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Here in Canada, where more than 81 per cent of us now live in urban centres, the challenge is how to create successful communities that are safe, healthy and sustainable. Jobs are of course central, but so too is making cities affordable for the majority. In Greater Vancouver, the average house price now exceeds $801,000, a rise of 83 per cent in the past decade.
According to Statistics Canada and the Canadian Institute for Health Information, rural and northern girls are more likely to smoke and drink, have higher rates of suicide, and have poorer mental health made worse by the remoteness of their location. These factors could explain why the mortality rate for rural girls is double the rate for those in urban areas.
As many of you will have experienced, travel gives us a different perspective on our home towns. Home is still very much "home"... the place I'm always glad to return to after journeying elsewhere, whether it's for business or pleasure. But spending time in other places also enables me to see Toronto with fresh eyes.
The international community struggles with the challenge of serving the world's poor in an urban environment. In this struggle, Plan turned its attention to one of the most vulnerable groups in poor urban centres -- young girls.
It took a thousand years for the world’s economic centre of gravity to shift from Asia to Europe. It will take only a few decades for it to shift back, says a report from the McKinsey Global Institut...