"Greater autonomy, more resources, protection from provinces"
Green Party of Canada Becomes First
to Publicly Endorse Charter Cities
The Green Party of Canada has become the first political party to publicly endorse Charter City status for Canadian municipalities. Green party leader Elizabeth May made the announcement at a news conference on July 19 in Toronto.
A Green Party news release says, "the party’s plan for City Charters...will give municipalities greater autonomy, more resources to deliver essential services and protection from the provinces in which they are located".
Those are exactly the three key elements of a new deal for cities proposed by Charter City Toronto.
The group has argued that Toronto in particular, and other willing municipalities, should be given much greater ability to make their own decisions in the municipal sphere without having to seek permission from the province.
It also argues for a new financial deal to ensure that cities have the resources necessary to meet the demands placed on them in the 21st century.
Finally, Charter City Toronto calls for the passage of a constitutional amendment giving Charter Cities enhanced status in Confederation and protection from unilateral and arbitrary provincial interference in cities' affairs.
Tim Grant, the party's Shadow Critic for Municipal Affairs and Housing, told the news conference that if elected, the Green Party will establish an inclusive Council of Canadian Governments, including federal, provincial, Indigenous and municipal governments.
This Council will guarantee a steady flow of funding to municipalities, ensuring that they can provide more than just essential services.
“Municipalities are drastically underfunded,” said Grant. “The system is broken. Currently only 10 per cent of every Canadian tax dollar goes to municipalities. It’s totally inadequate and we’ve reached a tipping point."
“Not only does our urban infrastructure need modernizing to adapt to the climate crisis, but our entire approach to municipal affairs and housing needs to be restructured and revitalised.”
Grant was a member of Charter City Toronto's steering committee until he took a leave of absence earlier this year to run as the Green Party candidate in University-Rosedale riding, currently held by Liberal MP and Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland.
The cities agenda announced by the Green Party also includes a "massive project" to maximize the energy efficiency of built infrastructure including urban housing, investment in urban public transit and to address cities' infrastructure deficit.
“Electing more Greens to parliament this fall will ensure that our municipalities and urban infrastructure thrive, and that every Canadian can afford to live where they work,” concluded Ms. May.
CHARTER CITY TORONTO NEWS
CAPACITY CROWD FOR CHARTER CITIES
1,40O Torontonians pack a church on St. Clair Ave to hear about a City Charter for Toronto
Toronto Star Reporter Jennifer Pagliaro talks Charter Cities with Jordan Heath-Rawlings of the Big Story podcast. An excellent report on the meeting and great overview of the Charter City Toronto movement.
CHARTER CITIES ON TVO
Charter City Toronto's Doug Earl and
York University Prof Tricia Wood talk Charter Cities on TVO's
The Agenda with Steve Paikin.
CCTO AT CITY COUNCIL
City Charter could help get Toronto's governance back, CCTO's Doug Earl tells city committee.
CHARTER CITY ROUND TABLE
On March 25, we asked 50 citizens what they think about a City Charter for Toronto. Here's what they told us.