Building Sustainable Cities in Quebec: Ecofiscal opportunities for municipalities in the 21st century

Event Details

  • Tuesday January 27, 2015
  • 3:30 pm - 6:00 pm
  • Free
  • Faculty Club
    3450 McTavish Street
    McGill University

Building Sustainable Cities in Quebec:  Ecofiscal opportunities for municipalities in the 21st century

Register online by January 14, 2015

Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission and SWITCH, l’Alliance pour une économie verte au Québec, invite you to a roundtable on January 27 in Montreal, about the role that ecofiscal policies can play in building sustainable cities in Quebec. View Program

Municipalities are at the forefront of environmental transition and quality of life improvements for its inhabitants. Increasing access to public transit, revitalizing urban cores and retrofitting suburbs, as well as protecting undeveloped lands and urban biodiversity are all issues that are best addressed at local levels. How fiscal regimes are set up can accelerate or discourage the adoption of greener urban practices. Recent studies have shown that overreliance of municipalities on property tax revenues is generating perverse effects, such as continuing urban sprawl and overinvestments in highway developments, usually paid for by higher level governments. What can be done about it? How can ecofiscal reforms act as positive incentives? More broadly, Québec municipalities and provincial officials have recently agreed on an interim, one-year, Fiscal Pact for 2015. New fiscal rules should be adopted for the future. What advice can the panel give to such a comprehensive process?

Join us to discuss these questions along with key figures from the municipal, business, academic, environmental and political fields.

The roundtable will be followed by closing remarks by Jean Charest, former Premier of Québec and a member of the advisory board of Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission.


The event will be emceed by M. Jean Simard, President and CEO of the Aluminium Association of Canada.

3:30 — The integration of ecofiscal policies into future fiscal reform

  • M. Chris Ragan, Chair of Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission, McGill University, Department of Economics
  • M. Steven Guilbeault, member of the steering committee, SWITCH, Cofounder and senior director, Équiterre

3:45 — The role of cities, here and internationally, to accelerate the shift towards a green economy

  • Ms. Megan Meaney, Director, ICLEI Canada

4:15 — Roundtable: A new approach for sustainable cities

  • Moderator:
    • M. Graham Fox, President of the Institute for Research on Public Policy.
  • Participants
    • M. Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin, Mayor of Gatineau and member of the executive committee and of the board of directors of the Union of Quebec Municipalities
    • M. Yves-Thomas Dorval, President and CEO of the Quebec Employers Council
    • M. Christian Savard, Executive Director of Vivre en Ville
    • M. Jean-Philippe Meloche, Professor and researcher at CIRANO, Université de Montréal

5:15 — Questions from the audience

5:45 — Closing remarks

  • M. Jean Charest, former Premier of Quebec and member of the advisory board of Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission.

6:00 — Cocktail