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Political Science
Rachael Gibson

POL 306 Lec. 5 Prof. Gibson BA1210 Wed. July 18, 2012 FINAL EXAM: Friday August 17, 2012, 7-10pm, SSF3202 (Sanford Fleming Building) WRAPPING UP LEC 4  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  Seen in urban agencies incl puclib and private rep, devoted to promoting cooperation  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 premiers  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 endeavours 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 services o Also incl. ecoic devt  E.g. public security, evt protection and cleanup, alternative fuel, energy techs o The “infrastructure gap” or “infrastructure defecit” o Growth oressures = need for investment in both “hard” and “soft” services o Urban and rural problem e.g. high speed internet o Lacking precise measure of infrastructure gap, estimated magnitude $60-$125billion o Large increase in municipally owed infrastructure  From 1960s to 2000s, municipal portion increased from just over 30% to more than 50%  Core Challenges to the Fiscal Health of Canadian Municipalities o 1. The downloading of services by fed and orv govts o 2. Canada’s future increasingly rests on the strength of its cities  Need to compete in intl marketplace and attract business and skilled labour  To do this we need sophisticated transpo systems and communication infrastructure and deliver service that enhance quality of life for communities  Incl. parksm rec and cultural facilities, social services, police protection o 3. Rapidly growing municips experience higher costs associated w/ urban sprawl o Revenue sources have not changed  Canadian municips continue to rely 1arily on property taxes and user fees  Property taxes = less elastic than other taxes, do not
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