We’re hiring! Executive Director Position

Please see the very exciting opportunity below.

Executive Director : Fundraising & Development

Canada Bikes – Canada Bikes is a growing and dynamic non-profit organization providing a strong national voice for everyday cycling in Canada.

Job Purpose – The Executive Director is a contract position commencing September 1, 2016 or earlier and responsible for organizational fundraising and development, the successful leadership and management of Bike Day In Canada, and working with the Board on encouraging the Federal Government to adopt and implement a National Cycling Strategy.


  • Obtaining core funding for the organization through grants, membership and business contributions that would enable the Executive Director position to continue.
  • Helping Canada Bikes diversify its funding sources and increase financial support for Bike Day In Canada
  • Building relationships with cycling or other organizations and businesses across the country
  • Organizing internal discussions regarding the development of a National Cycling Strategy
  • Participating in strategic planning sessions and member outreach
  • Managing event steering committees for Bike Day in Canada Event
  • Managing the Canada Bikes presence at Federation of Canadian Municipalities annual conference and other key events
  • Developing and reviewing organizational policies and procedures


  • Fundraising experience (grant writing and sponsorship)
  • Strong interpersonal and communications skills
  • Networking and coalition building experience
  • Knowledge of government relations, advocacy and campaigning
  • Strong leadership, organizational and program management skills
  • Marketing skills and knowledge of Social Media and other current marketing techniques
  • A good working understanding of cycling and sustainable transportation issues
  • Experience and/or training/degree in a related field is an asset (such as Event Planning, Not-for-Profit Management, Urban Planning or Public Administration)
  • French/English fluency is an asset
  • Location: As the position will involve working with Federal officials, ideally the Executive Director will be either based in Ottawa or able to easily travel there for meetings (i.e.Montreal, Toronto)
  • Experience using Mailchimp, WordPress, Google Docs and Contact/Relationships Management Systems

Compensation: This is contract position start at 20 hours per week for 30 weeks with expectation to extend should both parties agree and funding be available.  Compensation ranges from  from $30 to $40 per hour depending on experience and qualifications.

How to apply

Please forward your resume and a cover letter explaining what excites you about this position to [email protected] with “Executive Director” in the Subject. The deadline is midnight August 1, 2016.

Interviews will be held between August 1 and August 8.

We thank all applicants for your interest, however only applicants selected for interviews will be contacted.

Website: http://www.canadabikes.org/

Stimulus that Sticks: Why Building a Bike Friendly Canada Cannot Wait


Jan 22 2016
Anders Swanson | @SwansonAnders

Cycling has become a Canadian issue. Sooner or later, the bicycle will play a much bigger role in the lives of all Canadians. It is only a matter of time. Statistically speaking (if you take a moment to look and ask), the vast majority of Canadians are behind us. They/we/you just want to be able to ride everywhere too badly.

Eventually, all levels of government will catch on the enormous mountain of latent demand that exists. Denmark had to work to become Denmark. The Netherlands became bike friendly intentionally. Canada must do the same.

How soon we all get there depends solely on the ability of our governments to understand how cycling works and their willingness to act. We’ve done our best. We have exhorted, explained, and organized. We have ridden, we’ve designed, we’ve presented. A lot of us even brave the torpedoes and go out and ride every day.

But we have reached a threshold where it no longer suffices to shift the impetus onto individual people. We can no longer simply say: “Hey you! Go out there. Go make some healthy choices.” while surrounding our communities in overbuilt infrastrucure that is loud, scary, unsustainable and pushing us further and further apart.

From a scientific standpoint, we now know – without a shred of doubt – that bicycle infrastructure is tied directly to usage levels and safety levels (as if bike-friendly countries with millions of people acting as clear examples for decades wasn’t enough). Want safety? Build it. 

Cycling is a major driver of numerous positive social, environmental and economic shifts, too many to even list. It is an essential service. It is a moneymaker. It is a serious means of transportation already serving millions with the added potential to be the backbone of public transit. When you add up all the benefits. dollar for dollar, what more can you possibly want?

manitoba2-_0002_yellow dog on yellow ribbon

Cycling has national and even global consequences, and the time has come for all of our governments to do something about it.

Let’s face it. We’ve got serious issues. Luckily, the challenges that cycling infrastructure helps address – think major infrastructure deficits, childhood obesity, serious longterm healthcare sustainability concerns and, well…the future of Planet Earth  (..oh yeah. that..) – are all eminently solvable.

The right solutions simply need to rise to the top. Cycling infrastructure is one of them.

The reality is this: An individual can build a bike, but she can’t build a bike lane. It is up to the government to make those healthy choices possible. Build it and we will come.

With all the talk about gearing up for more “infrastructure spending”, it is clear that we have an opportunity to do something right this time around. There is a burgeoning general agreement that the status quo no longer works.

