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July 15, 2011
Enhanced Toronto Prosperity Initiative endorsed by City Council
  
Toronto City Council has endorsed the recommendations brought forward by senior business and labour leaders within their Toronto Prosperity Initiative (TPI) report, along with additional recommendations proposed by the Economic Development Committee.

The TPI report identifies 12 pragmatic action areas that will contribute to improving the business climate in Toronto. These areas can also be started quickly and produce results in the short term. Ten additional future initiatives identified by the panel would help build Toronto's economic prosperity over the longer term.

Council directed the General Manager of Economic Development and Culture to report to the Economic Development Committee in the fall of this year on the estimated financial impacts of implementing the recommendations within the TPI report, and to prepare a draft implementation plan.

The Toronto Prosperity Initiative was established by Councillor Michael Thompson (Ward 37 Scarborough Centre), Chair of the Economic Development Committee. Blake C. Goldring (M.S.M., CFA), Chairman and CEO of AGF Management Ltd., chaired the volunteer advisory committee that wrote the report. He was joined by a panel of 16 executives representing many of the city's economic sectors and labour.

"Our goal was to point the City towards key actions needed to improve our business climate and attract investment," Mr. Goldring said. "Toronto is not the only game in town for most businesses. We have to compete on a global platform by offering a competitive business climate and promoting our assets.”

Catherine Swift, President and CEO of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, and a member of the advisory panel, noted, "Governments need to recognize that the cost imposed on business by regulation is $30 billion across Canada each year, and this burden falls most heavily on smaller firms. City Hall can give a big boost to small business success just by reviewing the current regulatory environment and eliminating unnecessary red tape. Retooling its processes to make it faster and more convenient to deal with government would also be a great step forward."

The Toronto Prosperity Initiative also considered how economic prosperity could be made more accessible to youth and to Toronto's diverse populations. "We encourage the City to expand on the partnerships and programs assisting youth, our aboriginal populations and recent immigrants to become active contributors to the labour force and the economy," said Michael Yorke, President, Carpenters Local 27.

“These leaders volunteered many hours to help us chart a new course towards greater economic prosperity," said Councillor Thompson. "With City Council's support for their recommendations, the Toronto Prosperity Initiative can now begin to act as a catalyst to challenge our staff across the City to re-engineer the way we do things."

The full report "Toronto Prosperity Initiative: Establishing the Path to Growth" and its recommendations can be accessed by visiting http://www.toronto.ca/torontoprosperityinitiative.

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. Toronto's government is dedicated to delivering customer service excellence, creating a transparent and accountable government, reducing the size and cost of government and building a transportation city. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Media Contact
Shane Gerard
Senior Communications Coordinator
416-397-5711
sgerard@toronto.ca

Ihor Wons
Executive Assistant to Councillor Michael Thompson
416-397-9274
iwons@toronto.ca

 

 

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