Torontonians must abandon megacity model or face worsening civic deterioration
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Edited by John Stokes
Toronto former Metropolitan form of government served the city well since the early 1970’s. The former ‘Metro’ government supported relatively strong political economic representation of vital local civic issues. The current megacity model has become a tool for Toronto Big Business interests in its downtown core. Toronto’s megacity model was forced on Torontonians by the former right wing government of Premier Mike Harris. Former Premier Mike Harris and his allies had used misleading rhetoric in the province-wide campaign to forcibly amalgamate cities across Ontario, in a farce of democracy. It is evident that Torontonians and other Ontarians were presented with a tissue of lies.
It is now time to return Toronto “back to the future” on a course which will re-vitalize the quality-of-living of all Torontonians. Indeed, Torontonians deserve more than to be in areas of worsening social despair, including homelessness, in the context of socially irresponsible megacity governance.
University of Toronto Professor Michael J. Doucet had warned Torontonians in the pages of the Toronto Star on 8 February 1997 that megacity threatened to replicate the destructiveness Chicago megacity experiment.
Professor Doucet had said: “The very use of Chicago, which for much of this century has been home to one of the most corrupt municipal governments in history, as a model of efficient urban government, clearly illustrates the desperate measures needed to defend the imposition of a megacity form on Metropolitan Toronto.”
“In theory, the proponents of the megacity would have us believe that the efficiency of a unified government should make life better for all of us. Comparing the performance of Toronto [during the 1990’s before the megacity] and Chicago, in quality of life studies, however, points in exactly the opposite direction,” Professor Doucet futher elaborated.
Last year [in 1996] Fortune magazine identified Toronto as the best international city in which to live and raise a family. Chicago-the-unified did not even make the top 15 on the American list.