Toronto needs more power, says mayor

As the governments of Toronto and Ontario work to give Toronto powers that no city in Canada has ever had, Mayor David Miller explained why overhauling the City of Toronto Act is so important, in a Feb. 15 opinion piece in the Toronto Star. “Instead of placing restrictions on what the city can do, this legislation will start from the premise that Toronto can exercise all the powers we need to in order to efficiently run a modern, big-city government, spelling out only the exceptions. Why does this matter?” asked Miller. “Let me use public transit and transportation to illustrate why we need the powers of a government. Toronto council is inarguably the only level of government that can craft a transportation strategy for the city. We are the ones best placed to design and implement a plan to ultimately eliminate gridlock.

“Do we build a subway to York University and beyond to the 905, making York a regional transportation hub? Do we buy more buses in order to improve transit in Toronto’s suburbs, currently ill-served by the subway? Do we address gridlock by building bus-only roads, as Ottawa has done? Do we introduce a parking levy in order to discourage single-commuter car traffic? Do we work with employers to offer tax-free discounts on Metropasses? Of all those examples, currently the city has the financial and legal power to make only one of those choices: enacting bus-only roads. Similar situations exist for development, taxation, urban design, and a raft of other issues. The new City of Toronto Act will give the city freedom and flexibility to deliver services creatively and effectively.”

Mining echo-boomer market

With baby boomers’ influence in the marketplace dissipating, marketers are looking to today’s youth, dubbed echo boomers, to fill that void, says Chris Pereira, a second-year York University student and York Region resident, reported the Richmond Hill Liberal  in a Feb. 13 feature story about selling to his generation. “I’m not sure our voices are being taken seriously. But our money is,” Pereira said.

On air

  • As the bidding deadline approached for Stelco, economist Bernie Wolf, a professor at York’s Schulich School of Business, reviewed the foundry’s history, on CBC Radio’s “Ontario Today” Feb. 14.
  • Political scientist Saeed Rehnema, a professor in the Atkinson School of Social Sciences, analyzed current events in Iraq and the Middle East, on the South Asian edition of “OMNI News” Feb. 14.