Glen Grunwald's Board Blog

Archive of the blog of the former President and CEO of the Toronto Board of Trade.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Five Step Program

Toronto is a great place to do business and a great place to live, but ...

We've also got some serious challenges here and, unless we face them, there's a real risk that our great city will become a city in trouble.

Toronto has lost 100,000 jobs and 10,000 businesses in the last 15 years. Our tax base has shrunk, our traffic problems are getting worse, and our reputation as a clean and safe city isn't nearly as strong anymore.

So, what should be done?

This is a good time to talk about these challenges because we're right in the middle of a municipal election campaign. If we can get the candidates for City Council and the Mayor's office to address these topics on the campaign trail and, more importantly, to commit to action in the next term at City Hall, that would be a great start.

That's why we put out our 'Action Agenda' today - five steps that the next Mayor and City Council should take to help build a better city. Our Chair Becky McKinnon had a piece about it in the National Post this morning, and you can read the entire agenda on our website.

Just so I'm not teasing, here are the five key points:
  1. Reduce traffic congestion and improve transit and transportation systems in the next Council term.
  2. Improve Toronto’s business competitiveness in order to attract and retain employers and jobs.
  3. Enhance Toronto’s quality of life through investments targeted at building better communities.
  4. Operate municipal government in a more accountable, efficient and effective way, based on best practices drawn from the public and private sector.
  5. Establish clear benchmarks that measure success in key areas by results, not spending, and report on progress towards such benchmarks.

Obviously, the actual agenda goes into detail about each of these issues. The point is, we're trying to propose things that are good for both our quality of life and economy, because the two things are totally inseperable.

As Becky said in her piece, if Toronto can be a top choice for both business and residents, we all win.

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