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Summer Conference 2002

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Brock Carlton

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James Orbinski

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David Lewis Stein

SATURDAY MORNING
Session Five – Livable Local Communities: Pollution Sans Frontières?
Speakers
DAVID LEWIS STEIN, Adjunct Professor, Innis College, University of Toronto, novelist, politicial commentator, Toronto Star et al. (bio)
DR. JAMES ORBINSKI, Saul Rae Fellow, Massey College & Munk Centre for International Studies, University of Toronto; Former President Médecins Sans Frontières International (bio)
E. BROCK CARLTON, Director, International Centre for Municipal Development, Federation of Canadian Municipalities (bio)
Moderator
LUCIEN BRADET, Director General, Sustainable Cities Initiatives, Industry Canada (bio)

TRANSCRIPT

Lucien Bradet

My name is Lucien Bradet, and I am from Industry Canada. First of all, before we get to the subject matter, I would like to thank very much the Institute for giving us the chance to be a major sponsor for the event. We believe, at Industry Canada that cities are extremely important, not only in Canada, but in the world. We have to work with cities, because they are an integral part of our fabric, wherever we are the world, and they are one of the common things that we have. We are also very pleased to be part of this session because we have things to share with you, something we have done or have piloted over the last couple of years, which is called sustainable city initiatives. Before I talk about that to you, I would like to make a comment as a moderator that what I would have liked if I had had an influence on the title, I would have called it "Cities Sans Frontières." If there is a concept of governance, and a concept of sharing, and a concept of human settlement which has no frontier and no borders and no political hassles to negotiate among themselves, it is the cities. Cities sans frontières, for me, is really what we are going to try to discuss this morning, to see how we can share in partnership.

So to come back to SCI, or the sustainable city initiative – by the way, you'll have some documentation outside which you will be able to use. This is something that we have tried to the last couple of years at the recommendation of the national roundtable on the environment and the economy, which you may know about – it is a group of people from Canada, from universities, private sector, and public sector, advising the prime minister. One of the reports says that cities are where the action is in the world, and that is where Canada should try to do something different. Yes we have all kinds of programs working with nations but we have not yet worked enough with cities. We have the Federation of Canadian Municipalities doing that; they've been doing that for years and we will talk about that this morning, but we have to do more than that. We have to do institutional development, and economic development, and social development, not only in governance, but in many of those questions. So we have tried this pilot project. It is still at the pilot level, I want to tell you, because we already have 500 Canadians working with us on that, and you might be interested in spreading the word that it is a good experiment, and we hope that the government, in the not too distant future, will accept to extend to the program to a larger concept. So, we have a three-and-a-half minute, three minutes and forty-five second video just to start to explain it to you, and after that we will comment on it for a minute and a half, and then we will go on with the subject matter of the discussion.

[plays video]

So, the idea, and we hope it is starting on an upbeat note – we have heard a lot over the last few days of big problems that we have in Canada. There's no question about that. We have problems, we have issues, and so forth, but I think also that we are extremely privileged as a country to have the cities that we have. We will always have issues that we want to result but I think that over and above that, we have a lot to share, a lot with which to go and help other countries and other cities to deal with their issues, and we have to be proud of what we are doing in Canada. This session this morning will talk about what Canada and other countries can do to work together, be it in health or other areas, be it in governance, or even with experiments that we have done in Canada and how to deal with pollution and other issues in our own small and large cities. That is the theme. That is the discussion, and I hope we will have a lively one. As I said, if you need any more information on any initiative that is being talked about through the FCM or ourselves or others or Médecins Sans Frontières, we would be very pleased to give you that information after.

The first speaker is Mr. Stein. Mr. Stein is an adjunct professor at Innes College, University of Toronto. He was an assistant editor at Macleans. He has written for the London Sunday Times. He has been writing for the International Herald Tribune. He has more recently, for the last 30 years, been with the Toronto Star as a feature writer, editorial writer, columnist. He has retired but he is still working a lot. He is working on the book now, among other books that he has written in the past. He will want to share with us some of his experience in understanding the municipal scene, and also in understanding his community and how it affected him, and how he thinks that we have to reflect on these things. Mr. Stein.

D. Lewis Stein

Thank you. Fellow delegates, speakers, I just want to tell you what a pleasure it is to be here at the Couchiching Conference. I have really enjoyed it; it is the first one I have been to and I think it is a wonderful institution. How much I enjoy getting up in the morning: I look up my window, I watch the sunrise over the lake, I listen to the birds, but I think I am going to spend the rest of the day worrying about urban problems. It is not a bad way to do it. I think if I were renaming this session, and I would call it, if you will forgive my Yiddish pronunciation: "Cités avec durs frontières." Cities with hard borders.

What I would like to do today is take you all for a little drive. We have all been sitting around his room for couple of days now, so let's get out of here. Let's go for a little drive. We are going to go down to the town of Ajax. We're going to go for a ride with the mayor. Ajax is a little community, just east of Toronto, and we're going to go with the mayor, a man named Steve Parish. And he is always a lean, hard guy with a spiky brush cut. It is good for his trade, which is a lawyer: we can intimidate people. Today he is mad. I have got to tell you. He is mad, and he doesn't mind showing it. That is unusual for a mayor around here, because you don't get to be a mayor in this part of the world by yelling at people. You've got to be able to make alliances; it have to make deals; you have to get your council to approve what you want. But today, Steve Parish is mad and he doesn't mind telling us about it. So he takes us out in his spiffy little Honda, a red Honda, from the City Hall parking lot, which is on Harwood Avenue. And Harwood, I must tell you, is the main street of Ajax, although it doesn't look like what most people with think of as the main street. It starts all right: it is down the waterfront. It is got some parks, but then at your going north you are really going through strip plaza after strip plaza. And Ajax, you have got to understand, started life as a munitions factory in the second world war, and after the war was over they had all this worker's housing around, so they decided to call it a town. They named it after one of the ships they had been filling shells for: Ajax. To this day they still name streets after people who were on that ship. And in the way that all of a town's origins and its history percolate through all its actions in its present, that still sticks for Ajax: it is a town for working people, and I don’t mean that – and I don’t think anyone in this room would think of it – in a disparaging way. Because it was small houses, it was people who essentially worked in the auto factories, and you can get a good house there that didn't cost too much money: it was a decent place to live. You didn't go to Ajax because you wanted to look at cows or go to farmers market. You went out there to get a good house and raise your kids in a decent place, and that is what Ajax was and what it stood for.

But now it is changing. And that is what the mayor wants to show us. And we have actually seen him a couple of weeks earlier. He was at something called the Smog Summit, which was held at the top of the CN Tower, which for visitors to this area I will explain, is touted as the world’s largest free-standing man-made structure. It was supposed to be a whole lot of other things, but that is all it ever was, and there it is. It is on all the logos for Toronto, and it is actually a great place to have a smog summit, because if you look out you can see these filthy-looking clouds that are filled with Lord knows what kind of gunk. I have been up there, and they actually glow like neon signs some days, on a smog alert. So if you are going to have a smog summit, it is a good place to have it. What this smog summit turned out to be was all of the cities of Greater Toronto, 24 cities and the regions, talking about what they were going to do to get rid of emissions and help to fight smog. This is, if you want – what this was, was they were taking the pledge. They were going to swear off gas. It was like a religious meeting. To me it was very interesting because it proved a number of things. On of the first things was the age old question: size does matter. The bigger the city was, the more it could do. So the City of Toronto – they have managed to siphon off some taxpayers’ money into something called the "Toronto atmospheric fund," where the taxpayers can’t get at it, but they can do good works with it. So one of the things they do is help office building retrofit and lower their energy costs and energy uses, and they have a whole lot of really dandy-sounding little schemes. They even had one for a bicycle built for two to move things around the city in. Mississauga, which is the next most densely built up city, and the next in size, also has a lot of good things that they do: they are monitoring the air; they are trying to improve their bus service. But as the cities got smaller and smaller, there was less and less that they could do, and this was partly because of regulatory restrictions: they cannot force an office building, for instance, to retrofit or clean up its smokestack – they can’t do that with a factory – there are a lot of limitations on what municipalities can do. Essentially all they can do is lead by example. So they were going to do things like retrofit their own buildings, buy more buses, start using ethanol fuel, and they were all saying these things. And it got down to things like the little town of Halton Hills, which was going to have all their staff have casual days. How does this work? So they explain that on casual days, if the men don’t have to wear suits and ties, and the women don’t have to wear high-heeled shoes and stockings, they won’t have to use as much air conditioning, and that will lower their... Every little bit helps, right? So they are all coming up to the front desk, signing the pledge, swearing off gasoline. What if And Steve Parish, the mayor is going up, and he is signing for Ajax, and it is really sticking in his craw, I can tell you.

What is bothering him is that there is one area where municipalities can have an impact, and that is in the future use of land. They can do this thing which – they can lay out houses closer together; they can run more – it’s called transit supportive housing. I am not a great admirer of transit supportive housing, but let’s accept that that is what is involved here. The one power that municipalities have, and it is almost in this part of the world like an absolute power, because if they take action, the upper levels of government will usually go along with them. And the pledge for Ajax... The report of Ajax’s progress in controlling smog says: Ajax is in the process of developing new, comprehensive zoning regulations townwide, which will encourage residential intensification, and compact, pedestrian-friendly urban form of in appropriate locations, protect environmentally significant areas, and will replace outdated zoning standards in industrial areas. Sounds great. He can hardly bring himself to sign this.

So he is taking us now up Harwood Avenue. We have gone past the strip malls. We have gone past a couple of corn fields, a couple of wheat fields, and now we are at what he wants to show us, a suburb called Nottingham. The town’s official plan says, in various parts, that what we want to do is have all the houses on the main street open onto the main street – open onto these main streets, so that if we run buses up and down the streets, people will walk out of their houses and get on the buses. The developers said, "well, wait a minute, there are hills here. You want me to make a 30-story house so it can open onto the street? You’ve got to make some compromises with me where the grade of the development is lower than the grade of the street." The town said: "Okay, we’ll do that." They made a deal so that he could have what is called "rear end lotting" on part of it, but most of the houses on the main street would open onto the main streets, which happened to be Harwood, which is the street we are on with him and the next street over, which is Wesney. Then the developer said, "No, I don’t want to do that. I want to change the rules here. I want a rear end lot on all of those streets. There are four main streets here, and I want a rear end lot on all of them." And to Parish’s horror, his own council voted for this. And he was angry, because what had happened here was, if there was ever any hope that Ajax was in fact going to become a more urban place, where you could run buses, maybe a streetcar eventually, down Harwood Avenue, the main street of the city, this development would foreclose it. So for 20 to 30 years, that possibility was gone. And what was happening, in fact, Ajax, which has begun life as a suburb, was now getting its own suburbs.

And we have heard over the last couple of days that Canada is now a nation of cities. I think it is more a nation of suburbs. And in fact if you look at the programs of the national political parties, they are very carefully designed to appeal to people who live in suburbs, against the interests of people who live in cities. And part of the job that we have got to do, I think, if we are talking about any kind of control of something like smog – which in a sense is the ultimate form of globalization, because it crosses borders without anybody’s permission – is we have to begin thinking in terms of urban regions. I am not one of these people – I am a bit of a heretic here, because I don’t believe that cities compete with cities. I think what really happens in this new world, if it is new, is that enterprises embedded in urban regions – auto factories, drug factories, food factories, whatever they are – compete with each other, and compete with similar enterprises in other regions. So what in fact we are talking about the – if globalization means anything – is a competition between these urban regions. But as a wise man once said, nobody loves an urban region. How can you love something called "The Greater Toronto Area?" How can you even associate it in your mind?

