Future Ain’t What It Used To Be: The 8th Annual IMFG Toronto City Manager’s Address

Future Ain’t What It Used To Be: The 8th Annual IMFG Toronto City Manager’s Address


– Good afternoon everyone. On behalf of the board and staff at the Institute on Municipal
Finance and Governance, I’m delighted to welcome you here today to our session on “Future
Ain’t What it Used to Be,” with our guest speaker, Chris Murray, the City Manager of Toronto. My name is Enid Slack and
I’m the Director of IMFG here at the Munk School of
Global Affairs and Public Policy. Before we begin, I wish
to acknowledge this land on which the University
of Toronto operates. For thousands of years, it
has been the traditional land of the Hurun-Wendat, the
Seneca and most recently, the Mississaugas of the Credit River. Today, this meeting
place is still the home to many indigenous people
from across Turtle Island, and we are grateful to
have the opportunity to work on this land. I would like to thank the sponsors of the Institute, Avana Capital, Maytree, the Province of Ontario,
the City of Toronto, York Region and Halton Region. I would also like to
thank our team at IMFG for putting today’s event together. Tomas Hachard, our Manager
of Programs and Research, and Ahmad Khawaja, who
is our administrator. I’d also like to thank the event staff and the technical staff
here at the Munk School. If you are tweeting about this event, our hashtag is up here. IMFG talks and our Twitter
handle is @imfgtoronto So I’m happy to say that
today’s presentation is the eighth Annual IMFG event with the Toronto City Manager and the second for Chris Murray. We host this event every year so the city manager can
provide us with an update on what has been happening at the city as well as enlightening us on future challenges and opportunities. Last year, Chris was pretty new to the job when he agreed to come and speak to us, but now he’s served for more
than a year at the city, so he is an expert. It is a good time to reflect
on where Toronto has been and where it is headed. I think today Chris is
going to focus mostly on future challenges and
how we need to engage with others in the region
to address these challenges. I am truly delighted to introduce
our moderator for today, a colleague and friend Anne Golden. I’m not sure Anne and actually
needs an introduction to this audience because I
think most of you know her from the GTA Task Force Report in 1996, the Homelessness Action
Task Force Report in 1999, both of which I had the
privilege of working with Anne on and the Premier’s Transit and Investment Advisory Panel Report in 2013. Of course, these were all
extracurricular activities for Anne while she was president of
United Way of Greater Toronto and later president and CEO of the Conference Board of Canada. Currently Anne is
distinguished visiting scholar and special advisor at Ryerson University where she serves as the Chair of the Ryerson City Building Institute. I believe Anne is going to introduce Chris. He just gave her his bio while
I was doing my introduction and she will be our moderator today. Please welcome Anne Golden. (audience applauding) – Thanks so much Enid. It’s such an honour to be here and this has become now
an important Annual event. So congratulations to you and to Alan. And I’m delighted to have
this chance to introduce this. And Enid asked me to say just a few words and I will speak a little bit personally. I have spent most of my professional life searching for solutions to
the most critical problems that Canada’s cities face. But I have to admit that the privilege of working on these public policy issues has been matched by my deep disappointment in witnessing our failure
to make the requisite investments and reforms. In just a few years ago, I was actually starting
to feel optimistic. You always say, I like to
see the glass half full because I’m short. But at that time I was starting to think we were on a threshold
of a new era for cities. Why? Because there was a
spate of new monographs on the urban resurgence that testified to an explosion
of interest in city building. The inventory that the Ryerson
City Building Institute did of all of the, actually
you funded that Alan, of civil society
organizations in the region. There were more than 230
activist organizations advocating for progressive urban policies. We had smart mayors
right across the country. We had a renewed interest
in the public realm, including parks and streets,
waterfronts and laneways, and the whole notion of eco
design to accommodate growth without destabilizing natural systems was gaining acceptance. Here in Ontario, the proposed expansion of the Billy Bishop
Island airport was stopped by citizens seeking to
protect the waterfront and adjacent communities. The province had committed
to a major program of regional transit expansion and Ottawa, the federal
government had said it was coming to the table as a significant and reliable partner with funding for infrastructure
and affordable housing. So it seemed to me like
a moment of opportunity to tackle our big issues, to
embrace the emerging ideas for sustainable urban regions. However, to be honest,
the momentum that I sensed is not continuing. Promised federal infrastructure funding has been mostly stalled and in the single
national leadership debate in the current federal, in
the past, federal election, urban issues were conspicuously ignored. The possibility of a sustained
and strategic focus by Ottawa on cities no longer seems likely. In Ontario, we seem to
have reverted to a period of what I would describe as disempowerment with provincial governments, not just this one but the previous one refusing to let Toronto city council raise own source revenues through tolls and by cutting mid election
the size of city council after the council had
revised its ward structure. Proposed provincial amendments to the provincial policy
statement which sets out Ontario’s land use planning
for managing growth and development will
likely lead to more sprawl, undercut the viability of public transit, worsen congestion and weaken
environmental protection and proposed funding cuts to public health and social services temporarily postponed, have worsened pressures
on municipal budgets. In this context, I am extremely eager to hear Chris Murray’s take on Toronto’s challenges and opportunities and I just want to say a word about Chris who I didn’t meet until today,
but I was really thrilled we’d had a brief chat on the phone. Chris’ background is I think
perfect for the job he’s in. He’s an urban planner. He’s had 10 years experience
as city manager of Hamilton. His professional background
is in infrastructure and especially transportation. And he told me just prior to this meeting that he agreed with all of my reports. So he’s a great guy. And with that, I introduce
my new friend, Chris Murray. (audience applauding) – Thanks so much. I just have to make sure I’m
operating the technology right. So first off, thank you to
everyone who is here tonight and Alan had said to me last year, I was very, I came across as optimistic and so I’ve been in the job for a year and I guess the question
is, am I still optimistic? And the short answer is of course I am. So today, some good news for all of you. I have about 15 slides. I’m going to try and get through this in a reasonable amount of time. I know Anne will have
some questions for me, but the other important point here is to give you a chance
to ask me questions that maybe we haven’t thought of. So with that, my
presentation is going to focus on just over a year’s worth of
learning in terms of Toronto, where it’s at, where it’s going. I also want to though, talk
more about this city region or city state that we’re living in and how it’s evolving
and the importance of it. And the importance of it, certainly from a municipal standpoint. And then finally talk a
bit about partnerships and what I think works and how it is. It’s not so much the
partnership that we have to and do have with the province
and federal government, but really about a
maturing of a partnership amongst municipalities and
Janice Baker is here tonight, the city manager of Mississauga and I’ve had relationships with a number of the
city managers and CAO’s in Southern Ontario. And I must admit, I always
thought when I was in Hamilton, any meeting I attended
to, if Toronto was there, that was the center of
the universe and us, the rest of us were just mere satellites. But now that I have a
chance to play the role that I play at the city of Toronto. There is an opportunity for us, I think, to work much more effectively together. Who doesn’t love Yogi Berra. Yogi Berra has had obviously some of the classic quotes of all time. And if nothing else, what Yogi
says will cause you to think and the way he communicates
usually sticks. When he says when approaching
the fork in the road, take it. What gets better than that? So with the future though,
I think as pointed out, there are obviously a number of challenges and there are also though
a number of opportunities that I really want to focus in
on in the next few minutes. So some of you I’m sure
