly makes for a win-win project? How can parties come to mutually beneficial agreements? How can major project proponents develop healthy relationships with Indigenous groups? What approaches should Indigenous groups take to ensure projects leave positive legacies?

Recorded Webinar | February 2017 | The Conference Board of Canada

Adjusting the Prescription: Improving the ACA

The cost of US health care—for families, businesses, and government—has been spiraling upward for decades. At the same time, many Americans remain uninsured and the quality of coverage available has been declining.

Briefing | 14 pages | February 2017 | The Conference Board, Inc.

Managing Mobility in an Aging Society: Addressing Transportation Needs of Canadian Seniors

As Canada’s population ages, a growing number of seniors are facing transportation challenges. Seniors’ access to affordable and appropriate transportation options is essential to supporting their health and quality of life. Across Canada, the primary mode of transportation for adults at most ages is driving. But while most seniors who drive are safe to do so, many stop due to deteriorating mental and/or physical capacity, and those looking for transportation alternatives find that they are often scarce, inaccessible, inconvenient, and for some, unaffordable. How are seniors currently meeting their transportation needs and preferences? How do transportation strategies and behaviours change as Canadians age? To what extent and why are many seniors’ transportation needs going unmet? What are the implications of these needs, behaviours, gaps, and other issues for policies and strategies aimed at meeting seniors’ changing transportation needs? Join Daniel Munro as he addresses these questions and discusses principles and options for improving transportation policy for Canadian seniors.

Recorded Webinar | January 2017 | Daniel Munro | The Conference Board of Canada

City Health Monitor

Find out which cities place well in the latest City Health Monitor. This briefing discusses the key findings for 10 Canadian metropolitan areas.

Briefing | 30 pages | December 2016 | Greg Sutherland | The Conference Board of Canada

Stopping Sedentary School Kids: Getting Kids to Move More and Sit Less

We know that physical inactivity and sedentary behaviour are linked to many chronic conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Yet despite the health risks, levels of physical activity (PA) among children and youth remain low. In fact, Canadian children received a “D-” on this year’s ParticipACTION Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth, as only 4 per cent of girls and 9 per cent of boys accumulated 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) at least six days a week. This report card essentially shows no change in PA levels in comparison to the previous year. So what can be done? The school environment is an ideal setting to deliver strategic programs to increase physical activity and to reduce sedentary behaviour. Comprehensive and sustainable interventions, such as classroom activity breaks and active transportation, may bring the greatest benefits in the long term. But which programs and interventions are the most cost-effective? And how can we best leverage the education system to make in-roads when sedentary behaviour an inactivity levels have remained unchanged for so long?

Recorded Webinar | December 2016 | Thy Dinh | The Conference Board of Canada

Daniels v. Canada: What’s next for Canada’s Métis

This past year, the Supreme Court of Canada unanimously ruled that the term “Indians”, as defined in Canada’s constitution, includes non-status Indians and Métis. This ruling brought to a close the seminal Daniels v. Canada case, launched in 1999. Hailed by some lawyers as being more significant than Tsilhqot'in, the possible impacts of the Daniels case are tremendous. As a starting point, Métis and non-status individuals and groups will now have an opening in which to pursue land claims and seek access to additional government programs and services. So how will this ruling affect Canada’s Métis people? And what further changes could we expect moving forward? Join us for this special 90-minute webinar, where Tom Isaac, a nationally recognized authority in the field of Aboriginal law, and the President of the Métis National Council, Clément Chartier, discuss the emergence and evolution of the Métis Nation, and the challenges and opportunities that flow from the Daniels Decision. Tom and Clément will take you through the history of the Supreme Court of Canada’s decisions that have impacted the Métis Nation from Powley to Daniels. They will also contextualize the exclusion of the Métis by the Federal government in a number of key areas. In addition to discussing the Daniels decision, this webinar will also explore the recently released report “A Matter of National and Constitutional Import: Report of the Minister’s Special Representative on Reconciliation with Métis: Section 35 Métis Rights and the Manitoba Metis Federation Decision,” written by Tom Isaac.

Recorded Webinar | December 2016 | The Conference Board of Canada

Healthy Brains at Work—The Impact of Workplace Mental Health Initiatives

No one, and no workplace, is immune to mental illness. And as research continues to show, poor mental health can negatively impact an individual’s health, well-being, and productivity. Organizations that pay attention to the mental health and wellness of their employees are likely to realize significant benefits through a healthier, more productive workforce. How does your organization fare? Join us for this third briefing in our Healthy Brains at Work research series, as we explore the potential impact of improving outcomes for working Canadians living with mental illness. We also explore the potential impact of improving outcomes for Canadians whose symptoms prevent them from entering the workforce. In this 60-minute session, Conference Board researcher Greg Sutherland will present original research on the potential impact of poor mental health on the Canadian economy.

Recorded Webinar | November 2016 | Greg Sutherland | The Conference Board of Canada

Planning for Automated Vehicles in Cities

In cities across the planet, new transportation options are shifting how we move people and goods. The rapid introduction of apps such as UBER and Lyft, as well as car share organizations are disrupting cities’ traditional mobility infrastructure. And more change is coming! Automated Vehicles are no longer science fiction, and this technology has the potential to completely transform urban travel and land use. Cities need to be considering how these changes might impact their communities now, and in the future. How well is your city prepared?