So these small cities are really at the heart of the matter. And this poor mayor, Steve Parish, is mad, because he wanted his city to be in the vanguard, and it isn’t happening. But then we go inside. He takes us inside Nottingham, and we notice something very unusual: these are not the classic suburban houses, where the garage sticks out and there is a little door beside the garage to get into the living quarters that look like they have been tacked onto the garage as an afterthought. These houses in fact have porches. They have nice sloping roofs. They have shutters on the windows. They have gables, and you think: aha! We have seen this before. This is new urbanism. This is what Andrés Douane–Andrés Douane would love these places. New urbanism was supposed to have grid pattern. This was supposed to save us from exactly the kind of development we are in. But these houses, instead of being on a grid pattern, are now on tiered-off streets which are actually called "enclaves". You can’t make it much plainer than that. This is what we are selling here: an urban, suburban enclave. And these homes are built by a company called Tribute. They used to be called "Tribute Homes" but if you call the president, Al Leibfeld, and say "What is going on?", he’ll say: "we are Tribute Community now. We don't sell homes anymore; we sell communities."

"So why don't you want to your houses opening onto the streets so they can have some kind of urban transit here?" He said: "How would you like to live on a street that is going to be the main street, four lanes, between two highways, and all the trucks are going to go bombing down it?" He has got a point; I wouldn't want to live there.

So what is missing here, somehow, is some kind of urban culture. New urbanism, instead of being a new movement, has become a housing style. And I can tell you, a couple of years ago I was at a meeting of the Urban Development Institute, which is the lobbying arm of the development industry, and the people from Tribute were explaining their lovely houses with the porches and the gables and the back lots and the lanes where the garages would be, and as we were walking out, one very tough-minded planner from Richmond Hill looked at all the stuff and said: "Well, it is still urban sprawl, but now is cute urban sprawl." She was dead right.

I think it is much more difficult – you can't just say that this was a case of a greedy developer and callow politicians, because it is not that simple. In fact, the developer was doing what any smart businessman does who wants to stay in business, he was giving people what they want. The politicians, in fact, were listening to the messages of the people. As we have heard, that is what politicians are supposed to do, and they voted the way they thought people wanted. In effect, if we want to change that, we have to begin to thinking in very different terms about cities and urban regions, which is where this globalization is supposedly taking place. And I think it is really a competition between the horizontal city, which is what Nottingham is – it is flat and has no history – and the vertical city, which is the city that reaches down into the roots and look forward. If you want to visualize it, you can think of Nottingham as the grass and the urban region as the tree. And have a combined them? Because that is in fact what you have to do. We have to think, not in terms of cities anymore, but in terms of really fast urban regions.

I think the answer to this, oddly enough, comes from the people who made it, because they have lived with it longer. I can give a couple of examples from this area. New Market, which is the city directly below us here, Tom Taylor, the mayor said to the guy in the next city, Aurora: "Look, why don't we just combine? Will have enough tax revenue from the combination of these two cities to support ourselves, and then we won't have to have all these new developments on the edge to pay for. What's more, if you'll go along with this, I will get out of the way and not run for election. In other words, I will sacrifice whatever political future I have got in order to try to save this area." And these people are listening to him. And on the other side you can look at Hazel McCallian, the mayor of Mississauga. She's 83 years old, she is five foot two, and she scares the hell out of all the politicians. And it is not because people think: "oh, Hazel tears strips of people." I've heard or go. I've had the experience. But it does not that she does that, although Lord knows she has a rough tongue. But it is because she has the numbers. Hazel knows more. That is what all great urban politicians do, they know more than anyone else, more than their opponents do.

Like until you a story. Hazel has his little group of teenagers; she calls them her advisory council. I went to one of their meetings, and the place was full of scathingly ambitious teenagers. She actually sends them little things: you know, she gives them tickets to this and that and a big dinner. She sends them things, and she listens when they vote on it. She doesn't necessarily follow their advice, but she wants to hear what they have to say. One that was there at one of these meetings, and the person from her office who was kind of baby sitting it and handling it for her was going to give me a ride back to the subway stop, but we had to make a stop at Hazel’s house. So it was 10:30 at night, we knocked on the door, Hazel is in her bathrobe watching the hockey game, and her assistant hands her a sheath of reports this thick, and she's going to read those before the council meeting tomorrow. So you had better not try to take on Hazel, because she will have you for breakfast. She knows more than you do, and that's her power.

About a year later I guess – she had got into one of these United Nations organizations: cities of this or that. Hazel had got inveigled into this thing, and she was hosting one of these conferences and some poor sods had been flown in from Korea and Kuala Lumpur and Romania, and they were all stuck in an airport hotel discussing cities. And as we were going in, Hazel is saying: "You know, the real problem we have to deal with its safety." Mississauga is not an unsafe city. There are some small plazas that have got bars on the window, some places you wouldn't want to be at night, but it is not an unsafe city. But the perception of danger is there. People feel isolated. And she recognizes that, and she's trying to work on it. And that, in fact is what Al Liebfeld and Heritage Communities are selling in Ajax.

How do you make that part of a regional consciousness? It seems impossible, but a couple of years ago, just as an experiment, I called a lot of people, everyone I could think of, and said: "Can you tell me if greater Toronto has a soul, and if so, what do you think it is?" I thought these people would laugh at me; they would hang up the phone. Nobody did. Everybody had something about this area that they really loved, and in their terms, it was a soul. So in fact it is there: the feeling of this is there. Somehow, politically we have not tapped into it, nor have we tapped into a culturally, but we in fact are a regional city. And if we're going to survive at all in this new world, it will be as a regional city, acknowledging that it does have a soul. Thank you.

Lucien Bradet

Now we would like to hear from Dr. James Orbinski. Dr. Orbinski is well known internationally for his extraordinary work in Médecins Sans Frontières, or Doctors without Borders. He is a past president of the organization. He's a veteran in working in most disturbing and complex humanitarian emergencies around the world. He has received, in the name of Médecins Sans Frontières, the Nobel Prize in 1999. And he continues to work in this capacity around the world, but now he also has a specific function at the Massey College and the University of Toronto Monk Centre for International Study. So, James, please...

James Orbinski

Good morning. Thanks, Lucian, and particularly, thanks to Jane Gibson for inviting me, and congratulations to Jane on her marriage the summer. I am not going to talk at all about Toronto for the greater Toronto area, but I am going to talk about urbanization and a series of issues that I think are relevant, or germane, to urbanization. I'm not going to bore you with all sorts of statistics, or with all sorts of other detailed analyses. I understand that this is not an academic conference, but a workshop of engagement, debate, and discussion, and so I'll leave my most opinionated opinions for the question-and-answer. I have worked for Médecins Sans Frontières, or Doctors Without Borders, for about twelve years now in a number of different areas. For those who don't know, MSF is a medical, humanitarian organization that started about 30 years ago but today has about 450 different projects in about 80 different countries around the world. We have about 17,000 people who work for MSF either as national staff or as doctors, nurses, logisticians, water and sanitation experts, administrators, accountants, carpenters, virtually anything you can imagine. Those people work largely in war zones, and in fact work in largely in urban and peri-urban settings that are in a condition or a state of either political instability or social crisis.

For MSF, the work that we do is really very clear. It is divided into two very concrete actions: one is direct provision of medical, humanitarian assistance, and the other is witnessing – describing to the world what we see and telling the world about our experiences and about the reality of people's lives around the world. For MSF, humanitarian action is very, very simple. In fact, too simple to describe, but very difficult to live or to enact. Humanitarian action really has three or four key components. The first is to act to directly relieve human suffering. The second is to seek to restore people's autonomy so that they can make their own decisions about their own future and about their own political destinies. The third element of humanitarian action for MSF is, when necessary, to reveal in justice. This, for example, applies to war crimes, to crimes against humanity, to situations like the obscenity which is the AIDS epidemic, and so on. The fourth and the fifth elements, combined I guess, of MSF, or to locate and to insist upon personal and political responsibility.

Now, against that background, let me just in the next few minutes talk about a couple of key issues that I think are relevant to urbanization or to the massive change in global demographics that can be characterized by that word: "urbanization." The kind of issues that I am concerned about are increased population, infectious diseases, climate change, the failure of public health both locally, nationally, and more importantly, internationally, and finally our sense of ourselves as individuals, as citizens, as human beings, and as members of a specific, local and then global community. Population pressure from the rural areas is very much creating shortages of land, of food, and employment opportunities. Therefore there are major population movements to urban areas and urban centres. In this is a phenomenon that has been happening now roughly for around 150 years, since the beginning of the industrial revolution. So, where once, around 1800, three percent of the world population lived in cities, today 54 percent of the world population lives in cities, and that is 54 percent roughly of 6.1 billion people. By the year 2020, the world population will be about 7.8 billion, and by that time, in the developing world alone, about 75 percent the developing world’s population will be living in major cities or urban centres. We have urban centres that are typically described as regions that are greater than 100,000, and that extends through a whole range of other names on a continuum to super cities, with populations of over 5 million. This population movements has, and will and is creating unprecedented population growth in urban centres. Super cities: the name "super" often implies organized, systematic, wonderful, complete, rational, and so on. But super cities in fact are not super organized in the developing world. They are not following the trends that were set by the so-called sanitarians of North America and Europe, that between roughly 1880 and 1920 established highly organized systems of water, sanitation, garbage management, and highly organized systems of utility provision; and also highly organized systems of vector control, but could therefore control the spread of some infectious diseases; and also established highly defective forms of local, then regional, and then broader national systems of governance that could oversee these systems that would allow for effective, safe, and systematic cities. For example, tuberculosis in the UK – just to give you some very concrete examples – around 1840, 4000 people per million people in the UK died of tuberculosis. Of the 1950, that number had reduced to around 500. 1950, or 1949 formally, was the end of what is called the pre-antibiotic era. So is clear, is that public health actions led to enormous reductions in infectious diseases and therefore enormous reductions in mortality and therefore enormous extensions in life expectancy. When one compares life expectancy of the average male in London England in 1700, their average life expectancy was 30 years. By roughly 1971, their life expectancy has extended to 75 years. About 70 percent of the increase in life expectancy is due entirely to public health measures in the early part of the 20th century and its impact on our lives in major urban centres.

But today, globally, instead, we don't have these super-organized, highly systematic cities. What we have, is a situation where the majority of the world population lives, in fact, import neighbourhoods that are also known as flavios, as slums, as squats, as barrios, as temporary settlements, as illegal settlements, and euphemistically as peri-urban settlements. These are in fact poor, informal settings – in the developing world largely but not exclusively – in the development world largely. These are settlements that live without formal water supply systems, without formal sewer systems, without formal garbage or civic organizational systems, and without formally effective systems of good governance. They also live in the informal systems that in fact fail repeatedly and in fact stagger from one epidemic to another. And receive for example, epidemics of cholera, of shigella, of dysentery, of hepatitis and other infectious diseases that are a common daily part of people's lives, and in fact, for lack of a better description, the bread-and-butter of MSF’s work in peri-urban areas, largely in the developing world.

