The Gomberg for Mayor platform plank on the Province of Toronto.
The autonomy and ethics which made the urban environment of Mega-Toronto’s six former cities — old Toronto, North York, York, East York, Scarborough and Etobicoke — the envy of the world stemmed from local decisions.
“Great cities must separate from their surrounding regions to prosper in the 21st century,” said Jane Jacobs. When it comes to a provincial Government which returns more tax dollars to prosperous areas at the expense of Toronto, it’s especially true. They are pulling out billions of dollars more than they are putting back in. Enough! We need to be masters of our own destiny.
We need to be able to raise money for transit and housing. The provincial government is not interested. Neither is Mel Lastman. His elite “Toronto Charter” may strengthen the grip of rich lawyers on Toronto, but does not exempt us from Ontario taxes, restore or create any status for the old cities, nor allow Toronto to control the definition of its professions and trades or the number of cars on its streets. It simply raises income taxes to pay for the mega-projects: Olympics, waterfront, dumping.
As Mayor I will work for a new province to be created in Canada — the Province of Toronto — which would, like other provinces, decide tax rates, receive transfer payments and decide how they are spent. Simply put, it would have the ability to shape its own strong and vital future.
As a result of this financial independence, the Province of Toronto would have:
- the control of the $6 billion which is being taken from Toronto every year and not given back;
- the means to manage a provincial-sized population and the power to enact laws appropriate for our urban society;
- an education and health system, public housing, transit and day care programs of the kind we want and need;
- Toronto’s own landlord/tenant law and environmental policy;
- and a renewal of ethics and civics in a Province of Toronto composed of six cities, governed by citizen’s councils whose ethics and mediation system of urban governance could serve as a model to the world. Toronto is more than an amusement park, emissions and pollutants dumping ground. Goodbye, Queen’s Park
Note: Support from the federal government plus seven provinces would be necessary for Toronto to become its own province. As in Quebec, a referendum could be held for admission into Canada as a province.