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Industrial Electrification

June 26, 2022

Tioday, the Canadian industrial sector uses electricity to power more than 25% of its energy needs. It must ramp this up to 41% by 2050 while simultaneously reducing its total energy consumption. Three focus sectors--manufacturing, mining, and construction--can benefit from off-the-shelf or modified existing technologies to get a head start.In corporate boardrooms and the corridors of political power in Canada and worldwide, business and political leaders are stepping up to act on climate change. While multiple technologies and approaches will be necessary, clean electrification--substituting fossil fuels with renewables and other forms of clean electricity--has consistently been the most affordable, reliable, and efficient path forward to net-zero by 2050.

U.S. Gun Policy: Global Comparisons

June 10, 2022

The United States is witnessing another year of record gun violence, raising domestic and international scrutiny of its comparatively loose gun laws and placing pressure on lawmakers to enact meaningful reforms.

Shifting Power: Zero-Emissions Electricity Across Canada by 2035

May 19, 2022

Reliable, affordable, 100 per cent emissions-free electricity in Canada by 2035 is entirely possible. Not only that, it would create numerous jobs and help Canada meet its international climate obligations."Shifting Power: Zero-Emissions Electricity Across Canada by 2035" is the first Canadian modelling study to explore pathways to zero-emissions electricity by 2035 without relying on expensive and sometimes unproven and dangerous technologies like nuclear or fossil gas with carbon capture and storage. The analysis uses purpose-built electricity modelling to explore reliable, affordable pathways that prioritize wind, solar, energy storage, energy efficiency and interprovincial transmission, while also accounting for a growing economy and aggressive electrification up to 2050.

Third Party Record Exemptions in Canada’s Access to Information Act

May 2, 2022

Artificial intelligence (AI) and automated decision making (ADM) used by and on behalf of the Government of Canada pose significant challenges to Canada's Access to Information Act (ATIA). While the ATIA's goal is to enhance accountability and transparency through the disclosure of records under the control of government, exemptions in the ATIA for third party records such as trade secrets make meaningful access difficult when it comes to AI and ADM. Several departments working at the epicentre of AI and ADM policy handle requests made to them through the ATIA by routinely invoking such exemptions. Citizens' entitlements to transparency and accountability in such contexts are increasingly clashing with commercial actors' desire to avoid or block disclosure of records.

Situating Canada in a Changing World: Constructing a Modern and Prosperous Future

April 25, 2022

The late Canadian diplomat and commentator John Wendell Holmes believed that the best public policy emerged out of an appreciation of history and context. This essay series, sponsored by the Holmes Trust, reflects on six contemporary themes in Canadian foreign and security policy, with historians considering the background of each issue and practitioners responding with a view to the future. Together, the essays demonstrate the value of history to a decision maker's analytical calculus and offer practical suggestions to inform Canada's response to the challenges ahead. An English and French print version will be available in late spring.

Ending Street Homelessness in Vanguard Cities Across the Globe: An International Comparative Study

April 5, 2022

Street homelessness is one of the most extreme, and visible, manifestations of profound injustice on the planet, but often struggles to achieve priority attention at international level. The Institute of Global Homelessness (IGH's) A Place to Call Home initiative, launched in 2017, represented a concerted effort to support cities across the globe to eradicate street homelessness. A first cohort of 13 'Vanguard Cities' committed to a specific target on ending or reducing street homelessness by December 2020. Our independent evaluation of this initiative found that:Two Vanguard Cities – Glasgow and Sydney – fully met their self-defined target reductions for end 2020. In addition, Greater Manchester, while it did not meet its exceptionally ambitious goal of 'ending all rough sleeping', recorded an impressive 52% reduction against baseline.Overall, there was evidence of reductions in targeted aspects of street homelessness in over half of the Vanguard Cities. In most of the remaining cities data limitations, sometimes as a result of COVID, meant that it was not possible to determine trends. In only one Vanguard City – Edmonton – was there an evidenced increase in street homelessness over baseline levels.Key enablers of progress in reducing street homelessness included the presence of a lead coordinating agency, and coordinated entry to homelessness services, alongside investment in specialized and evidence-based interventions, such as assertive street outreach services, individual case management and Housing First.Key barriers to progress included heavy reliance on undignified and sometimes unsafe communal shelters, a preoccupation with meeting immediate physiological needs, and sometimes perceived spiritual needs, rather than structural and system change, and a lack of emphasis on prevention. Aggressive enforcement interventions by police and city authorities, and documentary and identification barriers, were also counter-productive to attempts to reduce street homelessness.A key contextual variable between the Vanguard Cities was political will, with success in driving down street homelessness associated with high-level political commitments. An absolute lack of funds was a major challenge in all of the Global South cities, but also in resource-poor settings in the Global North. Almost all Vanguard Cities cited pressures on the affordable housing stock as a key barrier to progress, but local lettings and other policies could make a real difference.The impact of the COVID-19 crisis differed markedly across the Vanguard Cities, with people at risk of street homelessness most effectively protected in the UK and Australian cities. Responses were less inclusive and ambitious in the North American and Global South cities, with more continued use of 'shared air' shelters, albeit that in some of these contexts the pandemic prompted better coordination of local efforts to address street homelessness.IGH involvement was viewed as instrumental in enhancing the local profile, momentum and level of ambition attached to reducing street homelessness in the Vanguard Cities. IGH's added value to future cohorts of cities could be maximised via a focus on more tailored forms of support specific to the needs of each city, and also to different types of stakeholders, particularly frontline workers.

