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June 22, 2000
CAO recommends City pursue Charter status
  
In a report to the Policy and Finance Committee, Michael Garrett, the Chief
Administrative Officer of the City of Toronto has recommended that the City of
Toronto pursue Charter status.

The report states, "The Province can position Toronto to compete successfully
in the twenty-first century by enacting a custom-built Charter to meet the
City's unique responsibilities and needs. Charter cities have a long tradition
in Canada, dating back to 1785. Saint John, Montreal, Vancouver, and Winnipeg
are all Charter Cities. A City Charter for Toronto is achievable within the
existing legal framework for municipal government."

The report concludes that a City Charter for Toronto would:

- give Toronto powers and responsibilities that match the City's stature as the
largest Canadian city and economic centre of Canada;
- spell out clearly the City's spheres of power with respect to local matters
and give the City the ability to act independently within these spheres;
- recognize that the City needs a new toolkit to ensure that financial
resources match the City's responsibilities;
- provide the authority to conduct and attract business in innovative and more
effective and efficient ways including:
- incorporation of non-profit and business enterprises;
- easing of municipal "bonusing" restrictions;
- ability to raise money on specific assets and to enter into modern financing
agreements;
- recognize Toronto as an ?order of government? that should be consulted
whenever provincial financing and policy changes are being developed;
- enable the City to communicate directly with the federal government on
matters of mutual interest such as urban infrastructure, housing construction
incentives and immigrant settlement and the development of a national agenda on
urban issues.

"The time is right for new relationships with Ontario and Canada," said Deputy
Mayor Case Ootes. "This report is the first step toward a reasoned dialogue in
achieving those new relationships."

The backgrounder on this issue, entitled Charter Status for the City of
Toronto, is available on the City of Toronto Web site.


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