Let me just give you a little flavour of that. In Caberra, which is a slum settlement of Nairobi – I was there about two years ago visiting one of our clinics, and the clinic was there ostensibly to provide HIV preventive interventions, and also counselling, and support for mothers and children and men who were living with HIV – but I was at the clinic and waiting with a number of other people, to see exactly what kind of services actually were in practice being offered people. And as we were sitting in talking and so on to various people, I noticed that on the floor in the office there was a gradual seeping flow raw sewage coming in from under the door. This was not an unusual event. What had happened was that the hand-dug sewage system outside the front of the clinic had backed up, and there was raw sewage that backed up over the mud road, which was the road or is the road, and the sewage is backing up into the clinic. Now the whole activity of the clinic became dealing with that raw sewage. This was the daily – no, I won't say a daily occurrence – but an occurrence that was regular, two or three times a week. You can imagine what that raw sewage – never mind for the HIV prevention program; imagine the impact of that on the HIV prevention program – but imagine the impact of that on people's lives in terms of cholera, in terms of diarrheal diseases, in terms of exposure to other pathogens, and so on. That is one simple example, but we see that when there are in fact large concentrations of large populations in very small geographic areas, we see that in fact there are very significant urban health crises that occur as a consequence. We see that when the poor people who live in slum areas have no access to adequate health services that their health status obviously diminishes, not simply because of the absence of health services but also because of the increase of risk that they are exposed to. We know that globally about 2.3 billion of the 6.1 billion people on the planet have no access to safe and clean drinking water. We also know that the same number of people, if not more, have no access to proper sanitation services in and around their communities. We see that for example poor people in those kinds of environments experience frequent epidemics of cholera, dysentery, malaria, tuberculosis, AIDS, and dengue fever, and so on. We know that one-third of the world's deaths are caused by infectious diseases and that the majority of those deaths, in fact 90 percent of those deaths, occur in the developing world. And we also know that the largest proportion of those deaths that occur in the developing world largely occur in peri-urban environments. Why? Because that is where people live, and that is where people are going to increasingly live.

And we see as well, that this is not just limited to the so-called developing world. We see that this kind of phenomenon is also increasingly occurring in Russia and the former Soviet republics. I was in Siberia about two years ago, and in Moscow about a year ago, and there I saw in – in Siberia – again in one of the MSF projects, the effects of tuberculosis, in multidrug-resistant tuberculosis emerging within the prison systems. A year later, I saw the effect of released prisoners who are now homeless in Moscow carrying tuberculosis, either active TB or active multidrug-resistant tuberculosis into their communities. We also see in Moscow, St. Petersburg, the Ukraine, and in most of the former Soviet republics and astronomical increase in the incidence of pertussis, of polio, of tuberculosis, of HIV and other easily controllable diseases through immunization or other preventive measures. Why? Because, as the Soviet Union itself collapsed, so to the public health infrastructure that was required to maintain a basic level surveillance and a basic level of intervention to keep diseases of that kind contained and controlled.

So we see as well in these peri-urban environments, that air pollution also correlates with increased incidence of asthma. We also see an increased incidence of acute respiratory infection, which is from ambient pollution and also home-based wood cooking fires, which the majority of people in the developing world use to cook their food. The higher presence of effluent and particulates in the air here takes the respiratory system so that children, adults, and especially older people and young children aren't an increased risk for an increased susceptibility risk to bacteria and other pathogens which doesn't minor infection usually, but can lead to pneumonia in a child or an older person who is malnourished, overworked, overstressed, fatigued, all of which are common components, common characteristics of daily life in a flavio or in a so-called peri-urban settlement. Pollution also increases especially because of fossil fuels – which we know, and I don't have to tell this audience – we know that increased burning of fossil fuels is leading unequivocally to global climate change, or to global warming.

And so this climate—health or environment—health nexus is not in fact uninteresting: it reveals a whole series of issues that I would just like to point out for you right now very quickly. It is abundantly clear that humans are very much overloading many of our planet's biogeochemical systems, as they are called, which obviously includes the earth's climate system. The latest report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change makes three very, very distinct points. The first is that human induced warming has in fact begun, and is implicating the build-up of greenhouse gases due to human industrial land-use activities. [turn tape over... some text missing?] There is a very coherent pattern change in simple physical and biological systems that is increasingly apparent. We see the retreat of glaciers, the melting of sea ice, the pole-ward extension of insect and plant species, the thinning of permafrost, earlier egg-laying by birds, earlier flowering of plants, and so on. The third point, ominously, is the climate scientists now foresee an average surface temperature rise this century in the range of 1.4 to 5.8 degrees Celsius. This is a much faster increase then was predicted by the panel that in 1996, only six years ago.

But we shouldn't be preoccupied with global climate change alone; it is only one of many destabilizing environmental changes. What we see as a consequence, is that the sustainability of our ecological systems, of our human economic activity, and the implications for population health, are in fact quite staggering. And we see that population health is in fact an index of the success of our longer-term management of our social and natural environments. We could look closer to home that some of the impacts of climactic change, and all we would have to do is look very simply at the increased number of hospitalizations that are occurring secondary to viral pneumonias, and the increased number of waterborne diseases that are occurring secondary to the increased rainfall, all of which are a secondary consequence to the el niño effect. We also can see – we can look at five American states, three Canadian provinces: Quebec, Ontario, and Manitoba – and we can see that the outbreak of the West Nile virus may in fact be linked to climate change. The West Nile virus is transmitted by urban-dwelling mosquitoes to birds and then other animals with occasional so-called spillover to humans. While the means by which the West Nile virus was introduced to the Americas from Uganda in 1999 is unknown, it is clear that warm winters and spring droughts are the climactic conditions that in fact amplify diseases that cycle among urban mosquitoes to birds and humans. So the extreme weather conditions that are accompanying long-term climate change may also be contributing to the spread of West Nile virus. The climate change also means flooding; it also means increasing sea levels, and this is particularly important for super cities, the majority of which are in fact coastally located. As they grow and as flooding grows, so too, obviously, will the humanitarian impact of climate change grow. This is what MSF sees every single day: Hurricane Mitch, flooding in Mozambique, flooding in Bangladesh, and so on. It in the Aral Sea, climate change is also contributing to devastating environmental impacts and devastating health impacts in urban settings.

Let me just close by saying that one of the key issues, both locally and internationally, it is very clear that public health measures, in terms of urban health, with population, infectious disease, and climate change alone – and there are a whole series of other issues that I haven't even touched on – public health concepts, practices, and systems are clearly failing, and population health or public health thinking absolutely must be remade. When I say that, let me just note that the legitimacy of public health suffers because of a lack of a clear definition. The problem with public health is that public health is a negative. When it is at its best nothing happens: there are no epidemics, food and water is safe, children are immunized, the environment is safe, and so on. But public health systems both locally and internationally are in fact the most fragile of all human creations in the sense that when government or society is under threat or at risk, in fact it is public health systems, the least visible, that are cut in terms of funding and so on. And so public health, as well, particularly in the last 50 years, has really become synonymous – and I think absolutely incorrectly so – has become synonymous with medicine purely for poor people. And few recognize that public health systems, that public health ideas and practices in fact serve everyone's interest. Public health is not an ideology or a religion or a political perspective: it is a very practical system of ideas, of infrastructure and practice, that are rooted in two very basic ideas. One is germ theory, and the second is that the prevention of disease in the weakest elements of society and the most marginalized members of society is in fact protection for the strongest and protection for all. Now I'm not going to list a whole series of reforms to public health both locally and internationally, but let me just say that public health concepts, and not only public health concepts but political concepts, must become increasingly ecologically minded. They must also be rooted in basic concepts of equity, where the dignity of each and every person must be at the centre of the political project.

Let me close by saying that, in terms of our vision of ourselves – I outlined earlier on the five essential principles of humanitarian action for MSF – I think that there is something there that is relevant to our thinking around cities and how we construct our relationships among people and among cities. Let me say that what we need to do is begin to develop a sense of ourselves that is in fact beyond ourselves, that reaches to future generations and that sees the human species as one part of the planet, and not as having an exclusive dominion over the planet. And finally, that we need as well, a sense of the other, the other person, the other being, the other human, that sees the other as a part of ourselves. And I think that those two basic issues, or those two basic values and approaches have enormous and profound implications for the way in which we construct local polities and also global polities to deal with some of the issues that I have touched on. Thank you.

Lucien Bradet

Our third speaker, Brock Carlton will now also talk about the international issues, about how the Federation of Canadian Municipalities is helping to put that together for Canada and in collaboration internationally. Brock has been working with the FCM the last 10 or 12 years. He was a director for the China Open City International project. When he became director for the SCM the international office, and oversaw the transition to what we heard from others of his colleagues recently in the last couple of days, as the international office of the capacity development project: he is the director of the organization. He is also part of the WaterCan Borders Reactor, which is a monitoring and evaluation committee organization, and he has degrees from Western, Queens, and Carlton University. Brock...

E. Brock Carlton

Thanks, Lucien. I note that when people take a look at my CV and refer to some degrees, they don't actually say that I have a BA in Phys ed. from Western as my first degree. It seems a bit incongruous with the kinds of things that I talk about these days. Like all the other speakers, I would like to thank the organizing committee, particularly Margaret, for inviting me to speak here today. It actually comes quite close to the traditions in my family because we have a long history in our family with Couchiching. Me and my siblings and my mother, through our lives have spent some time at the Ontario Athletic Leadership Camp, which is just down the road here on Couchiching, and my dad used to come here as a corporate human resource manager for Procter & Gamble, and lead seminars on HR management for corporate Canada in the '60s. So is quite a pleasure to be here.

Thinking of the diagram but I saw shortly after September 11, I think it might have been New Yorker magazine – you can picture the kind of diagram in that type of magazine – two guys who are standing there with a drink in their hands, middle-aged, tie, jacket, that sort of thing up, and they are looking at a TV screen and in the mayor of New York. Julianni, was talking about obviously the post 11 stuff, and one of the guys said: "Wow." And the other guys said: "Yeah, fantastic, eh? Vision. Strength. Leadership." Then the scene changes. The two guys are standing there: same drinks, same tie... they're looking at the TV screen, and and it is George Bush speaking. Now imagine the author at this point, as he is drawing this cartoon. What would you do? You could characterize the George Bush, sort of pre-September 11, inarticulate, sort of confused individual that we all got to know – I almost want to say got to know and love but I don't know that that's the case – anyway, who we got to know during the campaign. Or, you as the author could think: "This is post-September 11; maybe I want to characterize George Bush as the gunslinger." You know, the guy who is talking about terrorists wanted dead or alive. You could almost kind of replace the sort of Pierre Trudeau kind of gunslinger, except replace the brains with bullets and bombs. But the author writes down this little thing. The one guy says: "Wow." And the other guy says: "Yeah, he is sounding positively mayoral." Now I can imagine that George Bush would think this is a complement, to try to attain the level of a mayor. I also can't imagine many mayors, at least in this country, thinking that George Bush could possibly elevate himself to the status of a mayor.