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That’s why I, along with passionate members of our volunteer board, gave up a good part of what otherwise could have been a lovely weekend to write what we feel is an important letter to Hon. Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities. You can read Our Letter to Canada’s Minister of Infrastructure and Communities in full here.

The gist: if we’re gonna ramp up, lets make sure there a better, safer more exciting Canada comes out at the other end. We cc’d a whole bunch of hardworking organizations across the country to demonstrate how serious this has become and because we know that, for them to, a bright future for Canada is only possible if get our priorities straight.

The letter itself ends with a call for a national cycling strategy. Going forward, we’re going to need the kind of nuanced and targeted approach that makes cycling thrive all over the world.

Below is an excerpt from that letter: the 5 interim recommendations that would make for a much better Canada.

In order to maximize the benefits of any federal infrastructure investment, we recommend the following:

  1. Prioritize those transportation projects designed to get people moving by sustainable forms of transportation. Canada’s approach to climate change and transportation equity deserves a sense of urgency. It follows that all new infrastructure projects deemed acceptable to the federal government follow strict environmental rules leading to outcomes that help us meet our international obligations.  Similarly, other levels of government do not always have the means to directly recoup the health benefits that cycling offers. Federal infrastructure investment programs are important opportunities to areas of overlapping interest and projects should be approved for federal funding based on their likely impact in areas of federal purvey.
  1. Ensure that, if deemed eligible for federal funding, all new/upgraded roads infrastructure projects include family-friendly protected walking and cycling design.  As investments in new and upgraded infrastructure have a lifespan of decades, it is critical that a complete streets approach be adopted now to ensure that these generational investments eliminate serious injuries and fatalities among people walking and cycling. We must insist upon highway/roadway design that includes protected bike lanes, protected intersections, traffic calming and design best practices known to dramatically reduce the safety risk to Canadians. Cycling facilities cannot be optional. Canada’s 2015 Road Safety Strategy’s ultimate goal is to continue to reduce fatalities and serious injuries caused by collisions on Canada’s roads. No project approved by the federal government should work counter to this goal.
  2. Understand that funding for cycling is integral to any mass transit project. Canadian jurisdictions are just now beginning to realize the need to link cycling infrastructure and transit. The reason for doing so is as simple as providing an exponential increase in effectiveness for any given station or stop. Cycling and transit are mutually dependent and thrive most when approached together. Mass transit represents a major financial investment, thus it is in the federal government’s interest to insist that multi-modal transportation be approached wholistically and that cycling be engrained whenever a mass transit project is proposed.
  1. Provide resources for the expertise needed to design high quality cycling facilities everywhere. Smaller communities in particular often lack the resources to implement leading edge improvements. Other countries are far ahead when it comes to developing national standards, training opportunities and leadership on design best practices. The Federal Government has an important role to play in shaping provincial and municipal policy so that infrastructure for cycling is front and centre of the design of investments, rather than just an add-on or ignored entirely.

5. Provide leadership. As soon as possible, we recommend making a public federal commitment to increasing cycling as a form transportation in Canada. Making verbal public commitments and important gestures are one of the simplest and most inexpensive actions that can be taken by a political entity. Doing so would inspire municipal governments, provincial governments, non-profit organizations, government administration and the people of Canada themselves to do their utmost, knowing that we are united in our purpose.

…but what do you think?


About the author 
Mr. Swanson is a consultant, writer, mapper, designer and former bicycle mechanic. Recent projects include CounterPoint, BikeWalkRoll and the winter maintenance guidelines for Calgary’s exciting new downtown cycle track system. His volunteer work includes being a proud board member of  The WRENCH and coordinator/designer for international Winter Bike to Work Day. He is the Secretary of the Winter Cycling Federation, coordinator of the Winnipeg Trails Association and current Chair of Canada Bikes.

Canada is Simply Not Doing Enough to Help Kids Who Just Want to Bike to School in Safety

Who else thinks Canada’s spot on this list is deeply troubling?

Children Cycling Canada
Original graphic by the European Cyclists’ Federation.

It wasn’t always this way. Since the 1950s, the number of kids arriving to school feeling fresh, alert and healthy has been dropping in North America. Studies on children’s mobility consistently show that kids would still love to ride to school; the barriers that are cited – both perceived and real – are numerous, but chief among them is always traffic safety issues.

It’s a fixable problem.

If Sweden can do it, we can do it. When countries with similar climates have 10X higher cycling-to-school rates, and when high school bike racks are often full in mid-winter in Finland, there are few excuses for Canada.

Economically, the longterm preventive health impacts alone would pay for billions worth of protected lanes, traffic calming all around the country – resulting in more liveable, bikeable neighbourhoods (which are well-known to result in rapid increases in bicycle modal share) for everyone.

In short, we think that the number of children cycling to school should be nothing short of a metric by which we judge the success of our country. Until we can provide all youth with the safe community and the Canada that they want to live in, this should remain a source of deep concern for all Canadians. It’s time to change how we move . . . starting with the people who are our future.