are well aware of this, but right now there’s
about three million people are called Toronto home. We are the fastest growing city by a long shot in North America. And as a region, we’re the
second fastest growing. I know we have the most cranes
that are active right now and I know that the amount of development that’s in the pipeline is significant. And so I must admit,
I’m not used to the idea when someone wants to
develop office space, they’re talking in terms
of millions of square feet, whereas most municipalities are in total, if they have a few million
square feet of office, that’s usually success. So the magnitude of what’s in
front of us is quite enticing. In terms of though how we’re growing, and I think maybe this
is the planner in me. The next 20 years we are going to grow by about a million people. Just to put it in
perspective, in the last year we grew by 77,000 people
here at the city of Toronto. And so a lot of that growth that you see in terms of a residential development that’s in the pipeline,
a lot of it is occurring within about 5% of all
the area within Toronto. So there’s a heavy, heavy concentration of residential development which when you look at areas of the city, including Scarborough,
Etobicoke and so forth, it does beg the question. Is there an opportunity to
see more of the market unfold in those locations? So we can talk about that. From a population standpoint,
roughly in the GTHA, we’re about 6.6 million people in total. We’re going to grow to about 9.5 million. Toronto, as I say, is
going to grow by a million, but our neighbor to the West Mississauga is going to grow by almost the same amount. If you look at the growth in
Southern Ontario in particular, the GTHA, a lot of it is concentrated obviously in Toronto, Mississauga. And then there’s more
growth occurring West towards Hamilton, certainly some growth in York Region and some in Durham. But the concentration is mostly
centralized moving westerly. And so that’s an important consideration. And along with that, I just want to talk about the city of Toronto in terms of what’s driving the growth. If it wasn’t for immigration, we’d be in a declining population. And so if you look at cities
or places like Manhattan, Manhattan, in fact, is losing population. We’re growing simply because
we have such robust attention and attraction coming into Toronto. Also, what we see happening
is that our provincial is growing as well. So there’s a reason why you see a lot of Alberton license plates and Maritime license plates. There’s a lot of people are finding their way to this
part of Canada to call home. So that’s keep that in mind That’s what’s driving a lot of our growth. And this, in terms of
spending per resident over the last 10 years, it’s pretty much flat
lined in 2019 dollars. Per capita operating spending
adjusted for inflation is roughly about 46. Sorry, about 44, $4,500. And this is with us absorbing
growth over that time period. But just again, to put
in perspective for you, in 2010, we are roughly
2.6 million people. And right now we’re about three. So we’ve added in the last 10 years, effectively the population
of Burlington and Oakville. So about 400,000 people. And if you think about the people that are coming to Toronto,
they’re immigrating to Canada and a number or a good
percentage are refugees. Their needs are different than certainly the needs of people living
in Burlington and Oakville. And so that certainly does put pressure on the services that we provide. And it’s important to
us to bear that in mind as we continue. So as I think Anne had pointed out and those that have not read the Toronto community
foundation vital signs report, you should. Important to note that
despite our self image, Toronto does not work for all and I’ll talk about that. Across the GTA and this is again from United way of greater Toronto. Middle income neighborhoods are vanishing. And so there is, in my
last time I was here, the theme of my presentation was about generational inequality. What’s happening in terms of those that are considered
millennials or generation Z. The decisions that we’re making right now are going to have a profound effect on their ability to
enjoy a quality of life that many of us in this room
maybe have taken for granted. So we know that the
middle class is shrinking. Some of that is a product of the economy and some of that is a product
of people in the middle-class moving to other destinations
within the GTHA. We also know from the nature of our work that increasingly jobs are precarious. So the idea of having a
full time paid benefits and index pension, those
jobs are fast becoming rare and that we know increasingly
that people are struggling just to maintain part time employment or contract-based work. And so we know that the tipping point has exceeded at 50% of all jobs that are occurring within
cities like Toronto. Housing affordability,
I don’t need to explain to anyone in this room what
the cost of rentals are. But if you connect the thought
back to precarious work, I mean, how does someone
who is 25 or 30 years old go to a bank manager with
a three-year contract and expect to be given a half
million or a million loan when their employment is
as precarious as it is? So we certainly know
that this is a problem that we need to obviously turn our mind to and start to address in,
in more meaningful ways. And I’ll explain that in a second. Congestion as you well know,
we’re not building more roads. The road capacity is
pretty much as you see it. Unfortunately in 2014, we finally exceeded the city of Los Angeles in terms of being one
of the most congested in North America, in
fact, the most congested. So if we’re not adding
lane capacity to the road, then obviously if we’re going to accommodate another million people,
you’re going to have to invest more significantly into transit. And so whether it’s subways or LRTs, it is the mode by which we
are going to be able to grow in the manner in which
we’re expected to grow. All of that to be said at the same time as I pointed out earlier. Our economy is doing
things that most countries let alone cities would envy. And so it does beg the question, how is it that we can
have this many challenges in a community like ours where we have neighborhoods
that are struggling, individuals, especially
those that are in the 16 to 30 year range, our
double digit unemployment? How can you have that much
challenge in a community where in the same time you have an economy that is doing what ours is doing? And how is it that we can
make those jobs available to people who are now struggling? So that I think becomes the challenge, not only the city of Toronto, but other levels of government as well as other institutions. So Canadians, I don’t think this comes as any great surprise. Canadians in general see
government as both to blame and responsible for fixing the problems. And so I must admit,
I’m going to start to think about putting a disclaimer
on any job offer that I make to someone in the senior level because it’s certainly being
a municipal administrator, certainly a senior administrator we do and are expected to read our names or see our names in
print from time to time, whether it be in newsprint
or in social media. And we are constantly given a reminder just how well we perform or don’t. And that aside, I think if you’re going to be a senior administrator in organization, you have to accept that
democracy has a price. And as individuals, we need to understand that we have to not
just act professionally, but certainly accurate
courage if we’re going to provide the kind of advice that we
need to our decision makers. So this is an interesting
challenge for us, but in some respects, it is
in our hands as government to provide a way forward and to address the problems
that we have to address. And so with that, last week
we did provide a document to the organization. I lead a group of civil
servants that number in the order of about 37,000. Our Annual budget, operating
budget is just over 13 billion and our 10-year capital program is worth just north of 40 billion. I thought it was important if you’re going to lead a civil
service that you make clear what it is that you’re
trying to accomplish so that you can be focused
and you can generate results. So the corporate strategic
plan, and generally, and I’ll say this as well, they don’t typically celebrate plans. I rather focus on the actions
that underlie the plan, but we have to start with a focus. And this is our focus. Certainly, the vision and
the motto and the mission were documented some time ago by council. And so that serves as kind
of the overarching ideas that we need to strive for so
that I won’t read it to you, but if you want to, this
is available online. The term trust and confidence. I think last time I was here, Conference Board of
Canada about 20 years ago, looked at the basic question
of the private sector is about profit. What is the public sector about? What is it we’re trying to earn? And the simple message that I
provided to the organization that we’re in the business of earning people’s trust and confidence. And so that’s something that