I was looking at the conference information and thinking about some of the things that I do in my life, and some of the things that FCM does, and I notice this ethic at Couchiching that you challenge things, and so I want to challenge a very basic premise of this particular conference. In the conference brochure it says that city regions are summoning their energies to carve out an identity and maintain their historic role as economic engines, immigration melting pots, etc. And I would like to say that I think that is only half true. It is half true because cities and towns, the urban areas in countries are essential to development. Effective cities, effective communities, are essential to the development of countries. If you look at Industry Canada setting up the agenda for the innovations agenda and some targets for development in Canada – and they know, and they are talking to FCM and the municipalities because they recognize that municipalities are essential if the government to Canada is going to achieve those development objectives. If you look at the document, The New Economic Partnership For African Development, you see all the lofty goals that some of the leaders in Africa have established for themselves. You know that they can't achieve those goals if municipal governments cannot respond to the challenges that are presented in the development process in Africa. I believe that what is said in these documents is half true, but the other part that isn't stated here is that municipalities are also struggling with their role in the international community. Because municipalities have an important role to play in international development; they have a very important role to play in global advocacy. What I intend to do over the next little while this talk about the role municipal governments internationally in development and global advocacy.

First I want to talk a little bit more about context. James presented a beautiful picture of part of the context of the globalized, urbanized Third World city. But there is another part. Think about it. If you were the city manager or someone managing some of the cities in the developing world, and you look on one side of the street and you see what James was describing: the poverty, the marginalization, the chaos, in effect, of service delivery, but then there's another side of that city, because if you turn and look over here, what you see are tall office buildings, glass towers, and you know that inside those office buildings there is high-speed Internet connectivity, and there is water, hot and cold, air conditioning; there are all the demands of a globalized community, all the demands of a municipality that is trying to help its nation link to the globalized world. So, whether it is in Kenya or in Zambia or wherever, there is a link to the globalized world so that those countries and those municipalities can play some role in the global debates that are shaping this world. But how do you deal with that has a city manager? You have to provide the services to these high office towers so that the municipality and the country can operate in the globalized context, and yet you have got the overwhelming portion of your population that is on the other side of the street in the marginalized, impoverished slums, flavellas, whatever word you want to use. It is a very difficult challenge.

We say at the ICMD, the International Centre for Municipal Development, that we like to state the problems and then go for the solutions, so I'm going to talk for little while about solutions. In 1987, FCM made a decision, and the decision was that municipalities have a role to play internationally, and so FCM opened in international office. It was a statement that municipal government in Canada, through the Board of Directors of FCM, believes they have a role to play in international community. Fundamental to that belief, is the feeling that urban problems around this world require urban solutions. Municipal problems require municipal solutions. And so, fundamental to the workings of FCM's international program is the belief that when you're trying to deal with a municipal problem overseas, the best way to help work on that issue is to have someone from a city, someone from a town here in Canada who goes over to, or receives from the developing world their colleagues, there counterparts. So you have the guy who does the garbage in Ottawa looking at and talking to the guy who does the garbage in Nairobi or Delhi or wherever. But it is a very important point that these two people, despite all of their differences in resources and cultures and sometimes language and religion etc. have a fundamental common bond: their job is to clear the garbage and manage the solid waste site so that it does not contaminate aquifers etc. It creates a common sense of purpose that allows for an exchange of knowledge and technical skill, technical capacities that can lead to tangible solutions of local levels in municipalities around world.

But the ICMD vision, the FCM of working internationally through municipalities is more than just that, because we believe that when we worked at a local level, we work on local solutions in particular municipalities but that is not enough. So, we are also working with national associations of local government in countries where we work so that as you do things and find successes of local level, you can elevate those successes to a national level so that tools and systems and experiences can be shared through national associations so that other municipalities in those countries can learn through the one to one the relationships that are being managed through programs like the FCM program. But that still isn't enough. There is also working with the national associations so that they can be more effective in lobbying and advocacy work with their national government so that they can try to influence national policy in their countries just as FCM does in this country. And then we go to a regional level and we say that in regions, for example in Africa – FCM works very closely with the African union of local authorities. And part of that relationship is to take the local level work and the national level experiences can try to elevate it to a regional level so that municipalities, national associations, national governments across Africa can get access to some of this new experience and some of this new thinking, and help to work with it. But we also elevate it to a global level. Max, the first night, was talking about the global infrastructure that operates on behalf of municipal governments around the world: their union of local authorities, the UTO that he referred to. And it is at this level where global advocacy can be very effective and that very important. It is at that level where what happens in the municipality can raise through national networks and regional networks to the global networks of the international union of local authorities and the, advocacy positions so that they municipal world can talk to the United Nations with some degree of common voice. The municipal world can establish some common perspectives and common thinking that can help guide them.

For example, a couple of years ago IULA another declaration on gender equity, gender equity in municipal government. This wasn't the document; it just kind of surfaced from the folks sitting around the office in The Hague and thinking through some of these issues. It arose through people in municipalities in Toronto, in Delhi, in Manilla, in Osaka who were seeing the issues, seeing the problems of gender equity and not knowing what to do about it other than work at a local level, and through the national and the international networks of associations and IULA, the ideas around gender equity in local government could be developed and articulated, and so IULA comes out with the declaration on gender equity in local government. It is a statement about the common perspective on gender issues from a municipal government perspective. It talks about gender balance or gender participation at the political level, the decision-making level, and discussions about how decisions affect people differently, and affect women differently than men and how these differences need to be taken into account.

So IULA, by playing that role as the umbrella organization, has managed to capture a lot of the local-level thinking and distil it in a document that then turns around and becomes a guideline. So that as municipalities and communities and individuals think about these issues at their local level, they can look at the IULA document and think: "That's a guideline." So when Max was talking about all these structures and these relationships, it becomes very important; it becomes linked to global advocacy and it becomes linked to the whole notion of taking what happens locally and raising it to be global advocacy debates. And we could go on to talk about how that relates to issues around the WTO, around Kyoto; there is a whole range of issues of their that affect municipal government for which municipal government doesn't have a voice at the table unless it is through the international networks such as the international union of local authorities.

I want to talk about some of the specific programs that we have been working through at FCM as ways to bring some of this down to a bit more tangible, a bit more understandable vision. The first example I want to talk about is a woman in the Gaza Strip; her name is Fatimah. Fatimah lives in the municipality of Rafah, and Rafah is on the southern border of the Gaza Strip right on the Egypt border. You have probably read about Rafah; Rafah is one of the targets of the Israelis in seeking Hamas insurgents and terrorists, and so frequently the Israelis target individuals or locations in the Rafah community. But Fatimah has – if you look at Fatimah, you have all seen her; you have seen her on your television screen: she is a wizened old Palestinian woman with a scarf on her head, and her teeth aren’t straight, and her face is very wrinkled, and you can see a sorrow in her face which you have never experienced. But if you talk to Fatimah now, and you ask her what her life is like now, she will tell you that her life is better now in some ways than it was three, four, or five years ago, and she will tell you that it is better from the perspective that there is much greater social inclusion in that municipality than there was four and five years ago. That she, as a woman, and her colleagues who are in the marginalized element of that community, have a stronger voice in that municipal government than they used to have, and the reason, she will tell you, is because of a Canadian project in that municipality. That is a bit of an overstatement, I think, but that is what she will tell you. It comes from a program, where FCM was working with the municipality of Rafah. We brought together a team of individuals: city planner from Mount Pearl in Newfoundland, former city manager from Delta, BC, solid waste manager from Hamilton-Wentworth, city planners from around Toronto area. And this team of practitioners came together and they worked with a comparable team in Rafah, and together, as a team of Canadians and Palestinians we worked on financial management issues, on strategic planning, on solid waste management; we developed a pilot projects around community composting. But all of a sudden underlying theme of governance and public participation. And so whenever we were talking about or doing things around strategic planning, financial management, any of these issues, the core was engaging the public in the discussion, and so the feeling of inclusion has become significant in that community. And it starts to show up in very interesting and intangible ways. When the recent problems started in the Palestinian territories – recent being the last 18 months or so – the community and the municipality in Rafah got together. And they reported to us that they had never in their lives got together in this kind of forum before, and they sat down together, the community and municipality, and they simply sat there and they said: "We have a problem. We have to figure out how to survive in this is very, very tough environment." And they came up with solutions. They came up with simple solutions. For example, in each neighborhood, they set up very small reservoirs of potable water because they were very concerned about the possible destruction of the water system if the Israelis really came in the way they did in the West Bank. The neighboring municipality of Khan Yunus was in a serious situation – and Toronto folks may be able to relate to this to some extent – because they couldn’t get to their garbage site, because the Israelis had blocked the road. And so the Rafah municipality folks said they were going to open their solid waste site so that the folks could in fact use that solid waste site to keep their municipality clean and safe and healthy, as healthy as they possibly could. They never would have done that had they not had the experience of seeing how Canadian municipalities, in some cases, work together to find ways to solve common problems.

So, I am just going to put Fatimah and her story there for a minute. People talk about public speaking and how you need audio-visual aids: this is my audio-visual aid of Fatimah. The second story is one that comes from Salvador, Brazil. We’ve been working with Lucien and his Industry Canada program. The issue in Salvador, Brazil is public transportation. In that context, we facilitated a partnership between the Greater Vancouver regional district and the municipality in Salvador. And so the Greater Vancouver regional district has been providing its staff support on a volunteer basis to sit down with their transportation colleagues in Salvador to figure out how they can increase the efficiency and the effectiveness of the public transportation system in Salvador. And then Lucien Bradet’s gang will come along with some of the new technologies to make it not only more efficient and effective but more technologically advanced and cleaner. It is very important: again, it is the municipal practitioner talking to the municipal practitioner about very practical issues at a local level.

So my next audio-visual aid – I’ll come back to this in a minute – is in Salvador. The third example I want to talk about comes from what must be the worst scourge ever to hit the human experience. Today, there are between 28 and 30 million people – that’s the population of Canada – in Africa who are HIV AIDS positive. Since HIV AIDS came into the human experience, they estimate 20 million Africans have died. If you look at the country of Botswana – small country in central, southern Africa, the richest country in southern Africa because of its diamonds – if you are a woman and you are between the ages of 24 and 29 and you are in a room with nine of your colleagues, of the 10 of you in that room, five of you are likely to be HIV AIDS positive. That means that women going through child-bearing years are highly likely to be HIV AIDS positive. The life expectancy in Zimbabwe: if a woman in that room gives birth to a baby this year, the life expectancy of that child is probably less than 40 years. I could go on and talk about the number of orphans in Botswana and the fact that the school systems are starting to suffer because the teachers are dying and the nurses are starting to die off and so the health-care system is seriously problematic. There is a reduction in the number of people who are available to bring crops in from the fields and so the revenue generation source in that country is diminishing, and municipalities are starting to suffer because they have no way of gaining access to some of the resources that normally drive the municipal revenue side of their business. Canadian municipalities are coming forward and saying: "We need to work with these communities, because HIV AIDS is not just a health issue – it is not just about anti-retrovirals – HIV AIDS is about communities managing their affairs more effectively; it is about local governance; it is about strengthening of the municipal capacity to manage projects, to manage government procedures, to manage orphanages so that people can have a better life. It doesn't necessarily mean that we are going to come in and save lives overnight; we might make the dying a little more comfortable and we might make the surviving a little bit more comfortable. But these are critical issues for our times.

