Include energy costs in city & province-funded construction projects.
Construction projects get graded based on how cheap they are. But that costing model doesn't include the total environmental impact of a project, such as the carbon released by removing old buildings, the ongoing energy cost of the structures, etc.
The best way to get an environmentally conscious city is to put in economic incentives. Construction is a very high-impact area where the city can exert influence simply by changing the guidelines. A cheap, high-impact proposal.
Other cities are already doing it, and from what I hear UBC is already doing it for their own projects.
The draft Greenest City Action Plan addresses ways and means of rewarding projects that are more energy efficient.
@David Ascher Great idea. Do you know what other cities are doing this?