every transaction that we make, every time we deliver a service, I don’t care if you’re a frontline worker or you’re a city manager,
you have to approach the way in which you deliver services with this concept in mind. In terms of the people, and if you were to look at
my Monday morning agendas that I use to guide the conversation of our senior leadership team. I start with people. I’m going nowhere without
leadership in this organization and I’m going nowhere without
a frontline that’s engaged. So workplace culture is something that actually quite matters. If you don’t define
it, it will define you. And so about a year ago, we
did in fact asked a question in 20 words or less, what kind of organization
you want to work for. So we’ve established a workplace culture that I hold senior leadership
accountable for delivering. Partnerships is if there’s, I mean aside from being
a professional planner and someone that spent a lot of time in infrastructure transportation but also as a housing director, I think my whole career
has been made or broken, if you will, on the backs of
how well partnerships work. And given the nature of the
challenges that we face, whether it be individuals or neighborhoods struggling in poverty or be the
challenges that we’re facing in an economy that does
not favor everyone. The answer at the end of the day is going to be found through partnerships and I’ll talk about that in a second. Performance, I mean at the end of the day we are given money and people
expect value for that money. And so we have established
in our document as well something called results
based accountability approach to demonstrating performance. So it’s really important to me that I’m able to explain to you how it is that your money is being spent and how effective we are. And then finally of course priorities. I liked three, I have six
but I’ll live with six. Three is a good number for me. The six priorities I’m
going to talk about right now. So as I think Anne was saying earlier, the walking of the talk
from a priority standpoint on the right hand side you
see financial sustainability. We will be reporting back to a
committee on this in December about our long-term
financial sustainability was one of the first things
that I was asked to focus on when they chose to hire me. And so we are doing a number of things and this is just by way of example. We’re engaged right now in
budget modernization exercise where we want to become
more service focused. We also want to engage in
multi-year budgeting. Our capital program is
a multi year program, but operating is basically year by year. I’m cognizant of organizations that develop a kind of a
live another day strategy, and I think it’s important
that our budget modernization be more multi-year so that we understand not just where we are
but where we’re going and how we’re going to accomplish that. I’m looking at the capital plan budget. What I find interesting is that
the 41 billion 10-year plan, I look at it from a
year to year standpoint and we spend somewhere between 60 and 63% which from a municipal perspective, I know other municipalities
that usually top 80% or better. So we want to look at why is it that we’re accomplishing the 60 to 63. So we’ll be reporting to council on that. So these are some of the
things that we need to focus on as well as the revenue tools, which we’ll talk about in a few minutes. Continuously improving services
is a fundamental component of a well-run city. So I mean as much as running a city means evolving it from a
paper-based type service to one that is more digital. It’s also about improving
on the leadership that’s provided in the organization. It is a more process engineering. It is about a lot of the work
that the city’s been doing over the last several years. And just continuing to evolve it so that you know that when
we demonstrate to people that their money’s well spent, it’s not just about the here and now. It’s about future challenges
that we’re going to face and how is it that we’re going to be able to manage the kinds of evolving challenges that this population’s presenting. So there is a whole host of things that do become part of a well-run city. Maintaining, creating
housing that’s affordable. I mean we are doing everything from revamping Toronto community housing because we’re now looking at
taking the seniors residences and we are looking to create
a different governance model. In some respects we’re
kind of right sizing Toronto community housing. And along with that, we’re looking at what its core functions ought to be, which is a great landlord. So as a corporation, it’s important to us that they run the largest
housing entity in Canada in a manner that best address
the needs of its citizens. So we are looking at taking
from it the development function and putting it with Great TO. So there’s a number of things happening with respect to that entity. But also we are looking to try and add to the number of
affordable units in Toronto and this isn’t strictly
the city of Toronto, but about 40,000 units
over the next 10 years. Transit expansion, no doubt in
order to keep Toronto moving, transit is a major
component of it, no doubt. Last week you heard of a report that was approved by council, which has us at a table with the province to make sure that we are able to not just expand the transit system but also address a $33.5
billion challenge that we have with the existing system and
that we need to keep in mind that in order to maintain
in a decent state of repair, we have to spend a
sizable amount of money, which I must admit Rick Leary,
the CEO when I first met him, I think for the first
three or four months, I thought our challenge was in the order of about seven or eight billion dollars. And then in January he said,
no, it’s about 33 and a half. So I said to Rick, I don’t know if I’m going to trust
another number you give me. But that aside, when you think about the
city’s overall capital program worth 41 billion and all of
a sudden you wake up one day and you know you have
a $33.5 billion problem and you think you’re going to address that with the revenue tools that you’ve had. Think again. So when I talk about Toronto moving, I don’t want anyone in this room thinking is just about transit. Because when I think about moving, I think about people and goods movement. So it is about striking the
balance between the automobile, the transit user, and the
other modes of transportation. Walking, cycling, all has to come together if we’re going to be able to grow to the extent we’re supposed to grow. And of course, poverty
reduction strategies. We absolutely, if we want
to make sure that our people in our neighborhoods that are successful, we got to continue to address everything from the refugee challenge that we face to the racialized populations and the challenges that they face to a whole host of things
that Torontonians know needs to have attention. I mean, I know every
morning that I come to work, the number of people I find that are sleeping on our
sidewalks difficult to accept. I certainly, when I first came here in 87, it wasn’t like this. And what I see and we travel
quite a bit around the world and the homelessness problem
that Toronto’s facing will only go in one direction if we don’t have a strategy
for addressing that and I’ll talk more about that in a second. And of course, climate
change and resiliency. So we do have a resiliency strategy. We are integrating that into
the work of transform TO. So again, it’s the here
and now of climate change that we can’t ignore and we’re investing literally hundreds of millions of dollars in engineering works to try and address the challenges of
flooding and all of that. But I would also argue that
the investment we need to make in climate change and in resiliency is to address the generations to come. I know from an ISO standpoint, the resiliency is now a new standard and what’s driven that was the
insurance industry worldwide, wanting to know which cities
have their act together when it comes to addressing climate change because it’s not just
an environmental thing. It’s clearly an economic thing that those cities that choose to ignore it are going to be left behind when it comes to making major investment. So this picture. If you did not live in Toronto, did not know anything
about Southern Ontario, this is what you would see. And the reality is that
this landmass of ours, this GTA, chain, this golden horseshoe has been urbanizing for quite some time. And you can start to
see that the boundaries are really almost irrelevant. Because you know people that
live within these gray areas, they live there but they also work there. And so their ability to
move around this region is becoming increasingly more important. And so when we last week
received a direction to continue working with
the provincial government on the matter of transit, I will say this about
the terms of reference that’s guiding our work. There’s really three streams to it. The first was the matter of upload. Clearly the city of Toronto did not want its subway system uploaded and
the province initially did. So we have addressed that. The second was about