Unintended Pregnancy and Abortion in Northern America

March 24, 2022

Model-based estimates offer an opportunity to observe and assess unintended pregnancy and abortion over time and, because they enable comparability across borders and groups, to do so for individual countries, for regions and globally. Estimates for regions and subregions, as defined by the United Nations Statistics Division groupings, can offer advocates, policymakers, researchers and others valuable insight into sexual and reproductive health and autonomy. Regional estimates can help reveal disparities and areas where continued investment is needed to ensure that individuals can access the full spectrum of quality sexual and reproductive health care.The estimates below provide an overview of the incidence of unintended pregnancy and abortion in Northern America from 1990 through 2019; the values are based on average annual estimates for five-year time periods. View these estimates in country profiles on guttmacher.org.

Next-Generation Technology and Electoral Democracy: Understanding the Changing Environment

March 23, 2022

Democracies around the world are facing growing threats to their electoral systems in the digital age. Foreign interference in the form of dis- and misinformation has already influenced the results of democratic elections and altered the course of history. This special report, the result of a research project conducted in partnership with the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) Canada, examines these cyberthreats from a Canadian and German perspective. Both Canada and Germany share common goals centred around protecting human rights, democracy and the rule of law, and international peace and security. Using case studies from experts in fields such as computer science, law and public policy, the special report offers recommendations to guide policy makers and stakeholders on how to protect elections from next-generation technologies and the threats they pose to democracy.

Untapped Opportunities for Climate Action: An Assessment of Food Systems in Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)

March 22, 2022

A summary report providing a synthesis of the 14 country assessments with recommendations and priority actions.

Confronting the Climate Crisis with Food Systems Transformation: Stories of Action from 14 countries

March 22, 2022

Integrating food systems transformation into the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) – the national climate actions at the heart of the Paris Agreement, is critical to delivering on interconnected ecological, biodiversity, health, economic, social, and cultural goals. Taking a food systems approach builds climate resilience and results in a diversity of context-specific solutions for food production, distribution, consumption, and waste. Yet, food systems are rarely prioritized in climate policy. This catalogue of global Case Studies complements a suite of publications that are designed to centre food systems transformation in future climate debate and policy.

UNFENCING THE FUTURE

March 9, 2022

At its core, this guide is about relationships. These are not relationships that may exist in the jargon of the non-profit or philanthropy worlds, usually termed "grants" and framed by "project periods." These are relationships dependent on time, listening, understanding someone else's perspective and desires, and letting go of power and control to work together respectfully and reciprocally.It is about world views and how people with differing views and experiences can come together to first know each other. If the getting to know you part goes well, folks might identify common goals, then work together to advance some or all of them. As we look around the world, we see this is not easy work; struggles are ongoing for money, land, water, and what the land provides. Climate change is heightening and contributing to these struggles.

The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Military Defence and Security

March 7, 2022

The twenty-first century is now being shaped by a multipolar system characterized by techno-nationalism and a post-Bretton Woods order. In the face of a rapidly evolving digital era, international cooperation will be critical to ensuring peace and security. Information sharing, expert conferences and multilateral dialogue can help the world's nation-states and their militaries develop a better understanding of one another's capabilities and intentions. As a global middle power, Canada could be a major partner in driving this effort. This paper explores the development of military-specific capabilities in the context of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. Building on Canadian defence policy, the paper outlines the military applications of AI and the resources needed to manage next-generation military operations, including multilateral engagement and technology governance.