Entries by Trevor Leach

Where are they now? A stumbling block turns into opportunity in District of West Vancouver

First in a series of posts on activities of the 5 original community pilots since completing formal involvement with MNAI in December 2018 The starting place: As an original MNAI pilot, the District of West Vancouver assessed costs to uncover streams that were channeled into underground culverts.  The focus is relevant to many communities: creeks […]

Opportunity for a watershed project in Ontario’s Greenbelt

Calling local governments in Ontario’s Greenbelt! Municipalities across Canada are starting to employ municipal natural asset management as a practical strategy to combat the challenges of aging infrastructure, rising capital and operating costs and strained service deliver. In collaboration with the Municipal Natural Assets Initiative (MNAI), they are acting on the growing evidence that natural […]

Opening the public sector accounting door for natural assets

Along with 33 other organizations, MNAI made a submission to a consultation process that could open the door for natural assets to be properly considered in public sector accounting. Why does this matter? The Public Sector Accounting Handbook underpins all accounting by Canada’s public sector. Currently, the handbook does not allow natural resources to be […]

Municipal Natural Asset Management 101

A growing number of communities are considering undertaking municipal natural asset management.  It may look daunting at first, but it really isn’t much different than the standard asset management processes for which all local governments in Canada are responsible.  This primer, developed to support the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, is a great place to start […]

2018 REFBC Land Awards – Municipal Natural Assets Initiative

Winner in the Land Use and Conservation category for 2018! Smart Prosperity Institute, Brooke and Associates, David Suzuki Foundation, and the Town of Gibsons Natural features and ecosystems (like marshes, forests, and shorelines) can deliver services (like stormwater absorption, water filtration, erosion control) to communities. The Municipal Natural Assets Initiative helps communities to “count” these […]

And then there were 11

The next five community projects testing natural asset management across Canada are underway. The communities are: City of Courtenay and the District of Sparwood in British Columbia; the Western Regional Service Commission and Southeast Regional Service Commission in New Brunswick; and the City of Oshawa in Ontario. In B.C., the city of Courtenay experienced flooding […]

Opening for natural assets in Canada’s accounting books

The Public Sector Accounting (PSA) Handbook underpins all accounting by Canada’s public sector. The handbook does not allow inherited natural resources to be counted as “real” assets, arguing that “the costs, benefits and economic value of such items cannot be reasonably and verifiably quantified using existing methods.” We respectfully disagree. The handbook suggests that natural assets have no inherent […]

Interview with Isabel Gordon, director of financial services, District of West Vancouver

Isabel Gordon is director of financial services for the District of West Vancouver. She was previously director of finance for the City of North Vancouver for 25 years. She spoke with MNAI about the municipal accounting profession’s evolving understanding of natural assets. MNAI: How has the way you perceive natural assets evolved over the course […]

Opportunity for a municipal natural assets project in a BC watershed: extended

In municipalities across Canada, infrastructure is aging, capital and operating costs are rising, and service delivery is strained by growing populations and shifting conditions.  Solutions may be around us: there is growing evidence that natural assets provide, or could be restored to provide, services just like engineered assets, and often at lower costs. However, most local governments lack […]

Lowering development cost charges through eco asset approach

By: Michelle Molnar British Columbia’s coastal Town of Gibsons has demonstrated—again—that effectively managing municipal natural assets can pay huge dividends. The town was able to decrease the fees charged to developers to cover costs of municipal infrastructure to support their projects (development cost charges, or DCCs) because the natural assets that provide stormwater services to […]