expanding transit in Toronto. And so the four projects at
the provinces is focused on. There are other projects that the city wants to
have the province consider. And as you know, the province
is going to put its money in expansion, is going to allow
us to redirect our dollars into state of good repair and
bring forward business cases for expansion of other
lines within Toronto. And so transit, those two items. Upload and expansion. The third item that I don’t
think got very much attention and is one that I think
is incredibly important is the agreement between
the province and ourselves in this document to look at transit from a governance standpoint
and a revenue standpoint. A regional governance
and revenue standpoint. So what that does, it opens a door for me to start to engage my colleagues like Janice and other
city managers and CAOs within this region, if you will, to start thinking about how
transit can be delivered. It strikes me that, and I can
tell by the people in the room that you’ll remember the commercial. I think it was for life brand cereal where the three brothers were
sitting at the breakfast table and in the morning and the mother came in to try the new breakfast on them and the oldest brother would
say, I’m not going to eat it. You try it in the middle of child said, I’m not going to eat it, you try it. Wait a minute, give it to Mikey. He eats everything. I think in some respects
municipalities have become Mikey. It seems that we are the
ones at the end of the day that are being downloaded services, whether it be housing or other matters and expect it to deliver them with a very finite set of revenue tools. And so I’m going to suggest that
maybe what needs to happen is that municipalities that
are sharing common challenges need to start talking to each other and maybe formulating strategies
to present to the province and to the federal government. Waiting for them to come up
with the right governance model and answer for us to accept I think is not really the
best approach moving forward. And I remembered chairing what we called the Western golden
horseshoe municipalities. A number of us were quite concerned that goods movement was being ignored. And quite frankly there really isn’t a goods movement strategy to speak of. That’s guiding action in Southern Ontario. But this group of CAOs
and myself got together and talked to MTO about putting together a goods movement strategy. And so that’s something
that they are doing. So I do maintain that there is
a chance for municipalities. Maybe it’s a bottom up approach, but I think that’s important. And in fact it bears out from
a transportation standpoint, a transit standpoint,
some work that Enid did with an advisory group to the city that looked at in different
regional transit models from around the world that have worked or have at least elements
that are attractive. So we do have an opportunity,
I think to as municipalities to talk to each other about how it is that we could maybe propose a way in which to better manage transit. And with that, have a
conversation with the province and federal government,
both the revenue tools that we think would be useful if we’re going to provide sustained service. And so I think most
people, when you ask them that are traveling
around Southern Ontario, they just want a reliable service. They want a quality service. I don’t think they care,
especially what logo is on the side of the vehicle. They just want to make sure
that they go from A to B, that it’s as easy as possible and that their devices don’t
have to constantly be checked and prodded or whatever
we’re doing right now that there is this notion of
service and fair integration and maybe the people that are best able to kind of knit that
together are municipalities. And so we are not obviously
ever going to forget the partnership that we have. I mean we are creatures of the province so we will continue to work with the federal, provincial government. I would maintain that the
table that we have right now on transit is working. In fact, it’s going to work even harder. I don’t think we’re quite there yet in terms of delivering on
all that we have to deliver from a transit standpoint in Toronto, but certainly having tables
where we’re able to share ideas and work through them is important. And then this matter of what I call intersecting issues and common challenges. So I’ll start with the middle one. Health and housing by way of example. As a director of housing and former CEO of City Housing Hamilton, what you learn pretty quickly
is that at a municipal level you have oversight or control
of the bricks and mortar. But anyone that has worked in housing knows that it’s the people
that live in the housing and their needs that go well
beyond the bricks and mortar. And often times those services aren’t necessarily controlled
by the municipality. They’re often controlled by the province. So we are in case of Toronto, we’ve got a memorandum of understanding with the University Health Network and United way in ourselves
to start to knit together these different agencies and entities to start looking at better
service integration. And so one of the first
things that you’re seeing is certainly the
University Health Network, looking at some of its own land and looking at an opportunity
to develop that land for a service support or assisted housing so that people that are in hospitals that don’t have an easy path
home to be taken care of, can go to a form of housing
that their needs will be met and allowing for more capacity
within the hospital system to deal with the ever
increasing volume of people that are coming. And so I think it’s
these kinds of approaches that are going to be really important that we work as
institutions with each other trying to achieve common outcomes. As far as infrastructure
and climate change, I mean we are making heavy
investments right now, but there’s clearly linkages between the types of
infrastructure we build and their effect on climate change. And so maybe one of the most
obvious is certainly transit. It’s inconceivable to think
that we’re going to be able to grow to the extent we are and that that growth be principally supported
by the automobile. And regardless of what Uber
and AI is going to do at the end of the day,
it’s hard to imagine cities growing without heavy investment in transit infrastructure. So those matters are
linked and those are things that we are clearly linking together, but also working with the province and a partnership as I mentioned. And of course growth and investment. How you grow a city by a million people with as much development
that is being contemplated without an investment strategy that goes maybe beyond
the tools that we have. It was remarkable to me
that over the last 10 years, a lot of the growth that we’ve achieved, the 400,000 people, we have done it while maintaining effectively an inflationary increase in our budget. So we’ve done that, I think
through some efficiencies, but it does beg the question. If you’re going to achieve
the kind of success that we’ve had over the last 10 years and we’re going to deal with the
complexities of our society, how are we going to do that without different investment strategies? And then finally, what success to me, I mean at the end of the
day is about competing and conflicting interests
versus information exchange. So this is a very simple diagram which I think sums up in my mind when you have institutions
working together, whether they be different
levels of government or they be institutions themselves that are let’s say
effectively in the same space that a city would be. And that is if you can
find shared interest and you’re open to sharing
information at the table, you have a better chance of having success than if your interests are in conflict and you choose not to talk to each other and share information. So it seems so simple, but over my career, I’ve had a number of opportunities to work on very challenging undertakings with interests that were certainly opposed at the very beginning. My background in conflict resolution is more aligned to interest
based negotiations. And what I find is that if
we can establish early on what our shared interests might be, and if we can create a table
where we respect each other and trust each other
and share information, in time you usually
configure out the answer. It doesn’t mean it always works, but certainly that’s usually
a good place to start. So thank you for the time and I know, Anne will have a few questions from me, but hopefully I’ve left
enough time for questions that all of you might have. So with that, thank you very much. (audience applauding) – Thank you very much. A great overview. I’m going to ask about three or four perhaps a little bit
tough questions and then, but I want to open it up to, because you probably have
questions or comments as well. You definitely described the challenges, massive growth, the congestion, the infrastructure deterioration, the growing inequality. But I want to sort of drill down on that. I think the point you made about we’ve absorbed massive growth, but keeping spending
