The metropolitan areas play unique role in Canadian cities. They’re where the majority of Canadians live and work. Metaphorically speaking, they’re the economic engines of our great nation.
Challenges are faced all across the country like: poverty, housing, air quality, traffic congestion and crime – but many places lack the tools and authority to tackle them effectively. Despite 21st century challenges, cities are still governed by a 19th century model that makes them almost completely dependent on the provincial level.
Addressing these issues matter-of-factly: for Canada’s cities to compete, they must have the resources to manage themselves.
Canada’s largest cities need powers and resources that match their responsibilities in order to:
- Attract business & create jobs: Many world cities have broad powers to attract business with tax incentives and credits – and to enter into partnerships that involve the private sector in major infrastructure projects. By giving Canada’s cities these powers, we would create more jobs.
- Get governments working together: Tired of the endless bickering between different levels of government? So are we. It’s time to give cities a seat at the table when Ottawa or the provinces are discussing matters that affect them like affordable housing, immigration and transit. It’s only fair – and it would make the country work better.
- Reduce bureaucracy: By giving our major cities greater powers to act with respect to local matters, they won’t have to ask the province to pass a law when they need to get something done. The result? We’d save lots of time and money.
- Clarify responsibility & promote accountability: If it’s strictly a local matter, the city should be responsible – not the province. That sounds logical… but that’s not the way it is today!
A key part to remember: It’s about quality of life.
Stronger cities would improve the quality of life for all Canadians. If we act now, we can address our economic, social and environmental challenges – and make Canada’s cities more prosperous.