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Columbia Institute Associates
Columbia Institute Associates represent a core group of individuals, who inform and contribute to the Centre for Civic Governance’s research agenda by offering their expertise on the most timely public policy topics facing Canadians today. Through their analysis, reports and publications, our Associates help shape the discussion and debate on progressive issues, such as the local economy, green jobs, public finance, governance, civic engagement, and democracy, that are the foundations of inclusive and sustainable communities.
Robert Duffy has authored and co-authored a number of Columbia Institute publications, including reports on municipal financing for energy efficiency retrofits in Canada, downloading federal and provincial services to municipalities and building a green economy for BC. He also conducted research at the BC legislature and the national office of the Canadian Federation of Students. Prior to joining CI, Duffy worked in legislation and communications at the Canadian parliament. He also worked on federal, provincial and municipal election campaigns, and was involved as an organizer for a number of social movements in Canada and the United Kingdom. He is currently a coordinator for the Sustainable Communities Initiative (SCI), a Metro Vancouver-based project whose work focuses on analysis of policy and regional governance at Metro Vancouver (formerly the Greater Vancouver Regional District) and TransLink. He is a graduate in History of the University of Victoria and has a Master's in Communications from Simon Fraser University. Click here for Robert Duffy's Columbia Institute-CCG Publications. @robduffySCI.
Karen Farbridge served as Guelph's mayor for eleven years. After that, she founded Karen Farbridge & Associates (KF&A) (karenfarbridge.ca), a consulting firm committed accelerating the transition to low carbon and sustainable cities. Drawing on Karen's extensive experience and expertise on urban issues and in working with all levels of government and the private sector, KF&A works with cities, businesses and governments interested in building urban communities that are equally focused on generating economic prosperity and building people friendly spaces. Karen was the lead researcher and writer of Columbia Institute's 2016 report, "Top Asks for Climate Action - Ramping Up Low-Carbon Communities." She is an Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University and is a graduate of the University of Guelph with a PhD in Zoology. For the first ten years of her career, she was Coordinator at the Ontario Public Interest Research Group in Guelph. (Click here to read Top Asks) @karenfarbridge
Robin June Hood, PhD
Robin Hood has co-authored "For the Love of Nature: Solutions to Restoring Biodiversity" in the Going for Green Leadership series, sharing her perspective on leadership in biodiversity. This perspective stems from 30+ years experience working as an educator, activist scholar and filmmaker. It also stems from extensive work with indigenous people in Mexico and Tibet, facilitation of community development processes in Brazil, El Salvador, Guatemala and British Columbia, and participatory action research with the Rainforest Solutions team that negotiated the protection of the Great Bear Rainforest, a collaborative model led by Coastal First Nations. Hood has a PhD in global education, specializing in curriculum development. She authored UNICEF’s, Growing Strong that has been translated into several languages and was the curriculum designer for the innovative indigenous program, Guiding Spirit. She was a Research Associate on the “Coasts under Stress Research Alliance” from 2001-2004, where she focused on a traditional knowledge research initiative. She also coordinated regional community planning, and learning community initiatives for the BC Ministry of Community Development. In 2005 she coordinated over more than 166 community initiatives to support the reconstruction efforts after the SE Asian Tsunami for the Canadian Red Cross. She has taught at the University of Victoria and has held research positions at Simon Fraser University and the University of Victoria. She was also the Director of the Community Based Research Institute at Vancouver Island University. Click here for Dr. Hood's Columbia Institute-CCG Publications.
Blair Redlin is a public policy researcher based in Vancouver. Blair is currently co-chair of Canada's national Trade Justice Network. Blair was President of the Transportation Association of Canada from 1999-2001. During the 1990's, he was a senior administrator in the B.C. public service, serving variously as Deputy Minister of Transportation and Highways, CEO of the BC Transportation Financing Authority and Deputy Minister of Employment and Investment. He was senior research staff at the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) untill 2012. While at CUPE, Blair focused primarily on local government issues as well as privatization, energy, water services, green jobs and free trade.
Keith Reynolds is a policy analyst who has worked at all three levels of government, for two public sector unions and as a private consultant. His work has been deeply focused on municipal services and finance, on broader issues related to privatization and on government transparency. He has served on the national and BC boards of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) and the Board of the BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association. Keith has authored presentations for a wide range of organizations, including the Canadian Institute, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities,the BC Municipal Finance Authority and fact-finding missions from the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe and the Australian Parliament. Keith holds a Masters of Public Administration from Queen's University. Most recently, Keith was the lead author on our report "Back In House: Why Local Governments Are Bringing Services Home."
Gaetan Royer's love of everything urban brought him to hundreds of cities in 30 countries. An architect and urban planner originally from Québec City, he served as Base Engineer at Canada’s largest Air Base and peace-keeper in Bosnia. He received the Governor General’s Meritorious Service Medal for his humanitarian work in Sarajevo. During his time as City Manager in Port Moody, BC, the City received numerous awards including the International Livable Communities Award. Gaëtan was also Chief Planner for Metro Vancouver. As author of “Time for Cities,” he advocates for a better deal for cities. He is co-author of Columbia Institutes reports “Who’s Picking Up the Tab? Federal and Provincial Downloading Onto Local Governments” and "Back In House: Why Local Governments Are Bringing Services Home." He is currently CEO of CityState.ca