constant is really important. But we have buried so many of those costs. The 30 billion plus price
tag for TTC alone repairs and those of us that take the TTC now. You can see it’s actually
noticeable, the service issues. Asset management in general when you have this level of growth. I guess my question is, and I know you’ve put a very positive spin on this in terms of the plan and everything. Well, what can you really do
if you don’t have the money and you don’t have the power? – So the Toronto through the
Toronto Act has revenue tools that I know other
municipalities don’t have. Now, the nature of those
revenue tools, as now, some of them are, are
fully within our control and others aren’t. The idea that you’re going to
be able to grow the city with the infrastructure that needs to accommodate a million
people and at the same time address an aging infrastructure
is just, is magic. And so I think that’s why
at this point in time, there has to be a recognition
that, the tools themselves, even the ones that are
available to Toronto and the ones that are under its control won’t be enough to be able
to address the back fall in the state of good repair
costs for our infrastructure. And I must admit on an
asset management standpoint, the cities that are older
like of a Toronto vintage like a Hamilton, before it ever became a
requirement of the province, a number of them had jumped
on the asset management wagon to get an understanding of just what it state of
good repair was all about and especially when you don’t have a lot of growth happening
in your community, and not a lot of money, you want to know how serious
a problem do you have when it comes to asset management. And so the level of maturity
of some of these systems that are out there in
Ontario are quite mature. I would stay, we are not 100% there when it comes to
understanding the full extent of our asset management challenge, let alone how are we going to solve it. And so when someone shows up
one day with a report that says it’s not seven or eight
billion, it’s 33 and a half, I mean that puts you in
a whole different league. You can’t nickel and dime
your way out of that. That will not get solved in just a simple increase
of your property tax by one or 2% more than inflation. It just won’t work that way. So it is time I think, to
have that conversation. Now, I’m not optimistic for
the sake of being optimistic. It’s not my way. But I do think the conversations that we’re starting to
have, at least on transit where there’s recognition, the province and the federal government ought to be taken care of the expansion. It still begs the question
of 33 and a half billion left on the shoulders of Toronto. So there has to be a
conversation about that. But again, this is why I think
we have to look at transit not as a strictly as a
city of Toronto problem, because how society makes
decisions is interesting. I mean, if you look at Walkerton, seven people died and
about 2000 were poisoned and for a sustained period of time, the media certainly did its job in bringing that to everyone’s attention. And that eventually led to
municipalities being able to in Toronto’s case, a 9%
rate increase over nine years. That doesn’t just happen. But unfortunately, there was that backdrop of something as serious as Walkerton that led to people knowing that if we don’t invest
properly in our water, wastewater infrastructure, that maybe that could
happen to us as well. And you see it happen in
other major infrastructure when bridges fall down, next thing know, we’re now talking about asset management. And I hope to God it never happens. But just imagine for a second if line one went down for a month. How would we get around? You would never be able to
put enough buses on the road to address line one
being down for a month. And when your system is 60 plus years old and just how fragile is it? That becomes the question. And I think you don’t ever want to wait until you’re in that situation. And that’s why I think the conversation with other municipalities about transit as a regional service and how it ought to be funded sustainably is a conversation I first think has to begin with municipalities and to come up with
an answer as to how it is that we will maintain control over it, but at the same time engage
other levels of government in what is a fundamental element of the regional economy. And I’ll end with this
because it’s a long answer, but when you look at the CMA, Toronto census metropolitan area, which is effectively the GTA and you look at the GDP
generated by just that area. I’m not talking about GTHA,
I’m just talking about the GTA. It’s almost equivalent to Alberta and almost equivalent to Quebec. And that isn’t suggest
that we should split from the country or anything That’s simply to say this is
a massive economic engine, one that needs to be invested in. And it kind of begs the question as to how it is that the
three levels of government could actually create a more sustainable, better governed transit system. – We’re totally on the same page on this. When I was at the conference
board, we did a study on this whole infrastructure deficit. Now it was in debt. And the interesting thing that I learned was that basically from
World War II, October, 1976, we were investing in
infrastructure development across the country at the same rate as the population was
growing, about 5% a year. And in starting in 1976, when the federal government
wanted to cut back, we reduced that to about 0.1% a year. And it didn’t increase
again until the year 2000. There’s no wonder that we’re
behind this huge eight bar. And this is a conversation
that absolutely has to be had because you mentioned 33 billion
or 32 billion for transit. Just some, wasn’t it today or yesterday, lead in the water now. Every single day, and we are
not addressing this question as a country, as a province. Several reports have been written, including the one that I
shared on transit options. Other organizations have
put forward serious, investment options, other organizations, but when you look at the
total political climate, it’s one that favors, they want tax cuts and heads are in the sand. So it’s just a cheery up further. (laughing) Well one thing I’ve thought to myself, one thing the city could do is
to reprioritize its spending. And I know it’s challenging politically, but some of us have been
concerned about proposals to bury the Eglington West extension. Of course, there’s the whole
discussion of the Scarborough, which is very political, but that’s billions of dollars being spent where business cases cannot be made that could be invested in Vision Zero or Transform Toronto. Not enough to do the
affordable housing on its own, but it could be partly applied to that. Do you think there’s any possibility of reconsidering some of those decisions? – Well, I mean the province
has passed legislation making clear it’s for projects. So it’s, I mean–
– Unlikely. – I mean I used the word not withstanding, but everyone would understand. So I mean that is clear. The legislation is clear
that that is their priority. So I mean, as an administrator, decision makers make decisions
and they direct accordingly. So I don’t think that
is something that is, unless there’s a change in view on that, but can I just say one thing? I remembered a few years back,
I was invited to a meeting that was that featured Paul Martin and Paul Martin was talking
about the fiscal situation the federal government
was facing in the 90s. And he said something that I think is maybe it’s time has
come again to think about and that is and to do. He said they spend about
18 months socializing the challenge that they were
facing and what that would mean in terms of the federal
government being able to not just address the fiscal situation but also what it might mean to programs it would have to revisit. And so he seemed to
place a lot of emphasis on the socialization of
that message to Canadians. And I wonder in terms
of as we move forward and change our approaches to governance and change our revenue approaches, that may be a bit more time needs to because I have faith ultimately in our Canadian brothers and sisters that when given a clear set of facts and given time to query the facts, I think far too often we rely on the great
technical work that gets done, but something gets lost in the translation when it comes to making
sure that maybe the person that doesn’t spend all their time pouring over city budgets or anything, how much do they understand about the challenge that we’re facing and what it might mean to their children and their children’s children. And I think if we maybe
spend a bit of time as we’re having these discussions with the federal, provincial
government on both their role that that might be as Paul
Martin successfully did, I think in the 90s that might be a way to help people understand the importance of not relying on a
regime of revenue tools that are pretty well exhausted and won’t give you an easy answer to the challenges that you’re facing. – I think that’s a very big point. I studied history for 10 years and somebody once asked me a question. What did you learn from studying history? And I had one minute to answer and I said, I learned that change only occurs when the climate of opinion changes. And sometimes you get a radical event that will change climate opinion like a Pearl Harbor or like a 9/11. But generally speaking, it takes
