Uncle Bob says:
What Toronto “needs” (as do All Big Cdn Cities) is a healthy slice of the Income Tax that their citizens contribute to the My-Big-Fat Crown-Associations that (are s’posta) run things (ie Queen’s Park and Ottawa)
Consider, the big money-burners at the municipal are the ‘social services’, which, as income re-distributive programs (young-pays-for-old & earners-pay-for-nonearners) they s/be funded by INCOME tax not property tax
– In Ontario, the uploading/downloading switcher-oos of the Mike Harris era only attempted to solve the Provincial
budget shortfall – by dumping programs on the Municipal level
– Now (and for foreseeable future) Ontario is in big deficit troubles again and cannot back-stop/bailout the municipalities
It’s a problem – partic since Ottawa cannot be looked to for any help either.
The OVERARCHING solution is for cities to be recognized as the foundational geographic building block of “private and local’ (s.92) administration
I suggest that, as a prototype, the Greater Toronto land mass, south of the Oak Ridges Moraine and east of the Niagara Escarpment (you choose the eastern boundary),
be made a province.
If that’s too tough Constitutionally (after all this is the prototype and may need some re-jigging) designate it as an Economic/Ecological Special Administrative Zone ( Eco/Eco)
that exercises all the powers of a province but remains under Suzerainty of existing Ontario (which IMHO is too-big, too-much rural, to run the GTA)
With Eco/Eco status the unification of social services, transit, water and waste, education, healthcare etc etc would make sense – the Eco-Eco citizens would pay for their own stuff, funded by their own income tax (and a prorata/per capita share of the ConFederal transfers to Ontario too – which is mostly our money anyway)
As an Eco-Eco zone the existing municipalities (recently-unified-Toronto s/be sub-divided, maybe in concentric rings rather than on n/s, e/w grids – definitely NOT using the old boundaries Et, Y, NY, EY, Sc, CoT) would be vital local assemblies and the Eco-Eco legislature would be a Board of Directors ensuring best practises and running education and health.
Once proven (overcoming fiefdom objections will be the initial hurdle from Markham and any other muni’s that are “flush w cash and don’t think they need any help”) other cities win other provinces will get the idea.
Unify Windsor to London (stop them beggaring their neighbour w grants to manufacturers), make a Place To Grow out of Kitchener/Waterloo, and any body else with “enough population to sustain an independent healthcare system).
The rest of Ontario – can stay as it is and can keep all the natural resources money (since the southern cities won’t be subsidizing them anymore)
Toronto is filling up (Greenbelt effectively puts boundaries on growth as sprawl) –intensification and re-intensification are the planning by-words … but not everyone CAN live there and not everybody WANTs to live in sardine cans w no backyard or at $1.5mn for an old house on 35 x 120ft lot
Think Brasilia, or New Seoul …. build new cities, the building blocks of Canada.