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August 4, 2000
Toronto City Council Endorses Economic Development Strategy
Toronto City Council gave the green light yesterday to an economic strategy for
improving the liveability and quality of life in the City.

The Toronto Economic Development Strategy report lays out an approach for
developing economic growth to create high quality jobs, generate wealth and
investment, and help ensure the City's long-term fiscal health.

"Toronto's business community can be proud of an economic strategy that is
being copied by other cities before the ink has dried on it," said Councillor
Brian Ashton, Chair of Toronto City Council's Economic Development and Parks

The purpose of the strategy is to sustain and build on Toronto's ability to
compete against other major cities in the world and capture economic

"Toronto is outperforming other North American economies and is superbly poised
for future growth, but there is an urgent need to reinvest in the City in order
to sustain our economic position," said Brenda Librecz, Toronto's Managing
Director of Economic Development.

The strategy is designed as a framework that all orders of government,
businesses, institutions will be able to use to marshal their respective
efforts and bring them to bear on the common goal - improving Toronto's
competitiveness. The report says that implementing the economic strategy will
need the co-operation, collective know-how and resources of the federal,
provincial and City governments; the private sector; labour; academic
institutions and the community.

"Toronto is one of Ontario's and Canada's most important economic assets. By
working together to improve Toronto's international position, we can stimulate
economic growth throughout the province and the country," said Larry Tanenbaum,
a member of the Strategy's Steering Committee and President Kilmer Van Nostrand
Co. Ltd. an investment company involved in construction, electronics, sports
and entertainment.

The report says that the people of Toronto are the City's most important
economic advantage, and should be a key focus for growth strategies. The report
proposes new partnerships between governments, business, labour and academic
and training institutions to enhance knowledge and skills, embrace design and
innovation, and promote entrepreneurship.

Action plans would include the foundation of a Toronto 1st partnership led by
the Mayor, in which business and community leaders would join together in a
partnership to act on a common vision for the City's economic growth.

Other recommendations include:
· finding ways to improve the competitiveness of Toronto's export industries,
which are already more diversified than in any other City in North America;
· nurturing entrepreneurship and the formation of new firms through initiatives
such as incubation and support for small business;
· doing more to promote the use of advanced design and new technologies;
· marketing Toronto itself as the most ethnically, culturally, socially and
economically diverse City in the world.

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