a lot of effort to educate. And that’s what a lot of
people in this room here do, are part of organizations
or even governments are trying to get this message across. But that is something
that municipal leaders and public officials can do. Just a third question. When you listed your priorities and you put a lot of emphasis on thinking beyond
municipal power boundaries, how do you think beyond
municipal boundaries without the appropriate governance? Now a number of us have worked together on governance restructuring
many times over. And so I thought I would
take today and just know… But collaboration of
partnerships are hard to do and I do notice that
Mississauga and Toronto with your mayor too tend to
be more on the same page, a change from decades ago
that I recall, which is great. How do you make that happen really when you don’t have the
governance set up to reinforce it? – Well, it’s interesting. I mean, you probably know
the answer better than I, but I think it was a question I asked. I asked our city solicitor
in terms of the Toronto Act and or more importantly,
I think the Municipal Act and municipalities ability
to create agencies. The agencies don’t have to be specific to just the municipality itself. It can actually, it can
transcend boundaries. So maybe there’s a legal
tool that we could look at if we want to create those structures. But it kind of goes back to my last slide. I mean, what is the shared interest? I think there’s a shared
interest around transit. I don’t think boiling the ocean is going to be especially useful or governance for the sake of governance. I think it’s really about
focusing on a service that whether you live in Halton or you live in you know North York or you live in Durham or wherever. I mean increasingly this transit
system that we’re building, that we’re investing
and billions of dollars, it’s got to be simple. Fair integration has got to be, we got to make it as easy as possible. Form follows function in many ways and so I kind of look at the opportunity to sit down with the other municipalities and it’ll be a very short discussion if there isn’t some
legitimacy or some seriousness given to the idea of revenue, different ways of approaching revenue. And I don’t want to spell it, start talking about which tools I think would make the most sense. I want to kind of at least start the process of having the conversation. But I think it’s something that we, I think council is expecting and the province is expecting
through the terms of reference that during this term of government that we come to some conclusion on this. How it gets communicated to the people that live in Southern Ontario, What happens with it we’ll have to see. But what’s the alternative? The alternative is we
have 10 municipalities and the provincial government acting almost as independent agents trying to deliver a service that is vital to people’s equity. And think about seniors that
are aging in their homes. I mean, at the end of the day, social isolation is a very
expensive proposition. If for no other reason, people’s ability to move
around their community is absolutely vital. And people’s ability to
afford to get to work in a reasonable amount of time. That’s not going to get
solved if 10 municipalities in the province are continuing
to act as independent agents. So now’s as good a time
as any to focus on. – One last question before we open it up. A more personal question. What is life like for the public service with the new structure,
with the reduced size? The council that’s been cut in half. Is the new reduced council working? Does the mayor listen to you? (laughing) – Well, the first part of your question is when this was all
unfolding, I thought to myself, I ever get asked that
question, what would I say? Well, I mean, the bottom line is that I’m here to
serve whoever’s elected, whether it’s 25 for 47. So I’ll leave it at that. I serve 25 members of
council and the mayor. That’s been how I operate. In terms of– – Is it harder for you? – No. I mean, I am so thankful
that I had a chance to work as a city manager in
a single tier municipality that amalgamated services are services. When you’re a single tier,
the differences are the zeros. There’s more zeros in Toronto. Those budgets are a lot bigger. But the service itself,
I mean, except for a zoo and a few other things. I mean, I’ve dealt with
most of this in Hamilton. So you learn something about that. And the other thing that
you learn really quickly in this job is that you
have to build a relationship with every member of council and the mayor and whether you’re left or right, however people perceive
our elected officials, I’m indifferent to any of that. I want relationships
with each one of them. And as I say to each one
of them when I meet them, and I say this sincerely. I have no idea why anyone would
put their name on a ballot. That is the craziest thing
I can even possibly imagine. And you’ll laugh, but I’m telling you, they live a heck of a life. That’s seven days a week. These people are known in their community. Whenever people approach them, it’s never a good conversation. So all I’m saying is I have a
tremendous amount of respect and empathy for anyone, whether you agree with
their politics or not, I have a tremendous amount of respect for anyone that decides
to make this their living or make this their life choice. So, I mean, at the end of the day, you want to provide them the
best information possible. And of course, my simple
statement to staff is that imagine whatever
it is you’re saying, that you got to defend it in
front of a judge or a tribunal. It’s as simple as that. The idea of political spin
or whatever like that, if you want to earn trust and confidence, you’ll never achieve that
if you’re politicized. I mean, you’ve got to give the answer that you know you can defend. In some respects as simple as that. Whether or not Mayor Tory is listening to me or any other member of council, I mean, I have my own opinion. It’s probably a question
you have to ask them. But at the end of the day, if I wasn’t being taken seriously in the direction that we’re going to go and I was just spinning my
wheels, life is too short, I’d go do something else. But I love what I get to do. I’m working with some incredibly gifted and committed civil servants. No big surprise. Toronto’s lucky to have
the people that it has, that are in these key portfolios. Our job right now is to not just deliver on day to day services, but to look at how this
population is changing and what is challenges and give council the best advice we can. But more importantly, I’d say learn how to work with others too. I look at the downloading
or the 2019 budget pressures that we’re all facing in
terms of cuts to childcare, cuts to public health. And I mean, what happened in that exercise was not just the city of Toronto saying that there was a problem with this and being quite critical. City of Toronto worked quite well with the municipalities
in Southern Ontario to get this message out. That was not an independent municipality. That was a group of municipalities that shared common interests. And so something happens. And I would suggest that we got to get used to working that way. – Let’s open it up. Questions, comments? Yes, sir. Well just behind you and
then we’ll do you next. (mumbles) I don’t know if your mic is on. – Testing, testing. There we go. Thank you very much. I found the talk very
insightful and I agree with you. Back in 1987, we didn’t see
nearly as much homelessness as we do in Toronto. And so it’s a big concern
because I heard recently that in Helsinki, Finland, they’ve been able to eradicate
homelessness altogether by creating affordable
housing units for all on a very much smaller scale
than you would expect here. But you mentioned that
over the next 10 years that we expect about a million people will be immigrating here and that is about 100,000 per year. But we’re only providing
40,000 affordable units over the next decade. It means that only 4,000
units will be available for 100,000 people. A lot of people who
come here face barriers such as language barriers, employment skills are
not easily transferable for many qualified people. Some end up working as taxi cab drivers. And so it’s very difficult
sometimes to transition. I think that we’re going to
need a whole lot more than just 40,000 affordable
spaces over the next decade. The number might be as
high as about 500,000. Is there a way to reconcile that? – So the 40,000 is over 10 years, the million is over a 20-year period. It still represents a massive challenge. So in terms of household income and what can we do to improve that, I mean, if there’s one thing that I probably does
cause me some sleep loss is the fact that we
have such an aggressive infrastructure build program
and maintenance program and I worry, given the age of
the skilled labor population, are we going to have enough