There are three examples here, and there are some common elements in these examples. One is that municipal governments, when they work together in an international context can do some very practical things. So, municipalities, when they work together can do it, and they can do it very well. But there is another common theme here a modest these three examples. These three examples are local expressions of the massive global problems: security, and in fact war, health problems, environmental problems. What we're saying today is that in fact we believe that municipal government when it works together at a local level, it can fly below the radar screen of some of the geopolitical tensions and international relations or lack thereof, and do things that you cannot it done if you are waiting for international agreements. If you take a Kyoto: we could be talking about Kyoto for years and years and years but meanwhile in Salvador, Brazil and another cities where they are working on greenhouse gas emissions reductions through international cooperation, you can aim towards achieving some of the objectives of those targets that can't be reached yet because global agreements can't be realized. It's the same thing with HIV AIDS, same thing with security issues. If I go back to the story of Fatimah: we worked in the municipality of Rafah, we then started to work with the association of Palestinian local authorities, building their capacity to share information etc. An interesting thing happened along the way: the Dutch came along and were working with us in the Palestinian local authority, and then IULA came along, and IULA started to recognize that there was an important opportunity here a level of peace and potential future reconstruction. And so, IULA played a role of brokering a negotiation that led to an agreement that assigned and is on paper today. It is an agreement between the Palestinian local authorities and the association of local authorities of Israel. The agreement says that we, together, the Israelis and the Palestinians, we understand that at a community level we have to figure out how to survive in this context, and if we can build local capacities, that we can help people survive. And then somewhere along the line, when that door is open a little bit in the peace process, it is the local authorities, the Palestinian and the Israeli local authorities that are going to be able to get their foot in that door, and wedge that door open a little bit wider and help to push the peace process along so that when it gets to a formal peace process, communities have a way of talking with each other. IULA played a very important role in doing that. So local authorities working together can establish common bonds, can establish communications and dialogue that can lead to very effective outcomes – Jane, did you get that? Outcomes? – that can't be achieved in the broader global debates and geopolitical discussions.

So I know Lucien wants me to wrap up. Yes, I know Lucien that you are looking at your watch and I meant to the... I was thinking about how to wrap this thing up, and it occurred to me that there was a little vignette in the first movie of Star Wars where Luke Skywalker and Yoda are standing there, and Yoda is trying to help Luke to marshal his natural skills so that he could really become a true Jedi warrior. And they are standing there in front of the cave, and Yoda says: "You must go in there for the last part of your training." And Luke says: "What is in there?" And Yoda says "What is in there, is whatever it is that you bring with you when you come out." So, in summarizing this presentation, I wonder what is it that you will go away with when I leave this podium and when this panel is done? One, cities have a role to play; municipalities have a role to play internationally. Second is that urban problems require urban solutions. The third is that cities and towns can work together to do very effective things. The fourth one goes back to when Lucien started this puzzling over the title of the session. I would say it is not pollution sans frontières; it is not cities sans frontières; I would say it is "solutions sans frontières." Thank you.

Lucien Bradet

I think we had a great exposé here, and it shows what we said at the beginning, which is that Canada can do a hell of a lot in many of those unfortunate opportunities, but they are there and we have to do something. And I am very proud to be Canadian because we can do things, and we are doing things – not enough, but we should do as much as we can...

We will take a break for about 10 minutes and come back at 11:10 and we will have about an hour or so of discussion.

[session resumes]

Lucien Bradet

Okay, we’ll start now, and we have about an hour, an hour and five minutes. I would like you to try to discipline your remarks so they are not too long, and questions, and try to address it to one or all of the panelists, and let’s go. Madame....

Unidentified Speaker

I am really asking a question on behalf of my son who is a physician Médecins Sans Frontières in the Congo. In one of his recent communiqués, he said to me that the city in which he works, Bukavu, 90 percent of the population is unemployed. This city is about the same size as Hamilton. And when he is trying to advise a person with AIDS to have a better diet, this person is only able to say: "Well, I can only afford maliok [?] I can't afford a decent diet." How is the municipality going to function, where the populace is only 10 percent employed?

James Orbinski

The answer is.... First of all, I am not in an expert in municipal structures and governance and so on so my answer is my answer; it is not any great expertly informed opinion. The fact is that most cities in the developing world do in fact function, and about between 60 and 90 percent of the populations in most African urban centres that are greater than one million, between 60 and 90 percent of the population in fact is employed in the informal sector. They are outside of the so-called formal, government controlled market economy. The more interesting question is: how do those informal sector's work; why do they work; and – even though there are huge problems and I've outlined some of them (there is no question that there are huge problems and those problems are always greater relative to more comfortable environments like the center of the universe, Toronto) but the question is – why aren't circumstances worse in those contexts than they are? And there is a whole range of so-called informal relationships, informal structures, informal systems that in fact are quite effective in maintaining a reasonable degree of social order and a reasonable degree of social cohesion and a reasonable degree of effectiveness in terms of informal systems and structures. Now, those in my mind are interesting questions, however, that doesn't obviate the more underlying question which I think you're putting on the table, which is: how do you create informal systems of governance, informal systems of health-care infrastructure, informal systems of civic infrastructure, informal systems of education and other services that in fact are equitable and there, and that I think is the critical question. I don't have an immediate answer for it.

Lucien Bradet

Equity is a big issue. I remember, recently I went to Durban in South Africa, and a go to Durban, you have a lot of richness and a lot of poorness. Now, the people who are in the poor quarters don't like it but it is be like that for many years. That is not equity. How do we bring them to the level where they can also share that quality of life, and that is an issue: how to attain that. Brock, do you have anything that you might add.

E. Brock Carlton

The only thing I might add – I agree entirely with what was just said. We have been working at one point in South Africa in a former Township, after the transition, and a similar question was on the table, and the only thing we were able to do was work with the local town council to look at bylaws and other mechanisms to support the informal sector so that it could operate in a way that was a little bit more organized than ad hoc and therefore gave a little bit more structure to the opportunities that the informal sector gave the people in terms of making some kind of livelihood.

Lucien Bradet

Madame?

Susan Clarke

Good morning. My name is Susan Clarke, and I was partly in Toronto and also in Los Angeles, and I want to thank the panel: it has been a very interesting morning. I have a comment and a question. The comment is that I live, as one of the panelists said yesterday, in a city where the pollution is actually less than it currently is in Toronto, and that is very disturbing to me as a Canadian because I always thought that we would do better than Los Angeles. Thirty percent and climbing is the percentage of the children in Los Angeles are seriously compromised, their health is seriously compromised – they are asthmatic, they have learning disabilities, and they are the first into the criminal system, the first homeless and so on. So if Los Angeles is the bad idea, and Toronto's pollution is coming up, what would you recommend? I for one am pregnant with all these wonderful ideas that come out but I haven't heard any solutions; I haven't heard any: "Let's do this. We are activating you, as speakers, we want you in the audience to get up and do this, sign this, earn money for that, go and lobby for this." Many I spend so much time in the States, and so I am "results oriented" but I would like to hear from you because you are extremely involved, nationally and internationally: what can we do about the specific local problem of pollution that is coming from across the States and settling in our regions? And if we can do that, then we have something to sell to the rest the world.

D. Lewis Stein

I think there are several levels at which you function. The one is: how often do you drive your car, and how often do you... those are personal decisions that we all have to make. The second level is on a municipal level, and how much can your municipality do? Well, there is a lot that they can do: they can retrofit buildings; if you are in the City of Toronto, the City of Toronto will help you retrofit your dwelling: there are all kinds of things that you as an individual can do that the city will help you do. How much can the city itself do, the municipality? Very limited. They can lead by example. That is essentially what they can do. They have no administrative power. They cannot force any factory, they cannot force any cars to cut their emissions.

Susan Clarke

How could the municipality get the power to do that?

D. Lewis Stein

There are two ways. One is if they are a region, as Toronto almost was, as Frank just pointed out: the greater Toronto services board. But in fact, there is a drive to do this. Hazel McCallian, the mayor had her association of mayors and chairs: it was an embryonic organization which the province cut short. It is a reality, that region; it is a physical reality but it is not the governmental reality yet. So in effect you have got to be fighting with the province; you have got to work with the politicians who realize that, and there are a number who do, who say that we do have to have some kind of a regional structure so that we can enforce the environmental rules that we want. So there are three levels: first the personal, the municipal, and then in fact to work toward the regional.

Susan Clarke

I respectfully suggest that we don't have time to go through all of that. That could take ten years.

D. Lewis Stein

The personal and municipal we can do. I mean, there is no other way. Short of rearranging the Canadian constitution to give ourselves the authority, there is no other way.

Susan Clarke

Change the taxes. Instead of paying seven percent, pay six percent and instead of paying eight percent, pay seven percent, and take two percent of the 15 percent that we all pay, and give it to the municipalities to do exactly what you are suggesting.

D. Lewis Stein

To do what? If they had all that money, what would they do with it?

Susan Clarke

Build better transit. Refurbish the hospitals. You better education, better outreach.

D. Lewis Stein

All things are... let me just to you a small story. I went to a meeting of people who were truckers – this was the Chamber of Commerce in Milton – and they were complaining of all the delays on the roads around greater Toronto. It cost them $100 an hour. They said that somebody had to do something about this and they all talked about which level of government should do it. So I put up my hand, and I asked: "How many people here would pay higher taxes in order to get better roads." Not one put up his hand.

Lucien Bradet

It is a difficult issue, and I remember in Ottawa, discussing for the last few years about Kyoto measures, right, and you heard about that. And people said: "Well, maybe if we just increase the price of gas. You know, we’ll make it from 57 to 67 or whatever." Well, guess what? It’s at 71, and we still use as much as we ever used before. So it is a very difficult mystery, how to play those things. And at 72 cents, we seem to buy as much as we always bought. So, it is not an easy one, and I think that the point that is being made is that personal action will have to kick in sooner than later, because government won’t be able to do everything. I don’t know how, but... Okay. Madame?

Margaret Rodrigues

My name is Margaret Rodrigues, and I was fortunate enough to be part of a U of T team that worked in South America on poverty alleviation in cities in Bolivia, funded by CIDA. So my question has to do with how Canada can develop an international urban agenda when we don't have a national urban agenda ourselves? My perception of what is happening at the federal level – and I really welcome people’s comments on this – is that the federal approach to cities of the world is extremely fragmented. About 80 percent of the international money goes through CIDA, the last time I looked, and about 20 percent goes through External Affairs, I think. The CIDA agenda does not have cities on it. What it has, is an agenda with four priorities: it has health, education, HIV, and children, as far as I recall. And if you go on the CIDA Web site you'll find the regional desks of CIDA which fund projects in different parts of the world. So you might find a Central American desk where there might be a project which happened to be in an urban community in Central America. If you look at the partnerships programme, you will find funding for partnerships between Canadian organizations and other organizations. There can be a partnership, say between the University of Toronto and a university in Africa to the various things. And you'll find a very out-of-date urban agenda which CIDA put out some years ago... [section missing as tape ends]. And then we hear about the sustainable cities initiative which is coming from Industry Canada and I don't how that connects in with the CIDA agenda. So if we don't have a coherent internal urban agenda in Canada and we don't have a coherent international agenda because of all this fragmentation at the federal level, how do we do about being more effective in the kind of issues that we have talked about?

Lucien Bradet

Well, I think the fact that you asked the question, and I see Carolyn Bennet here, an MP, a very active MP in Ottawa. I mean, you are saying it to the right people. I see Brock nodding on that one too. Bureaucracy is difficult to deal with for you and for me, even though I am inside it. Why Industry Canada? Because I want the private sector to participate in those issues in the world, and the best way to attract the partnership of the private sector was from Industry Canada. When we started SCI and five cities, CIDA said it was not a priority. While guess what? They now have projects in all the cities we are working in, because they discovered that we have a recipe here that may make sense for future solutions for the money they have to spend and Brock is pulling his hair – he doesn't have much left but he still has some – he will continue to pull his hair on the same issue that you raise. He recognizes the issue because he has programmes that are funded by CIDA but he is a drop in the bucket of water. Right? It is not enough.

