TORONTO, February 1, 2023 – Today the Toronto Region Board of Trade responded to Mayor John Tory’s 2023 operating and capital budget proposal to City Council, which focuses on key opportunities to bolster the Toronto region’s economy and urgently deliver a restructured, modernized fiscal framework. “It’s time for predictable, sustainable, long-term solutions to the serious fiscal challenges we face,” stated Jan De Silva, President and CEO of the Toronto Region Board of Trade.
“It’s time for predictable, sustainable, long-term solutions to the serious fiscal challenges we face,” stated Jan De Silva, President and CEO of the Toronto Region Board of Trade. “Toronto contributes over 9% of the country’s economy but we will struggle to remain Canada’s economic engine if we continue to shoulder more than our fair share. We support the Mayor’s call for a new fiscal framework and his urgent request that all three levels of government work together to build the revenue tools necessary for a thriving city.”
The Board notes that more must be done to ensure our region stays competitive over the long term. Ultimately, the costs of large infrastructure projects must be partially if not mostly carried by higher tiers of government, as their construction and operation provide benefits to the entire region. This includes highways that are currently maintained by the city, transit infrastructure and improvements, and large-scale construction projects that create high-paying jobs across the region.
The City must have the capacity to effectively and efficiently match operating expenditures with revenue. In recognizing that a significant portion of the city’s budget is allocated to costs that should fall outside of a municipal mandate, the Board also recommends that the city undertake a reassessment of spending responsibilities. It is time to seek out smarter ways of spending the money they have. Such a review could also identify potential new revenue streams or revenue tools.
The Board is pleased to see a budget proposal that aims to strengthen our city’s economy amid ongoing pandemic recovery, rising costs and the thread of a looming recession. In particular, the continued focus on housing and the plans to extend the City Building Fund by ten years with an additional $6.1 billion, providing a predictable revenue stream allocated to capital needs.
On behalf of our members and the broader business community, we look forward to continuing to work collaboratively with City Council to ensure our city’s financial framework is predictable, sustainable and on our shared goal of making Toronto one of the most competitive and sought-after business regions in the world.
About The Toronto Region Board of Trade
The Toronto Region Board of Trade is one of the largest and most influential business chambers in North America and is a catalyst for the region’s economic agenda. We pursue policy change to drive the growth and competitiveness of the Toronto region and facilitate market opportunities with programs, partnerships and connections to help our members succeed – domestically and internationally.
Megan Stangl, Communications and Public Affairs Manager