people to build all this? And where is the training
and where is the effort that needs to be made
to maybe convince people that live in our communities that there is an economic
future in the skilled trades. And so I do wonder from a union standpoint and universities and colleges and training schools standpoint. What is the game plan because I don’t think it’s
as clear as it needs to be in terms of the kinds of needs that are present now
and are going to continue. So I mean one of the things, and providing more affordable housing. I mean I know our planning department is looking at ways in which it can incent or it can encourage the private sector to provide for more units in the market. I mean the 40,000 I’m
talking about are new builds. I think there’s right now, I don’t think there is
as complete an answer to your question in part, in terms of the supply
of housing as we need. I think increasingly, people are finding housing
opportunities outside of Toronto. That’s what we see because it tends to be
a bit more affordable, although the trade off
is longer commute times and the cost of transit,
which is why I think we need to look at transit
in a different manner. In fact, I will tell you that
I think housing and transit, those two things go hand in hand and that if there’s a regional strategy, it ought to look at both. So I mean that’s kind of my
short answer to your question. I just think there’s a lot
more that has to be done and it’s not as clear
as it is right now to me as to how we are going to in fact, address the skilled labor problem. – Question up front here and then you’ll be next. – Thank you and thanks for the Munk School for making this happen. You mentioned the many years
ago there was an alignment. The rate of infrastructure
investment was pretty good. Matched population growth. Could you continue the history lesson and give some insight into
why did that happen then? What changed to get us to where we are? So a little bit of background into how did municipalities come together to allow the rate of infrastructure
investment that we had at the time that you mentioned? And how did that change? Why are we here now? – Why did we start to reinvest in 2000? – So yes, you mentioned that previously, the interest rate of
infrastructure investment matched population growth. That’s not the case now. – It started to shift in Ontario. It was really just, I can’t say who took credit for it, but it was really Dalton McGuinty that turned that around a bit. And there was a decision by
Ontario to do some reinvestment and that was, remember that was the time when they were building the
whole growth plan, et cetera. And there was a lot of thought. The whole theme of regional planning. Again, we’ve gone through sort of periods and there’s people in this
room that will remember when I was first started
myself in this whole area, it was 1966. Anybody who remembers
design for development, Toronto Centre region planning. I see faces in the room from
them and it was all the rage. We all knew that development
was going to go West to appeal and there was a lot of thought and a lot of really growth management and how we were going to manage the growth. And then we let go of that and that was disbanded in the 70s. They ended that whole provincial program and then growth just happened. Then the growth management
plan of the last decade was really hailed around the
world as a very positive. It was a model for growth management. We’ve done very well. Now, there’s a new public
policy statement coming out and some concerns I raised earlier about where it’s going to go. But the actual framework is terrific if we could just stick to it. On the housing front, Enid and I had a chance to work on that just at the end of the last century. And we had a plan that we
say modestly would’ve worked. But it takes a lot. It has to be investment and incentives. The fact is you have to
somehow bridge that gap between what it costs
to produce the housing and allow the developers some profit and what it can be rented for. And there’s different ways of doing that. There’s not just one answer
to it, but various incentives, various taxes, various ways of capitalizing your
expenses for the developers. But we did put together a
package that could have worked. It just wasn’t done. And not because we couldn’t
afford it, I would argue. It just wasn’t done. It’s very complicated for
the public to understand. I guess, I think it just
didn’t have sex appeal to the public. It is complicated making policy and getting it implemented. Did you want to comment
on this before we go to? – Yeah, I thought your
question was why did we stay at the level of funding
that we were back in the day and then what caused it to drop off? (inaudible) Right. (inaudible) – Well, in 1976, it became federally. There was a program to
just cut public spending. It was held that the public
spending was too high and the mood shifted. And I forget the name
of the program federally that they introduced, but
they began to look for ways to cut public spending and
cutting infrastructure investment it didn’t show at first. – Well exactly, and I think this is the
problem with asset management. I mean if you don’t maintain that steady investment in
maintenance, then you’re caught. And this is why the next generation I think is going to have a heck of a time trying to maintained
all the infrastructure that is necessary to
sustain our quality of life. If they’re spending all
of their tax dollars basically replacing infrastructure that should have been properly maintained. And I found it interesting in the 90s, the net operating costs
of transit was subsidized. Not fully, but in part by the province and so it was capital. And for some that will remember
as well we had pooling. I mean, we had a situation where Toronto is the epicenter for people that are sometimes facing some of the life’s most
horrific challenges. And so we do have services here, which is a good reason
why they should be here. But in terms of how you
pay for all of that again, it’s something that was in a particular, was being funded in a
particular way and that changed. So I mean, again, I think
before too long, it’s going to beg the question, is there a chance to kind of revisit some of the investments
that the province and federal government ought to make and do we have enough tools and why do the other
municipalities in Southern Ontario not have access to the
same revenue opportunities that we do? Would it make sense for them
to have within Southern Ontario the same collection of
revenue tools that we have and without all the strings attached? – Question at the back there please. – Thank you. First of all, let me
say I heard pretty much. I like pretty much everything you said and I don’t say that easily. So thank you very much for that. So two quick questions. One, what do you think of the charter city concept for Toronto? Do you think that would
help moving forward? And the other one is, what do you think of the Toronto public bank as a way of financing side of the
infrastructure that we need? – So I’m familiar with the
charter cities approach. I think it’s one of those things that, and this will sound very bureaucratic. So I’m going to lose all your
support in one second here. If we’re directed, I think
it’s one of those things that I think we would like to weigh in on and provide some direction
or advice to council on that. I know there’s a few members
that are champing it. Obviously it has some merit. And in terms of I’m not really familiar to be honest with you
in your second comment. It’s not one I could honestly sit here and speak with any kind
of real grasp of it. So I’d rather not answer that question simply because I don’t know. (inaudible) – I missed your second comment. – About the municipal bank. – Just your second. – I just wondered if you had an opinion about a Toronto public
bank Counselor (inaudible) I think champions that. It’s literally a bank owned by Toronto which about five billion
dollars of investment can then be leveraged
into the ability to lend, from what I can see up to $50 billion. And that money could be
lent to the municipalities as well as investments
in the public interest through business and things like that. And in fact, the interest collected, well first of all, the interest
could be set by Toronto and the interest collected could go back into the city’s coffers. I think it’s done elsewhere in the world and is a very efficient way of leveraging the
resources that Toronto has. As you well know, I think
the Toronto Investment Board has a portfolio of
something like 12 billion. So we certainly have the money
to start something like that. And it might be just a very efficient way and accessible way of
finding the investment that we could use for the
infrastructure that we want. – Other comments and questions? Yes, over here. – Yes, good evening. Thank you again. So I work on the infrastructure repair and maintenance side of
things, not for the city, but for the federal government. And I was wondering if you could speak to the disconnect that exists to those of us on the front line who have to deal with the
