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Cities Deepening Community Quarterly Policy Digest: June 2018

Posted on June 20, 2018
By Adam Vasey

Welcome to the inaugural edition of the Cities Deepening Community Policy Digest. The Digest provides timely policy updates from across Canada that support the work of cities deepening community.

National Policy Updates:

  • The Government of Canada recently announced the creation of a Francophone Immigration Policy Hub, which will foster a more coordinated approach to Francophone immigration outside of Québec. Read the news release.
  • The 20 finalists of the Smart Cities Challenge were recently announced. The Smart Cities Challenge is a competition that encourages communities to develop innovative solutions to their most pressing issues. The finalist communities will each receive a $250,000 grant to help them develop their final proposal. They will be competing for four prizes ranging from $5 million to $50 million.    

Updates by Province and Territory:

  • The Government of Alberta has introduced new measures to improve flood resilience in Calgary and other parts of the province. For more information, check out the Alberta Community Resilience Program and the most recent Flood Resilience Grant recipients. 
  • The Government of Canada is investing nearly $1.8 million in Edmonton’s Jerry Forbes Centre for Community Spirit, which will be a hub of office, training and event space for over 20 not-for-profit organizations. Read the news release.
British Columbia:
  • The Government of British Columbia is teaming up with the Canadian Red Cross on a Recovery Transition Program, which provides support and financial assistance to those who are displaced by a disaster. Read the news release.
  • Powell River is launching the Resilient Streets program to make it easier for neighbours to connect, develop relationships and share resources. Read the news release.
  • The Government of Manitoba is accepting expressions of interests on cost-shared infrastructure projects across four investment streams: public transit infrastructure; green infrastructure; community, culture and recreation infrastructure; and rural and northern communities infrastructure. Read more.
New Brunswick:
  • On June 15, over 7,000 students from 55 local schools planted over 140,000 marigolds as part of Saint John’s Marigold Project. The was the 21st year of the project, which aims to beautify neighbourhoods, increase community pride, and educate the community about the environment.

Newfoundland and Labrador:

  •  Newfoundland and Labrador recently released a Social Enterprise Action Plan, which includes the following five pillars: policy development, business skills and organizational development, research and opportunity identification, promotion and awareness, and access to financing and capital.

Nova Scotia:

  •  The 2018 Positive Aging Directory, which provides a wide range of information about programs and services in the province, is now available for older adults and their families in Nova Scotia.   
  • The Government of Nova Scotia, which is currently developing a new cap and trade carbon pricing program, has joined the Western Climate Initiative (WCI) Inc. The province will use WCI Inc.’s IT system to manage and track the new cap and trade program. Read the news release. 
Northwest Territories:
  • The Government of Northwest Territories has announced the recipients of the 2018-19 Healthy Choices Fund. Organizations and community governments must meet the following objectives to be considered for the fund: support the vision of healthy, educated individuals, families and communities in the Northwest Territories; increase awareness of healthy choices; focus on youth; encourage community participation and promote partnerships; and enable residents to participate in healthy choices through the community environment and available resources.
  • The City of Yellowknife has been named a finalist in the $5 million prize category for the Smart Cities Challenge. The proposed project involves integrating a variety of technological innovations into the city’s lampposts. Read Yellowknife’s full proposal. 
  • Nunavut is a finalist for the Smart Cities Challenge $10 million prize for its “Community, Connectivity and Digital Access for Suicide Prevention in Nunavut” project. The project proposal, representing all 25 communities of Nunavut, was developed through a collaboration between the Nunavut Association of Municipalities (NAM), the Pinnguaq Association, the Embrace Life Council and Qaujigiartiit Health Research Centre. Read a consolidated summary of all finalists’ proposals. 


  • The City of Toronto’s Office of Emergency Management has activated its emergency plan to temporarily house the influx of refugee claimants arriving in Toronto. It is estimated that by November 2018, refugee claimants will make up more than half of Toronto’s shelter population. Read the news release.

 Prince Edward Island:

  • The Prince Edward Island Government has released Promoting Wellness, Preserving Health, an action plan to improve the health and wellness of seniors. The plan includes four priority pillars: develop and implement ‘home first’ age-in-place initiatives; incorporate an age-friendly approach to communities, housing, workplaces, and health care facilities; address ageism and support active living; and support upstream endeavours that address the social determinants of health.
  • Prince Edward Island’s annual Wellness Grant program, which provides up to $5,000 to support community-led wellness initiatives, is accepting applications until July 6. Learn more about the program. 


  • The Québec Government recently launched A Québec for all ages, the second five-year action plan to support active aging in the province. The plan will include investments of over $12 billion by 2023 to support the care, participation and social inclusion of older adults


  • Saskatchewan is launching an Age-Friendly Community Recognition Program to recognize communities that initiate programs or activities that promote inclusive of seniors. Visit Age Friendly Saskatchewan to learn more. 

 Yukon Territory

  • The Government of Yukon, through its Community Development Fund, has awarded over $1.2 million to 12 organizations. The projects were selected based on the ability to demonstrate social, cultural and economic benefits. Read the news release.   

Policy, Social Policy, Adam Vasey, Community Development, Cities Deepening Community

Adam Vasey

By Adam Vasey

Adam is Director of Policy, Learning & Evaluation with the Tamarack Institute's Vibrant Communities team. He is passionate about reducing poverty and building equitable, inclusive communities through policy and systems change. Prior to joining Tamarack, Adam spent eight years as Director of Pathway to Potential, the Windsor-Essex poverty reduction strategy.

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