E. Brock Carlton

It is very, very rare that I would defend CIDA. Just understand that I had mentioned that in 1987 FCM had started its international programme as a partnership between CIDA and FCM, and CIDA was the first donor to recognize that urban issues were coming as the development agenda of the future. For the longest time, we were pretty much the only folks in the game. And then the Dutch have come along, and the Brits, and the Americans, and a few others but CIDA did recognize what was coming and as a result of that – the history and the experiences we have – we are recognized – we being Canada, and FCM and CIDA – are recognized as world leaders in this field. I am not ever going to argue that it is sufficient but CIDA did see it coming and did have the foresight in the strength of character to make some move. The problem now is that CIDA doesn't understand what municipal government is and does. And so, when you read the list of priorities, a you could easily say that all of those things play out somehow added municipal level, even if it is peace and security or HIV AIDS or health or whatever it is, but CIDA doesn't recognize that. And part of the conversation that Lucien and I have been having lately is what we need to do as advocates. You know, FCM is an advocacy body. We need to advocate more effectively with CIDA and the federal government on what municipal government really is, and what it is internationally.

D. Lewis Stein

I would just like to thank you for raising that basic issue. If we're going to lecture the rest of the world about how to run their cities, surely the federal government should have a national urban policy and the helping Canadian cities develop. Or as Mel Lastman would say: "Show us the money."

Lucien Bradet

Thank you very much Madame. A very good point. Yes?

Susan Bell

My name is Susan Bell, and I am a business woman, but I am an economist as well. I was wondering if the panel comments on a couple of ideas I have. One is that I believe we have put ourselves into an intellectual straitjacket in Canada and internationally. We believe that we have to have money in order to do anything, whereas I think that is totally efforts. When Mr. Orbinski was talking about how at the early part of the century we made all these public health investments in sewage and water treatment etc., well we had no money then; we were much poorer then than we are now; we were like a Third World country almost ourselves. Making all those investments: that is what created our wealth as well as the industrial capacity. So that is why we are treading water in this country: as long as we think that we have to have money first in order to do anything, we will never get anywhere. In fact, we are going backwards. So that is my first thing. I would like to have the chainsaw and cut through in Ottawa and international financial circles this complete nonsense that we have; we will never get anywhere until we abandon these ideas. The second thing I would like to say is that I came up with a plan – I called it Green Ontario 99, and tried to get at going in Ontario in the early 1990s. But I didn't get too far, so I recycled it, as a good environmentalist, and now call it Green Ontario 2010. The idea was that Canada should pass the most draconian environmental laws in the world, but being from the private sector myself, I knew that of course industry would fight it like crazy. But the idea was to do an end-run around that and instead you say: "Look, we are not trying to kill you; we don't want you to move to Mexico just to escape our pollution laws. We are in the same boat, so we want you to stay here. So we are going to help you make the transition. We are going to finance you. There is nothing punitive." And then you see all this money that has gone into the stock market for rubbish in the last 10 years. Instead, we are going to galvanize our stock markets, and give tremendous tax incentives to people to make all these fantastic investments. I spoke to people in the Ontario government, in the treasury. They told me they could all do it. And then people were telling me: "Well, if only the feds could come on side, it could all be done." I spoke to the head of new products for Dominion Securities. He told me that they could raise hundreds of millions, billions of dollars if the tax incentives were right. I was sort of working with these guys in the early '90s. That is the first part. The idea is that all this money goes into something, so that at the end of 10 years, you don't just have a meltdown like we just had; at the end of 10 years from now, you have something to show. Will have a real legacy for our children. I mean, I feel embarrassed by what my generation has been doing. The second part of the strategy would be municipal. We would have all sorts of tax incentives. Municipalities would float all sorts of bond issues to make all sorts of infrastructure investments: environmental investments etc. And once again you would get this great tax benefit if you invested, and once again, 10 years from now there would be something to show for it. You know, we invest for our retirement in all these boondoggles. Well, instead there would really be something that the end of the day. The third part of the programme would be a retrofit, where everybody retrofitted their houses and older buildings, but once again the savings would be fed through your utility bills, so you would never pay more; you would pay less. So nobody would fight it again, because it would cost from the same amount of money or less. As an economist I thought: "Wow. This would create so much business. The business community would be on side." It would bring everybody together. And we have all this financial strength but we are not using. We are behaving like complete idiots. The last part was a kind of international thing where we would go into developing countries – that's where I have a lot of experience; I go to developing countries and I see that they are using their exports to pay for oil, which is nonsense, especially in hot countries. We would go in there and say: "We’ll build all sorts of infrastructure for you, and so you will cut your imported oil consumption dramatically, and so now instead of having a $15,000 health budget for a huge country, so you can’t do anything, instead your money will go to pay for health instead of for imported oil and then maybe you do some trade with Canada as a thank you for whatever." So it throws out. Can this be done?

Lucien Bradet

Anybody who wants to comment? That is a huge agenda... I think that point on the international [plan] is very important, and we see that everywhere we go. If we can help them to decrease their imports of things that are polluting more than anything else, and help them to increase their tourism, increase their exports: that is what they want. You see in the G8 discussion around Africa, for example, that the leader says: "We want aid, yes, but if it is only ever aid, we will never get out of our mess. We need to do more trade. We need to do more investment. We need to do more commerce and so forth. So it is a combination of all of the above." Any other comments? ... Monsieur. Yes, sir?

Alan Pearson

My name is Alan Pearson. I am with the International Children’s Institute. I think there was some virtue in the original definition for this panel. The idea that there are global forces, moving diseases around the world, for example, or moving pollution around the world. The West Nile virus is an example of this, I guess, and the cross-border air pollution and water pollution. So I am interested in whether Dr. Orbinski, for example, has any suggestions for how the public health systems can be reconstituted to be as effective as they were in the Golden Age, 1880 to 1920, or whatever the time period was, but to take account not only of domestically generated disease, but disease that enters a country from outside, but produces symptoms for physicians who are not used to tropical diseases, in Toronto, for example?

James Orbinski

Very concretely, I did say in my comments that there were really two key principles. One is that a new concept of public health has to be increasingly ecologically minded, and not just in terms of the so-called environment, but with a view to the human species being a part of the environment, and not necessarily something that is separate and has a dominion over it. The second basic principle is one that recognizes equity of all human beings as a starting point of the so-called political project, however broadly you want to define it. From there, with those two basic principles, there are a whole series of very practical, knowledge-based, evidence-based, approaches, that are based on continually evolving systems of knowledge, which is the basic concept of science: it is always changing, there is no truth, it is continuously improving and augmenting and changing and so on. That translates into surveillance systems, conceptual models that look at both risk analysis and ecological analysis, models that look at behaviour as well as political structure, the impact of social and political structure on distributions and patterns of disease across populations, across time, and across space. For example, people often talk about the HIV epidemic in terms of risk factors: various sexual practices, IV drug abuse and so on. If you try to look at the HIV epidemic in a slightly different way, what we see, in fact, is that the only thing that is absolutely predictable about HIV is that it will move from poor population to poor population to poor population. It will systematically take root in the most marginalized and most excluded members of any society, and that is an epidemiologic fact that is very difficult to describe given the current tools and so on that we use within a public health system. I could go on and talk about principles and very specific theories and very specific practices that would derive from the two concepts that I put forward, but they are there.

Alan Pearson

But what, for example, would a local medical officer of health do to apply what you have just described.

James Orbinski

A local medical officer of health would recognize, for example, that the homeless person that I passed on my street corner this morning on the way up here, that that person, who is likely a schizophrenic and likely an alcoholic, has a right, as a human being, to have his basic dignity respected, and also has a right as a human being to have access to health care. The fact that I walk over that man, that I walk by him, the fact that that is somehow an accepted norm – and it is, and we all know that it is, and we all have various ways of justifying it in our minds – that that is an accepted norm, that medical officer of health would act definitively to make sure that that person gets access to health care, gets public housing, gets support for his long-term mental disability, and is off the street. And we as a community would accept that as perfectly normal: that a person who is unable to care for themselves must be cared for by us. As well, it would mean that a person with HIV would have access to antiretroviral therapy, therapy that was largely paid for through your tax dollars and mine in terms of research and development – in terms of marketing, certainly paid for by the pharmaceutical industry – but in terms of R and D, largely paid for through your tax dollars and mine, and therefore part of the right to access the fruits of medical sciences must translate practically into the right to access pharmaceutical products that are life-saving, and that we as a community, whether it is here in Toronto or internationally, that we would accept that. And that the medical officer of health would also take measures to ensure that food produced in Guatemala is safe for consumption in Toronto, that it meets the international standards of safety and quality and nutrition, and that as a commodified product in a global market, it meets a minimum norm, a minimum set of standards of safety, quality, and nutrition, and so on.

Alan Pearson

So we should all go home to our respective communities and go to our local medical officer of health, and give him or her that agenda.

James Orbinski

Well, you know sir, I have a very long agenda that I could pass on too. I am simply describing broad concepts in terms about how people think about their local problems.

Mac Makarchuk

Thank you very much Mr. Chairman. My name is Mac Makarchuk. I come from the Centre of the Universe, of course... The one that was described earlier. My first question is to Dave. As you know, it is very difficult for a municipality, especially a large one, to plan urban transit, roads, sewage, and so on, when there are other planning authorities on the outskirts. And this is a big battle. How would you suggest, or what measures can be brought in, to ensure that somebody, either a super-authority, either incentives or another layer of government or something is put in place – as was attempted in Toronto, and then of course it had no power and was dissolved – to ensure that you can bring about this kind of planning? Otherwise, I can’t see any kind of solution to urban sprawl or transit or anything like that, unless you have that large level of planning in an area. That’s the one question. The other question is to the other two panelists. During your discussion, you were discussing about the technology that we have, and we are able to transfer it over there, and it works, and we are showing them how to things the way we are doing it and it seems to be effective: both of you, or rather none of you has touched on the idea of the great disparity of income. You have got major differences in wealth. You’ve got a small portion of the population, maybe about three percent, that controls just about 80 to 90 percent of the wealth, and you’ve got all the rest on the other side. How in the world do you ever see any kind of solutions in the Third World unless you start bringing up that level at the bottom up to a level where there will be a distribution of income to the population. Otherwise, I think your problems are going to persist. That is, all the indicators are that the disparities in wealth are not only increasing here in North America – maybe in 50 or 60 years we will be like Latin America, but anyway – they are increasing here, but there are no changes in the other countries. And I feel that if you are going to deal with those problems, you have to, besides the technology, there has to be some effort, either the IMF, the World Bank, whatever agencies that are available will have to start working in that particular direction, to remove those disparities. Your comments?

Lucien Bradet

Do you want to start with the first question?

D. Lewis Stein

Yes, just briefly because there are two.... Mac, I think it is a question of pressure from the bottom. The provincial government, in our structure, has the power now; it is very difficult to imagine wresting it away from them. If you remember the fight over the Oak Ridges Moraine, that was to save this moraine for which building on it could endanger the water supply and the aquifer; the provincial government resisted doing anything until finally there were just so many mass meetings and so much public outcry that they just simply stepped in and did it. On an immediate level, that is all we can do. There may be other ways, regional governments in the future, but right now the provinces there and the political process is open to pressure from us.

