Urban Citizen

I have seen first-hand how great cities are created by engaged and active citizens – people who get involved to make their city a better place. Urban citizens are innovators, change makers, city builders. With two thirds of the world’s population estimated to be urban dwellers by 2050, we need to get cities right – for people, governments and budgets. More than 80% of Canadians already live in urban environments where there are endless opportunities and possibilities to grow smart, sustainable, and resilient cities.


Open Government: more than transparency and technology

Open Government is a bit of a buzzword right now in government circles and like so many buzzwords it gets interpreted to mean different things to different people. The media quickly assumes that it means that they can get any information they want regardless of privacy legislation or the cost to the taxpayer.  Improved access…

Changing relationships

What does it mean to be an urban citizen in the 21st century?  What does it mean for our relationship with our local government? Last Halloween, a constituent sent me a photo with his smart phone of a squashed pumpkin lying at the curb in front of his house. He expected (and that is putting it…

I am an urban citizen

I grew up in the country. After emigrating from England when I was three, my family settled in the country north of Toronto near a small village called Kettleby.  Behind our two acres lay a wooded ravine with a small creek complete with the remnants of a pioneer homestead.  My brothers and I spent our…

Recovering politician

I have often heard  Michael Harcourt, with a chuckle, describe himself as a recovering politician.  It’s a good joke.  And now I understand.