Canada’s Active Transportation Strategy:
Q&A With Brian Pincott

Earlier this year, Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, announced that she would develop a national active transportation strategy that would prioritize biking, walking, and active school travel. NABSA is enthusiastic about this focus on active urban mobility coming from the federal level in Canada, and the opportunities that it can bring for shared micromobility. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, Andy Fillmore, MP, has been tasked with the development of the strategy and $400 million Active Transportation fund. His office is engaging with stakeholders, like NABSA, as part of the development process.

We recently sat down (virtually) with Brian Pincott, Executive Director of Vélo Canada Bikes, to learn more about the strategy and what it means for the shared micromobility industry.

Q: What is the Canadian Active Transportation strategy and why is it important?

A: The National Active Transportation (AT) Strategy is in development right now. On March 12th, the federal government launched consultations to develop the strategy. As part of that, they released their Framework for the Strategy. It is based on the acronym ACTIVE.

    • Awareness: Raise public awareness of the benefits of AT
    • Coordination: Coordinate planning, design, regulations, standards, and investment
    • Targets: Adopting meaningful targets & data collection to support evidence-based policymaking
    • Investments: Guide investment of $400M for AT projects across the country
    • Value: Ensure all AT investments and policies deliver social, economic and environmental benefits
    • Experience: AT as a positive user experience, particularly for vulnerable communities

Having a national strategy and the funding to go with it is particularly important now because of the increased awareness and demand for cycling and walking infrastructure. The last twelve months have crystallized a lot of the conversations that have been going on about AT, around greenhouse gas reduction, fiscal sustainability of municipalities, and affordable choices for residents. The pandemic has brought all of those things front and center. Governments are realizing that AT is a tool that can meet several goals and that people actually want it!


Q: What are the goals of the strategy?

A: Specific targets are being developed now, but essentially it is about creating value, offering choice, meeting climate change commitments, supporting a more equitable society.


Q: Who’s involved in the development of the strategy?

A: A wide range of stakeholders are being sought out for input and to participate in the development of the strategy, not just the usual players in the cycling advocacy world. People involved in walking advocacy, trails, and micromobility. Also, people involved in the disabilities community, newcomers, seniors, as well as BIPOC communities.


Q: Is there a development timeline?

A: Not at this time, though the federal government has indicated it wants to begin getting funding out ASAP, as soon as this summer, and that the funding can precede a final strategy.


Q: Will any aspects of the proposed strategy affect shared micromobility? If so, how?

A: Yes, it has been indicated that shared micromobility, bikeshare and scooter share in particular, are an important part of our urban transportation future. The government has indicated that supporting local startups for these ventures is something they are open to. In the federal budget released last week, there were programs announced that would provide funding for social ventures, of which bikeshare was identified.

The development of a National AT Strategy and $400 million dedicated fund is encouraging momentum in Canada to support mobility options like shared micromobility that get people out of cars, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and increase physical activity. NABSA has been providing input and advocating for the inclusion of shared micromobility throughout the development process of the Active Transportation Strategy. Learn more about the strategy here.

Learn more about NABSA’s advocacy work at