Popular ‘Hurricane’ blew into York


(Above: York President and Vice-Chancellor Lorna R. Marsden, left, and Mayor of Mississauga Hazel McCallion)

Cim Nunn, director of media relations, submitted the following account to YFile about Mayor of Mississauga Hazel McCallion’s visit to York on March 4 when she was guest speaker at a York Business & Professional Alliance (YPBA) breakfast.

Hazel McCallion, mayor of Mississauga, brought her feisty presentation style to York University for her appearance as the featured speaker at this year’s first York Business & Professional Alliance (YPBA) breakfast on March 4.

Providing the audience with an overview of the challenges facing the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), McCallion was characteristically blunt about the problems as she sees them, including transportation and land use planning, waste management, and water and sewer services.

“The GTA is the economic engine of Canada but we’re not ticking on all cylinders – it needs the cooperation of all elected officials, and Toronto’s not cooperating.”

McCallion did note that it wasn’t all the fault of Toronto’s elected officials. “Have you ever seen a merger in the private sector where five organizations were merged into one? That’s what they’ve done in Toronto, and it’s a mega-mess.”

“We have problems with gridlock, because we haven’t planned for the impact of transportation decisions. We’re sending 200 truckloads of garbage to Michigan every day, because Toronto didn’t have a plan for waste management. We need greater coordination throughout the GTA – a strong coordinating body to deal with strategic planning, waste management, transportation, and water and sewer.”

McCallion’s recipe for improvement includes revenue sharing with the other levels of government. “The government in British Columbia shares gas taxes with municipalities, so do Alberta and Quebec – but not Ontario. Grants aren’t the solution – we need stable funding, to allow us to plan.”