Michael Dudley's blog

What Canada's Political Drama Could Mean for Cities

While Americans and Canadians alike watched the U.S. presidential race with growing enthusiasm and passion over the past two years, it may have slipped the notice of our American friends that we actually had a federal election here in October. 

It was a decidedly passionless affair: the lowest voter turnout in Canadian history helped to ensure that almost nothing changed in Ottawa in terms of the balance of power. The Conservatives were returned with a minority mandate, and the once seemingly undefeatable Liberals had their worst showing ever

The Meltdown on Wall Street and America's Cities

With the subprime mortgage and housing bubble crises now metastasizing into the full-blown implosion of the U.S. economy, global markets have been gasping to keep up with the turmoil. Later this week Congress will be pressured to approve a mind-boggling $700 billion "bailout" package which would effectively transform Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson Jr. into an "overseer" of the entire economy, with complete and unassailable power to purchase so-called "toxic" debts from any bank he chooses.

The Great American Fallacy Machine

When it comes to urban policy issues such as public transit andsmart growth, self-identified "Conservatives" and Libertarians have turned"straw man" argumentation into an art form. Many of their positions are sotransparently fallacious that I feel compelled to take them down, (asI've done in previous Planetizen op-eds [here and here])by systematically identifying their fallacies and documenting their misleading use of data sources.

It's easy and it's fun!

'Expose, Propose & Politicize': The Planners Network Conference, Winnipeg, July 17th – 19th, 2008

As a grassroots North American organization for “people involved in planning,” Planners Network (PN) attracts not just professionals and academics but laypersons and activists as well. This year’s PN conference was a dramatic debut for the Winnipeg chapter of PN, which was only formed in January of 2006. The conference title, “Flat not Boring” was an amusing reference to southern Manitoba’s notoriously unvarying geography.

Will Canada's 'New Deal' for Cities Run Out of Gas?

In response to the political movement for a "new deal" for Canada's cities, successive Federal governments have instituted a Gas Tax Fund to provide Canadian municipalities with a supposedly stable means to finance their infrastructure needs. The 2008 Federal Budget extended the fund to beyond 2013-14 to become a permanent measure. Agreements were drawn up between each of the provinces and Ottawa to set specific amounts, based on per capita need and other principles.