Lucien Bradet

For the second question, I'm going to let my friend answer, but I want to give you a small example of what Canada can do. We all know in Canada that information technology is extremely important, and if it is important for us, it is important for the rest of the world. We have a program in Canada called School Net – not School Net, Computers for School – we were able, in partnership with the private sector to distribute over 300,000 computers to our schools. You might say that that is normal because Canada is rich and we have a lot of computers, but let me tell you a small story. In Bolivia, there are a lot of poor people, poor kids in school, schools that are very badly equipped. Less than 16 months ago, we started Computers for Schools in Bolivia. We were able, with the private sector, to distribute 22,000 computers. No one will do those kids? First of all, it will open their minds to the world; it will educate them in the technology; it will give them a chance to do commerce, to do all kinds of things. So in my mind, we cannot change the income levels of those people, but if we give them the technology and the tools to graduate to those levels, I think they have a much better chance to get out of that ghettos that unfortunately most of them or many of them are in. So it is a tiny example, and it is very minimal in the question that you have but it is one action that we can do and that my colleagues can add to in the health sector or whatever.

E. Brock Carlton

I want to start off by saying that if I have left the impression that we do and we do things, or we tried to have them do things in the way we do it, I either misspoke or I didn't complete an idea, because that is certainly not the approach that we take. It's an attitude that actually sets the Canadians apart from others who work in the development field because the perspective is very clear that we are going – I was talking about the solid waste guy going into working with the solid waste person from some other country – and it isn't saying: this is how we do it here; this is how you should do it. It is saying: "this is how we do it; this is what we have learned about this whole thing called solid waste management. And what is your context; what are your resources; what are your constraints; let us together, in a very practical way, try to figure out what things you might be able to do to make how you do things in your context a little bit better." So, I just want to clarify that. In terms of inequities, they are enormous, and a lot of what we try to do, even if we are working on a sectoral issue, is try to come to the question of public engagement, bringing the marginalized and disenfranchised into the conversation so that there can be some sense of enhanced inclusion in the community that may somehow had helped build a better sense of some degree of equity. But we certainly recognize, that under the current international structures and systems, achieving a greater degree of equity is going to require an awful lot more effort than what we bring to it.

James Orbinski

I just have one comment, which is that there is absolutely no question that income inequities are an absolutely clear and powerful marker of poverty. They are not just simply in the developing world, or the so-called developing world. In the United States, for example, in the last five years, there has been 4 million more children who have fallen below the poverty line. And at the same time, there have been something like 12 to 15 new billionaires. In Canada, the number of children fallen below the poverty line is also increasing, and in fact Canada has fallen from the heralded position of number one on the human development index this year to number whatever: three or four or five, because of Canada's pathetic policy on child poverty. And child poverty is very much an indicator of a broader problem of inequities and marginalization of people. And so the poorer class, if you will – and it is a class, an economic class – the poorer class is growing both within countries and across countries. And that is a consequence of so-called globalization, of economic globalization. And that is not going away. And it will only go away when people – in my mind anyway – give up the illusion that they are simply consumers and take up the responsibility of being active citizens in their formal political spaces. And where those formal political spaces do not or will not change, then citizens have a duty to change those political systems, which goes back to the very first question that was asked this morning around what kind of action should one take.

Lucien Bradet

Sir?

John Campbell

My name is John Campbell. I am a retired chemical technologist from Richmond Hill. It has struck me that a lot of the problems we have spoken about our actually symptoms of our world population problem, which is not going away; it is becoming more alarming all the time. It seems to me that perhaps one of our only hopes to do something about this is to promote education and try to eradicate ignorance and superstition – I am digressing, I realize but I thought I'd mention this, and listen to your comments.

James Orbinski

Just a word on population control: the single most important factor, which has been shown definitively over and over again in terms of actually reducing population, reducing fertility rates, is in fact what you have identified, which is education. Everything else is secondary to education, and more specifically, education of women. When women are educated, women are empowered and women then take action within their immediate circumstances to take control off their personal lives, of their destiny and also the destiny of their children. They usually engage, within one generation, they will engage in small-scale local economic activity; they will be able to control to at least some degree the economic flow within their family unit and therefore have increased control and increased agency in their daily lives and in the lives of their children. The net effect of that, within one generation, is virtually a measurable. And it is the single most important factor. It has been shown definitively in study after study after study to be the most important issue in terms of control of the population.

Lucien Bradet

It is so true. In South Africa, the biggest fight or the biggest story over the last 12 months has been that the government is not convinced that they should do more vaccination or cure of mothers who have HIV, and protecting their kids. They have had to go to the court, to the Supreme Court and finally people understand now that if they take those measures, they are going to cut the problem very rapidly. It's in the future but it is so important, and it was a question of education from top government to the lowest level because people thought was not possible, and the science shows that is possible. In education, we cannot enough.

E. Brock Carlton

I would just have one thing, not related to your question, but somewhat tangential. There are countries that are trying to institute policies to build medium-sized cities and try to stem the urbanization flow to the big city – if you look a lot of the Southeast Asian countries, there is one city that drives the economy and is about 40 to 50 percent of the GNP of the country. So there is a very specific policy in place to try to build medium-sized cities so that they become more manageable units. Someone was asking yesterday or the day before about the ideal size of the city. It is not a population control issue but it is an attempt to manage the flow of population and urbanization.

Lucien Bradet

Yes?

Ahjung Lee

Hi, my name is Ahjung. I am a third-year student in peace in conflict studies at the University of Toronto. I really appreciated your story from Gaza, Brock. I found a very interesting in terms of the local authorities, of Palestinians and Israelis coming together and working on practical projects, and thereby opening of the door for further negotiations. I was thinking, if you ask those questions in refugee camps and so on, they not only want sewage and water systems and so on, the more practical things, but they also want peace. When you're talking about more peace in justice, you are going a level higher than those practical projects because the conception of peace in justice is quite different between these two groups, how they perceive peace to be and justice to be. At the local level, in terms of local authorities working together internationally and individually, what you think Canada's local authorities do in terms of generating, for reaching about higher level, in terms of relieving the hatred, relieving the antagonism, and bringing about a deeper understanding and peace, not only just projects?

E. Brock Carlton

There is a guy named Ken Bush, I don't know if you have come across any of his work. Ken Bush is apparently a fairly renowned thinker and academic writer in the notion of peace and security and post-conflict reconstruction, and his argument is that thinking about peace issues that municipal level, the idea isn't to do things about peace, the idea is to do things that create community cohesion, create dialogue, and create structures that allow for dialogue. You do that along the way to addressing other sectorial issues or concerns, and if you can do that effectively, then you create a place for the conversation that will help move that society to a better understanding among different groups, and some sense of moving towards a peaceful environment. It is kind of an "out-there" idea, but I think it has a lot to offer. We were talking at lunch the other day about an effort in Shevardnadze, to bring that community back together after all the troubles. And a lot of the effort to rebuild the social fabric in a place is around the building of the opportunities and the mechanisms for dialogue. So it isn't projects: it isn't building a reservoir or something like that; it is just creating the spirit and the place for people to talk to each other and develop a common sense of how they are trying to move forward as community.

Lucien Bradet

It is a very fragile balance. I know that many of you have traveled around the world, and I guess the mayors and the city councilors, the huge problem that they have is how to keep the balance between the people that have and the people that do not have, and the people who do not have a waiting for the water that they don't have, or the income, or the lighting, or to be helped. Peace in the context is very important because of they don't do something there, they're going to lose peace in that community very rapidly, or they are afraid of that. So our peace is not the peace they are talking about, and quality of life for them almost does not exist, and if we don't improve that, then peace will be lost and very rapidly. That is a different dilemma than we have here.

James Orbinski

Just one comment on that. Piece is not simply the absence of violence. Peace is very much the presence of equity and the presence of justice. People in a community, people of different ethnic systems, people of different income groups and so on, if people within a community have a viable political system that allows for the equitable and the just resolution of what are inevitably human conflicts – we are by definition conflictual entities; in any kind of social intercourse or discourse, it is an essential ingredient of our humanity that there will be conflict – but there must be systems and political structures that allow for the equitable and just solution to those conflicts. When no systems don't function, or when they fail, then we have violence. So peace is not simply the absence of violence.

E. Brock Carlton

If I could just add to that.... Ahjung, one of the things that I was going to say is that part of what we do, and I didn't really talk about it, but part of what we do is look at the role of municipal government in different issues. So we have done some documentation about the role of municipal government in poverty reduction and what we're looking at right now is documenting the role of municipal government in peace and security and post-conflict reconstruction. So this guy, Ken Bush, is working with us and we are doing a series of case studies on the role of municipal government in some conflict areas, for example, in the southern Philippines’ in the case of the Mindanao, the Muslim Mindanao, and the Gaza case. And out of that will come a document that looks at case studies and talks about the factors and features of municipal government to create a peaceful environment. So to keep in touch, we can share that with you would it is ready.

Unidentified Speaker

I wanted to direct my question to Dr. Orbinski and Mr. Carlton. I was hoping that you could comment actually on the sustainable cities initiative: what your thoughts are on this project, and whether you differ from the vision presented by Industry Canada?

Lucien Bradet

Well, should we allow that question or not? I don’t know.... Go for it.

E. Brock Carlton

There is a history behind the answer to this question, as always. The sustainable cities initiative started – you can correct me of my history is somewhat warped – the sustainable cities initiative started with a conversation in Ottawa amongst a group of stakeholders, and the conversation was about the fact that in Canada sort of presents to the international world a series of activities that talk about working in cities, but it isn't a coordinated, multi-sectorial, coordinated approach. And so the original conversation was: how do we in our different units come together to create this coordinated approach to building sustainable cities around the world, and that there were obviously some very different opinions and ideas around how that would come together. And through the machinations and debates and politicking, it came to be an Industry Canada thing. In the original debates, certainly between my office and Lucien's office, the conversation was: there is a private sector agenda here, and there is a governance agenda here, but there was a conversation about two different agendas, and how is it that we can come together and presents a coherent, coordinated approach without compromising our respective agendas and opinions. The one place where that is taking shape is in Salvador in Brazil, where industry Canada identified Salvador as one of the locations where they were going to be working on some sustainable cities initiatives, some marketing, and looking at the sustainable technologies that could be applied in Salvador, and we came along through Vancouver – actually, Salvador was the one who said: "You know, I think there are some capacity issues here." Vancouver and FCM came along with Lucien’s guys and said: "We can come and work beside you, and we can work on capacity issues, and Lucien and his shop are bringing a different set of capacities and issues to the table, and it is creating more of a holistic approach to the work that we are trying to do in Salvador.

Lucien Bradet

Interestingly enough as we progress over time, every city we go to now, there are planners with us who are not in the business of selling, but helping plan the city. We have people from the University of New Brunswick who look after the valuation process. And you say, what the need that for? Well, it is very important in the developing world, because if you do not put the right value on property, you cannot collect taxes and you cannot do improvement in your cities. And so, all kinds of things are coming together and those of the synergies that work together very well. And James, that is the first time you heard about it, this morning, so I don't know what opinion you have on that...

James Orbinski

The question puts me in an embarrassing situation where I have to admit to Lucien that this is the first time that I have heard about his programs. Without knowing more, I wouldn't want to comment on it, because I don't think it's fair.

E. Brock Carlton

Another important perspective from our side as this thing was taking shape: we had said to Lucien in conversations many times that our point of departure, our area of focus is governance and capacity building and that our belief is that if you come in and sit down and work with your local colleagues on governance and capacity building issues, then eventually you create the trust, the networks, the opportunities that open the door for the Canadian private sector agenda. And so, I think our position was very clear from the beginning that that is our starting point for working on these issues together.