Recorded Webinar | November 2016 | The Conference Board of Canada

Bending the Cost Curve in Canadian Health Care: The Economics of Health

Canadian provinces typically devote approximately 7.7 per cent of their GDP to health expenditures—a figure that some say could climb to around 10 per cent by 2030. However, we are not doing enough to prepare ourselves for the type of high acuity and cognitively impaired patients who will soon need long-term care, and which require different set of investments, capital stock, and health human resources than we currently deploy. Currently, expenditure growth on public health care appears to be slowing, though it is unclear whether this slowdown is the result of the provinces’ success in sustainably bending the cost curve, or a result of short-term cost-cutting in response to reduced economic growth and federal health transfers. So where can we start? And what can be done to address this issue before it becomes a major crisis? Free Book for all Participants! Each registration includes a complimentary copy of Dr. Marchildon’s book, Bending the Cost Curve in Health Care: Canada’s Provinces in International Perspective.

Recorded Webinar | October 2016 | The Conference Board of Canada

Walkability Pays: The Financial Benefits of Healthy Communities

This webinar will present new and exciting modeling tools developed by Urban Design 4 Health to support healthy communities in land use and transportation decision-making. It will review why health should be addressed in scenario planning; highlight several tools explicitly built to predict how investing in walkable neighbourhoods would support active transportation and resulting decreases in obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular rates; and present current examples of monetized health benefits from plans that support active transportation. The webinar will describe the California Public Health Assessment Module (CPHAM), a spatially resolute tool that can valuate health impacts of changes in physical activity and chronic disease from contrasting land use and transportation investment scenarios. CPHAM’s application in supporting regional transportation planning in Los Angeles and Madison, Wisconsin will be presented. The webinar will highlight a similar tool developed for application in West Don Lands located east of Downtown Toronto and Surrey Centre in Surrey, British Columbia. It will also introduce several new tools for supporting health in policy conversations. The National Built, Natural & Social Environment Database comprising of standardized built, natural, and social environmental indicators will be presented. The use of the database as an input into the National Public Health Assessment Module (NPHAM) will also be discussed. Finally, the webinar will discuss extending health modeling by monetizing predicted health benefits. It will show how health modeling in the Los Angeles case was extended to calculate direct, indirect, and induced health and financial benefits of active transportation. University of British Columbia research linking walkability to BCGenerations Project and provincial health records and costs in Vancouver will also be discussed.

Recorded Webinar | October 2016 | The Conference Board of Canada

Intellectual Property for SMEs: Managing Risks and Optimizing Benefits

The knowledge economy is acutely dependent on various domestic and international legal regimes that transform innovative ideas into “knowledge products”: tradable commodities that can be bought and sold in the global marketplace. Since intellectual property rights (IP) are a mechanism through which innovative ideas are commercialized, IP is quickly becoming the primary currency of this new international economic order. is your organization as familiar with this process as it should be? Canadian businesses, and in particular SMEs, need to become experts at the mechanics of IP and how to strategically leverage IP rights to their competitive advantage. They must be able to seize commercial opportunities as they present themselves and be adept at optimizing the practices and techniques surrounding their IP assets in order to ensure efficiency of production. They also need to be able to understand and manage the risks that IP can pose. So where does your organization fit? Are you as familiar with the ins and outs of IP rights as you should be? Are you missing out on potential opportunities? Are you unprepared for potential risks?

Recorded Webinar | September 2016 | The Conference Board of Canada

Aboriginal Law in Canada: Understanding the Impact of the Extractive Sector Transparency Measures Act

Brought into force in June of 2015, The Extractive Sector Transparency Act aims to increase transparency and deter corruption by requiring that extractive entities publicly disclose, on an annual basis, specific payments made to all governments in Canada and abroad. A guide published in conjunction with the legislation provides examples of the types of payments required to be disclosed, and unsurprisingly, includes most payments made to government. However, the act also requires the declaration of all payments made to Aboriginal Governments, leading many to worry that that the legislation may extend too far. For instance, how should industry and Aboriginal governments treat payments made and received under impact benefit agreements? If these payments are not tied to permitting and authorizations, why should they be captured by this legislation? Is there any other purpose being served to collect data on such payments? As it stands, the potential consequence of reporting payments for Aboriginal Governments are not well understood. Similarly, there is a question of how to reconcile non-disclosure with Aboriginal sovereignty. The government of Canada has extended applicability to Aboriginal peoples until June 2017, but will it be enough? While the intent of this law is to cut down on corruption and increase transparency, what are the possible ramifications?

Recorded Webinar | September 2016 | The Conference Board of Canada

From Knowledge to Innovation: Building Canada's Competitiveness Through Knowledge Management

Many organizations struggle with innovation, but could it be that they’re just missing a few important steps? For many years, Canada has been shown to have difficulty translating investments in research and development, which produces world class knowledge, into globally competitive firms. So what are the missing pieces? How could organizations translate their knowledge into innovation? Why is it important? What role does knowledge management play in modern organizations and how does it relate to technology, collaboration, and driving value from innovation? Join us for this 60 minute session, where Paul Preston will demystify knowledge management and innovation, drawing on recent research findings from our recent studies Driving Knowledge Management for Innovation and How Canada Performs: Report Card on Innovation. Paul will also share findings from the Conference Board's Knowledge Management 2016 Conference, where experts from across the country revealed the critical need to more effectively manage, and extend the value from, the knowledge we have in Canadian organizations.

Recorded Webinar | September 2016 | The Conference Board of Canada

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