What do you think? And what can we all do about it?

Join this discussion facebook.

Anders Swanson
Anders Swanson is a walking/cycling policy/design specialist. His recent work has often revolved around children’s mobility, focusing on roadway design, data collection and communications. His recent projects include CounterPoint and BikeWalkRoll.  Anders grew up in a suburb of Winnipeg, where he used to ride his bike to school. Back then, the racks were pretty full. He is currently the chair of Canada Bikes. 

Canada Bikes Election 2015

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The humble little bicycle can do a lot for a country.

When it comes to the average Canadian’s ability to ride a bike safely, conveniently and in comfort, federal support for cycling really matters. Canada Bikes takes a “bike partisan” approach and that’s why we asked all of the the party leaders for their positions on two important issues.

Leadership matters. Canada is one of the few developed countries without a formal national cycling policy. As the European Cyclists’ Federation notes, “these national strategies and/or action plans set clear activities and precise goals for the development of cycling at the national level.” With the benefits of cycling so well-known, a strong strategic direction makes sense.

Infrastructure matters. Over the last 20 years in the US, $7.2 Billion in federal funding has gone towards the construction of 22,000 dedicated bicycle and pedestrian projects. It can happen in Canada too. Examples like the $20 Million in commuting infrastructure that helped kickstart Winnipeg’s bike boom, the support for the North Shore Spirit Trail in BC or the new pieces of the Trans Canada Trail clearly demonstrate that federal government plays a role in building the country we want to ride in. The reality, however, is that Canada is far from being an international leader on cycling infrastructure funding. We can change that.

Read the letter including a synopsis of the benefits to Canada and see the two questions we have asked the federal leaders(ENG/FR).

See their Answers!

Get involved. Email, tweet or facebook your local candidate. Ask her/him the same question we are asking the leader. Mention a specific project you’d like to see. It’s important and it only takes a minute. You can use the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ online candidate lookup tool to find your candidate. Then send them a message linking to the two questions. Ask them to weigh in. Show your support on twitter with a custom Twitter profile ribbon. 

Vote. Hundreds of thousands of Canadians ride bicycles every day. Many more wish they could. On October 19th, make sure to vote and remember to give due consideration to your candidate’s position on cycling (among the many issues that may matter to you) when you make your choice.

#ivoteforbikes #elxn2015

Stay tuned. Join our newsletter or become a member.


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SOS Route Verte

Ever been to Europe to talk to people who love riding bicycles? If so, you’ll know that one of the first things they will mention about Canada is their dream of riding Quebec’s Route Verte.

Quebec’s 5300-kilometre province-wide network of bikeways is the envy of the rest of Canada and a remarkably lucrative tourist draw supporting all kinds of industries. La Route Verte also acts as the spine for bicycle networks in countless small towns across the province.

But La Route Verte is under threat due to shifting provincial priorities on maintenance. If you have ever ridden parts of La Route Verte, or hope to someday, we encourage you to learn more about VeloQuebec’s #sosrouteverte campaign and sign the petition here. 

Election 2015 Survey Evaluation

In our spirit of “bike partisanship”, we asked all of the federal party leaders to respond to a questionnaire containing two important questions on infrastructure funding and national cycling policy.

We encourage everyone to read the responses we received in detail, as well as the full party platforms and to do their own analysis.

To help folks scanning numerous issues during the election interpret the answers, we convened a small panel of experts in cycling policy from around the country to independently evaluate the answers. Then we averaged their scores.

Here are the overall results:




Panel members were asked to score each of the responses using this criteria and scoring system. The overall score represents a simple average of the scores from all panelists. Panelists were asked to remain neutral, fair and to score the parties on their cycling policy only.


Canada Bikes would like to warmly thank the members of the panel:
Mark Cohoe
Executive Director, Bike Winnipeg
Certified CANBike Instructor

Arne Elias PhD MBA
Sustainable Transportation and Energy Specialist

Kay Teschke
Professor at the School of Population and Public Health at the University of British Columbia. Leads the Cycling in Cities program of research examining bicycling motivators and deterrents, and factors that increase or decrease injury risk.

Richard Zach
former Vice President, Bike Calgary

Disagree? Think we missed something?

Tell us. Every opinion matters. The more discussion the better. It’s all part of raising awareness of the importance of cycling as a national issue. We’d love to get your feedback via Twitter, Facebook or email at info[a]canadabikes.org.

Reponses to Canada Bikes Cycling Questionnaire.

A couple weeks ago, Canada Bikes released an election questionnaire outlining the important role that cycling plays in Canada and looking for answers to two important questions from the leaders.  If you want to see how cycling fit into their vision for Canada, see their responses below (listed in the order in which they were received):



LPC Response (Election 2015), Canada Bikes – Réponse du PLC (Élection 2015), Canada Bikes

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Bloc Québécois – Réponse – Vélo Canada




NDP – ENG  /   NPD – FR