I learned a lot today at the UBCM "pre conference". I attended 2 half day study sessions - the first on climate change action and the second on affordable housing and homelessness.
Interesting takeaways from the climate action session with BC Minister of Environment Barry Penner and his deputy minister Graham Whitmarsh:
- auto purchasers can get up to 6000 dollars in federal and provincial rebates for buying a fuel efficient car.
- according to the UK government's Stern Report, the costs to address climate change will be 1 percent of global GDP, the costs of not addressing 20 percent of global GDP.
- the BC government is very focused on gaining an early mover economic advantage in a possible new green economy. The Minister seemed pretty focused in casting environmental issues in economic terms.
Interesting takeaways from the affordable housing and homelessness session:
- studies show government annual average expenditure on a homeless person is 55000 dollars. Annual average expenditure for housing and support for the same person is 37000.
- BC housing looking at helping facilitate affordable home ownership programs.
- don't always need a full, explicit affordable housing plan. Can often work with current development and community activity.
- importance of partnering (eg. With faith community)