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POL305Y1 Lecture Notes - Urban Sprawl, Toronto City, Fiscal Gap


Political Science
Course Code
Rachael Gibson

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POL 306 Lec. 5 Prof. Gibson BA1210 Wed. July 18, 2012
FINAL EXAM: Friday August 17, 2012, 7-10pm, SSF3202 (Sanford Fleming Building)
Main Justifications for Municipal Reforms
Competing on the Global Stage
o Increase competitiveness thru creation of enlarged municipalities and reduce harmful
inter-municipal competition for business
o These args have been prevalent but very much open to debate
o Yes, globa’n has elevated the status of cities
o But does this mean enlarged cities are more likely to fulfil this role? Are there other
mechanisms for achieving these ends?
o Recall Florida’s “creative: cities (vibrant neighbourhoods, good public edu’n, good rec
facilities, etc)
Building vibrant, successful cities = more about strong relationships than formal
govt structures
Emphasis on governance over government
Evaluating Municipal Reform and Restructuting Initiatives: Comepting on a Global Stage
o Little empirical ev to support rltnshp bw amalagamation and globally competitive cities
o Many competitive regions in N.Am = v. fragmented
Old and New Regionalism
o Diff approaches to addressing regional issues are often placed w/in one of two
categories of thinking: Old and New Regionalism
The Old Regionalism
o Focused on structural reforms, need for boundary changes thru amalgamation and
establishment of one or two-tier systems
The New Regionalism
o Focus on governance over government
o Focus on process over structure
o Acknowledging boundaries = more open and flexible, building cross-sectional governing
coalitions that vary with the issues being addressed
o Emphasis on collabo and voluntary agreements rather than hierarchies and top-down
o Building trust in relations among regional interests
o Shift away from power and its distribution among levels of government towards
empowerment of communities bringing them into decision making
Old and New Regionalism
o In Canada, old regsm had been dominant in municipal reform/restructuring
o Evident in the 1900s restructuring period which incl provincially imposed amalgamations
in ON and QC
o But some elements of new regism in Canada too
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Seen in urban agencies incl puclib and private rep, devoted to promoting
New Regionalism in Action
o Toronto City Summit Alliance (TCSA) AKA CivicAction
Multi-sector coalition to Toronto region issues
Newcomers, envt, poverty, research, arts
Incl. company presidents, university chancellors, mayors, 3 former provincial
2003 Action Plan, recommendations for all levels of govt, business, labour, and
voluntary orfs
2007 Summit on Toronto’s progress + set new priorities
TCSA an important bidy in providing local leadership in absence of formal
governing structures covering broader Toronto area
Old and New Regionalism
o Regardless of formal municipal structure in operation, there is a growing awareness of
the need for alliances between public, private, community stakeholders
o New reg defines agenda on bassis of policy issues, not municipal boundaries
o Result has been a more fluid (virtual) region, rather than a fixed, institutionalized one
o But traditional admin entities and funding are still required as a basis for such
o Combination of old and new regsm for effective action at the local level
STARTING LEC 5: Municipal Finance in Canada
Table of Contents
o Municipal Expenditures and Revenues
o Municipal Finance and Fiscal Federal Relations
o Recent Trends in Municipal Fonance
o Examining Municipal Revenue-Raising Capacity
o Addressing Fiscal Challenges at the Municipal Level of Government
Municipal Expenditures and Revenues
o Key problem: expenditure growing faster than revenues + lack of complete autonomy
over either
o Missed stuff
o Municipal roles and responsibilities expanded dramatically (urbanizaition processes)
o Services to ppl + income redistribution
E.g. immigration and settlement, affordable housing, homelessness, child care
o Also incl. ecoic devt
E.g. public security, evt protection and cleanup, alternative fuel, energy techs
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