nuts and bolts of things and the lack of necessary input
we can give through policy up to not just people in policy, but also politicians
and so on and so forth. It is quite frustrating to be sitting with very expensive pieces of equipment and not being able to
properly maintain them on the engineering side. The devil, so to speak,
lies in the details. Plans are great, but you
have to make them work. – Right. So I learned from experience. First of all, I was in
consulting for a number of years and as an urban planner
I had this great idea that one day I took to my
boss and I pitched my idea and he said, no, we’re not going to do that. And which first of all, I respected the fact he
gave me a straight answer. not that he wouldn’t. And it was the idea of
integrating land use and infrastructure planning following basically an
environmental assessment framework. So the idea that you would
evaluate alternative ways of growing a city and then deciding which was the most appropriate and then basing your official plan and infrastructure
plans on that framework. So Hamilton actually ended up doing this. It’s something called growth related integrated
development strategy. And so I joined Hamilton, not because I had this great passion for working on another road project, which is why I got hired. But I was given an opportunity
to go chase an idea and I basically took a
cut of about 25% and demotion in terms of the hierarchy. I was a manager in consulting and I was a frontline unionized planner in Hamilton, Wentworth. But we were given a
chance to pitch an idea. And so we within the organization identified a few key senior leaders that we thought we
could pitch the idea to. And we said, you take all the credit, we don’t need the credit. Just see if you can’t bring
this to the commissioners, and to the CAO. And they did. And it took a couple of years after that for the idea to be
implemented to become grid. So, I mean, there are ways
within an organization for people in the front line to be heard. So I think that’s the first thing. I think the second thing, is organizations that are so top down that are only listening
to a very few people deserve what they get. And I think I won’t advise you on how to work with politicians as much, but I would say that I
think it’s really important that your frontline feels engaged. I mean, I had direct experience having planned a piece of road that we had worked with the neighborhood. It was a small piece of road. We had a bunch of traffic calming proposed and the community loved it and it was going to slow down Ontario. So it was going to slow
down traffic on Ontario and it looked elegant and everything else. And then we only found out later from an operating standpoint that there wasn’t a snow plow that would be able to go through it. So life’s little lessons. It’s lovely to plan and design something. You might want to go talk to the people Who have to actually operate
it and maintain it. So that was a wonderful experience. So whenever we do stuff,
we have to make sure that those are going to
end up looking after it are involved in the process so that the mistakes that you make if you’re only planning
and designing something can be caught early enough so that you don’t make promise
something you can’t deliver. So I mean, those are and so at that, I never lost that lesson. I kind of used that on
other major infrastructure to make sure that those that
end up having to live with it have a chance to provide
their input to it. So, I mean, in terms of ideas as to how the federal government
can better invest its money in infrastructure will benefit Toronto, I’ll give you my card and you can maybe join
us for dinner tonight because that would be,
whatever you have to suggest. But I just, I think more and more, these tables, even though
they’re very complicated and you’re only as good as the people that are around the tables and how willing they are to
kind of share information and be up front in terms of
what interests they have. And like I say I think, I can’t guarantee success in every case, but the approach is that there’s only… If we positional bargain everything, we’re going to get nowhere. So, I mean, I can insult
you and you can insult me and then we can walk away
feeling both insulted. That’s not going to
accomplish a heck of a lot. At the end of the day, in the case of the subway conversation, there was a lot of
conversation that was going on. Where we were six months ago and where we ended up is vastly different. – Yes. – Just to build on what
you were saying, Chris, I think 10 or 15 years
ago, maybe 20 years ago, we actually had a quite formal
model within our federation to focus on what you are calling intersecting in common challenges
or sort of wicked problems that tend to concentrate
in big urban centers known as urban development agreements. And I know Enid actually did some work on urban development agreements
in Vancouver and Winnipeg that formerly brought
the three levels together in a very structured, kind of
five-year agreement framework that really seemed to mobilize resources in a coordinated and concerted way. In Vancouver was doing with
the downtown East side issues. In Winnipeg, it was dealing with some of the core
revitalization question. But could easily be updated to apply to the infrastructure questions that you’re speaking about
that are different in Toronto than they would be in the city. I’m from London. But there’s a common model here
that we’ve forgotten about. And just the thoughts on that. – Well, I love the fact you raised it because you’re absolutely right. And those are the two cities
I think all of us are aware of that all levels of government with a clear common outcome in mind and governance structures
put in place and investments. I mean, that to me is why
we reinvented the wheel. I think it lends itself to
this kind of conversation and again, I don’t know
if it has to be specific to just a Toronto. I mean, it could be specific
to a transit discussion in Southern Ontario. So absolutely. I think that’s. And the other, the good work
that Enid and the group did in terms of looking at other
transit models around the world and borrowing from that. Again, I don’t think we
have to spend 20 years, we don’t have 20 years,
to be quite honest. I think we need to try and if we can, make this a topic of importance
and this term of council in this term of provincial government and term of federal government. But that, you’re absolutely right. I think it seems obvious. – I think that we’re
going to draw to a close now. The one lesson that I would
just like to highlight that you mentioned is
getting people to rethink, to think differently about these issues. We are in quite a problematic
situation with the constraints from a governance point of view, from a funding point of view. And this whole issue of
managing the assets that we have with huge, huge growth coming at us. And it’s a very difficult conversation given the political
climate in North America. And to just conclude with
that on the governance theme, like Enid, I’ve done some
work on comparative governance of transit systems and the
work I did at Woodrow Wilson and I compared the DC system
with the O’Mara system with the MTA in New York and
with Toronto’s Metrolinx. And what was interesting was the structure itself didn’t matter. Every city has its own unique situation. DC is very complicated governance, but because there was
a common set of values, they were able to come together and agree on what the
plan should look like. So underneath it all, we can get people to agree on the challenges and
what they want to accomplish, there is hope. Thank you very much Enid. I thought I will end on a note of hope. (laughing) (audience applauding) Thank you. – Thank you very much Anne and it’s funny because as we started out, you are very pessimistic and
Chris was very pessimistic and I was thinking, how
are we going to end this on an optimistic note? But we did end talking about partnerships and that was pretty optimistic. And we talked about getting
the message across to people and I think that’s a really important one. But it’s not just the message, it’s how we frame the message. We always start with we’ll keep taxes low. Well, we should be starting with what kind of city do we want and what does that look
like and what does that cost and are we willing to pay for it? So it’s not just getting
the public involved, but it’s framing the
discussion in a positive way and I think we need to think about that. So I’d like to thank Chris. That was terrific. You have so much more experience
this year than last year, So we appreciate your insights. And what a bonus to
have Anne with us today. So thank you both for a
really terrific discussion and hearing both of your perspectives. Last thing we do, do videos
of our events as you now. So that will be available on our website in a couple of weeks. Please share it with your colleagues who couldn’t attend today’s event or if you didn’t hear
something quite right, you can go back and replay it. But thank you for coming
and have a great evening. (audience applauding)

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