Entries by Trevor Leach

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 […]

Results from the First National Cohort: Decision-Maker Summary

By Sara Jane O’Neill Local governments across Canada are focusing on sustainable service delivery – delivering core municipal services in a socially, economically and environmentally responsible manner. Natural assets, such as wetlands, forests, and creeks, provide many of the same services to communities as engineered assets but are generally not accounted for and/or are undervalued in […]

Natural asset management is proving its value in the field

By: Michelle Molnar, Technical Director While Canada focuses on efforts to reduce climate change, there’s growing recognition that we can’t meet our climate change goals without finding ways to adapt. A natural assets management approach has the advantage of addressing both mitigation and adaptation, taking us to the next level of policy solutions. Natural assets […]