Lucient Bradet

Sustainable development for those who are an adept of that, is definitely, as I said before, at the beginning of the presentation, it is economic development, it is environmental integrity, is governance, it is social improvement, all of those aspects have to be on the table. And I think that what Canadians are now doing together – FCM, ourselves, and others – are giving more and more to that approach. I'm going to go to South Africa in the near future to a WSSD conference, and underlying all of that now is: how do we put those pieces together? Rio ’92 did try to do that. It put 90 percent of its effort in national government to try to do things, and it has not succeeded very well, and now they are saying that we are missing partners around the table. That is why we need local authorities, we need private sector, we need planners, we need doctors, we need the whole society working at the problem. And I think that we have learned from our mistakes and that is why we are trying to correct for the future.

Yes, sir?

Matt Griem

Thank you. My name is Matt Griem. I am a student at the Monk Centre for international studies. Over the past summer I have been doing research on the Great Lakes, and what has been happening environmentally. And the situation is dire. Water quality is going down; you have microbes and that sort of thing which are increasing. What I am wondering is – I am really encouraged by hearing that municipalities are talking and working together, and internationally. But what I've seen from my research is that internationally, between the United States and Canada, there is not a lot of cooperation on the Great Lakes issues. There is a lot of talk here and there, but it is kind of sporadic. And to create any kind of solution, we need to talk to each other. Unfortunately I think there are over 1000 municipalities in the United States and then there are many over here as well. So am wondering from the panel, anyone there, if you could give some suggestions about where to start in the problem like this? We are talking about water quality in the Great Lakes, and we need to start somewhere. So where would you start to try to approach this kind of large problem? How would you start to get together and talk, given that you have many municipalities in the States, unit different levels of government in Ontario; the federal government is involved, Ontario government is involved, all the States’ governments are involved, and really you can’t solve the problem without talking to each other because Hamilton’s water depends on the water in Windsor; it depends on the water in Michigan. So really it is kind of an interconnected problem, but many municipalities – and you want to give more power – but when you have that many levels of government, how do you deal with the logistics; where would you start with something like that, from your experiences?

E. Brock Carlton

Actually, I hadn’t thought of it before, but there is an interesting comparison – there is a project in the Great Lakes district in Africa, around Lake Victoria that, I think particularly, the International Council for Environmental Initiatives is supporting or managing this project – and it is the same issue, except that in that case there is one lake. There is a bunch of communities around that lake, and there is a serious water-quality issue that affects the fish stock and all of those things, and you’ve got how many countries, Max? There must about five: Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda; there is probably about five countries that are around this lake, and so ICEI’s approach has been to bring the municipalities together, who are the main source of the problems, and talk about ways they can reduce pollution at the source. So it doesn’t necessarily become a political jurisdiction issue; it becomes an issue of what is happening in that municipality that is polluting that lake, and what can be done in that municipality to reduce the pollutants that go into the water. I could see some kind of common thing happening around the Great Lakes, where if you had Hamilton and a few others that started talking about getting a dialogue going about their respective contributions to pollution in the lakes, you would at least get the conversation going at the municipal lever, appreciating that there are many, many municipalities around the lakes, but...

D. Lewis Stein

That is a problem that you can really begin to address locally because the headwaters of something like 30 rivers that feed the Great Lakes begin in the Oak Ridges Moraine. That is just one small area, and people have become very aware of this. They are trying to protect those headwaters. They are trying to protect them not only at the headwaters, but downstream also. So when you have those kind of program beginning, then you are coming to the table with something to bargain with: "we have actually done something." And there are several organizations – I mean, you must know this better than me, but they all have initials that I can’t remember. But there are organizations working at this, and when we come to the table, we can come to the table with positive results, saying: "we are doing something."

Hugh Drew-Brook

Hi there, I’m Hugh Drew-Brook. My question, I guess, is this – I have been listening with great interest to your comments on working with underdeveloped countries, and it all sounds very wonderful and very humane and encouraging – I am wondering, what relationship to these projects is business? In other words, are there contracts for equipment, is there development, is there some economics that get involved that gives us trade with these areas, and finance and so on? I guess I am wondering – just listening, it all sounds very humanitarian and very wonderful – but there must be some dollars and cents back of this, and there must be some motivation, and I am just curious to have you comment on the commercial and trade aspect of some of this.

Lucien Bradet

For the pilot projects that we have done in about five cities, we have about 350 private sector participants, about 95 to 100 NGO people, and about 50 people from the public sector. The way it works, and I didn’t explain it in the video, but you can get documentation in the back, is that these people form teams and develop strategies. Taking the waste business, for example, in Salvador there are 16 companies plus the CEO, Johnny Carlisle from Greater Vancouver, for the authority of Salvador, and they are working together as a team. And they developed now three projects: one to recuperate the gas from the land fill that they have, which is part of the climate change fund that Canada has participated in a little bit, and then the City of Salvador has invested, and the private sector has invested in that. A second project is a project with CIDA where land would be recuperated for citizens to use for sports activities or housing and so forth. There is no doubt at the end of the day that the purpose, when you involve the private sector – they want to make investments of one point in time, and they want to see if they can contribute to the development of trade and commercial relations with those countries, because you are not going to engage the private sector if you want to transform them into an aid agency. The difference is that, in all of the cases above – and that is an incredible commitment of the private sector to this initiative – after two years and dozens of trips to those countries – the government of Canada didn’t pay them a penny – they came on their own time, participated with their own knowledge, made their own expenditures and so forth. So it is not an aid programme. It is their investment in trying to solve problems over there. At the end of the day, they hope to see something. But that is the kind of open-minded private sector that is trying to develop an idea of sharing that in the world, and I am very proud of that for the Canadians. It is pretty unique in the world, I can assure you of that. Pretty unique.

James Orbinski

Can I just comment on that as well? The private sector is interested in markets, and exactly as Lucien has described, in investments and in return. For many of the issues, not all but many of the issues that have been discussed today, there are no markets in which one can make money. In fact, in many of the circumstances that have been described today, the vast majority of people who live in those circumstances, live in the informal economic sector. And they live on less than two dollars a day, and you have heard all those statistics before, and I won’t go through them again. But the fact is that in those non-market spaces, in which about one third, or one of every three people on the planet live... [some text missing as tape side ends]

...dollars and cents, that drives our engagement. And not all things can be reduced to dollars and cents. Hopefully, when people are engaged, and their basic dignity is looked after, and they are respected and so on, that does, very clearly, lead to the growth markets. So, one of the key issues there, that has, if one wants to reduce humanitarianism, or humanitarian arguments down to or into an economic model, one of the key issues is that humanitarian action has enormous goodwill, and has enormous long-term implications as to how that goodwill is seen in the future, when the markets have, so-called, emerged, and there are many examples of that. But I don’t like to reduce humanitarianism to an economic argument. I would like to argue that essentially there is no question that markets and a market-based economic system is the most effective in terms of generating new wealth, and in terms of generating new growth, and innovation and so on. You need only look at the history of the 20th Century to prove that. But there is also no question that a market must be rooted in a society. Not the other way around: society is not rooted in the market. It is the other way around. A market requires a clearly articulated set of values that are respected, a priori, over the ability to commodify an action, a good, or a service. A market also requires a functioning system of effective governance, and that goes back to many of the issues that have been discussed previously, and I don’t think there is anybody on this panel that would disagree with that.

Hugh Drew-Brook

Excuse me, are you saying then that private enterprise, and government, in many cases provide services and knowledge with a very vague potential for a return. Are you saying that they are really motivated, quite substantially on humanitarian grounds?

James Orbinski

No, I am not saying that. I am saying that many private-sector actors are motivated by return on investment, and that is fine. That is perfectly legitimate. There is nothing wrong with that. It’s a good thing. Business builds nations: we know that. But in order to do that, that requires a functioning market. But for many of the issues we are discussing here, there is no market. And that requires, by definition, a humanitarian response. And governments, both in that circumstance, and internationally, have a duty to respond on a humanitarian basis to people’s basic needs, as do individual citizens.

Lucien Bradet

Let me give an example. One of the areas that is most in demand, when you go into cities, is the development of the tourism industry. You say: "What are you talking about?" It’s very simple. First of all, they have an attraction that could attract tourists; if they can attract tourists, they make money, and for that they have a better standard of living. But for that they have to fix the water; they have to fix the sanitation; they have to have investment. And now we are working with three of those five cities in tourism development to create jobs, which are not very difficult to create, because you don’t need a bachelor’s degree for that. To do that they have to fix their infrastructure, and they say: "That’s great, because we are going to increase our income, and therefore our standard of living and quality of life." So, it is very much intertwined: at the same time, we are going to deal with health problems, because if they don’t fix the water that goes right into the centre of Salvador, which smells, they won’t have the tourism coming in. This integration concept, for me, is the strongest one you can play with, as opposed to only one area at a time. So, are you going to say it is mercantile? I don’t think so. I think it is a society as it should develop, not only one aspect, but all aspects of life.

Hugh Drew-Brook

So the government is more of a coordinating force, there?

Lucien Bradet

That’s it. That’s all we’re doing.

James Orbinski

But also, where the market fails, the government has to do a hell of a lot more than coordinate.

Lucien Bradet

That’s right. That’s where we come in. [some laughter] No, but seriously, that is always a question we ask in the government: is there a market failure or not? If there is no market failure, we don’t get in there. But if there is someplace where you can intervene, for the benefit of all of the partners, then you should intervene a little bit.

Last question. I am sorry. I know that it is 12:25 and we are running a little bit late. Yes sir?

Unidentified Speaker

First I want to practice my comment by saying that I definitely supported public spending on public goods like urban transit and stuff. One of the things that really bothers me is that Canadians – and this is probably true of people everywhere in the world – are not willing to pay for the services that they receive. I was thinking about the example of this neighborhood in Ajax: people move out there because it is cheaper than living downtown, but in fact, it is not cheaper for society were people to live that there with images were people to live downtown. I think the burden on society is less when people are living more closely together. And one thing that I was thinking of – and I know this is very pie in the sky – but if you remove the subsidies from everything: if you remove the subsidies from transit, remove subsidies from roads, and actually made people who use the roads pay for the externalities through the gas prices, made people in the suburbs pay for all of the externalities, pay for the higher cost of servicing their lots and that kind of thing, you just watch how fast we would have smart development. If everyone had to pay for exactly what they were getting, people would be living a two-minute walk away from their work. Pollution would basically be a thing of the past: we would not have cars, you know. But instead we decide that we want to pay for everything, that society wants to subsidize roads to the tune of billions and billions of dollars while shortchanging transit. It boggles the mind and it is very annoying. I don't know if I have a question embedded in here so much but maybe you could just comment... about people’s unwillingness to pay....

D. Lewis Stein

Just one question, here...

Lucien Bradet

[ringing a bell or rattling his keys?] Thank you very much. And I'm sorry to cut you short. No, we don't have time. Just one more minute. I would like to make the panelists and all of you because I thought it was a great discussion. Two or three announcements. Audiovisuals of the sessions, all of them are taped, are available in the foyer. I said the Industry Canada booth is upstairs. If you want more information than what we talked about, you can go there. Couchiching items are also for sale outside. Check the message board. Don't forget to sign-up sheet for the 2:00 discussion for those who want to be there. And anyone who needs rides after the conference, please talk to the management in the front.

Thank you very much again.