At big-city mayors’ conference, McCallion comes out swinging (and Miller comes out zinging)

At big-city mayors’ conference, McCallion comes out swinging (and Miller comes out zinging)

(Image: David B. Gleason) 

The mayors of Canada’s 22 largest cities, just ahead of an annual meeting of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities,   gathered in Toronto to discuss the things that their jurisdictions need most of all: money, money, money and political power. The Toronto Sun reports that Hazel McCallion even suggested something rather drastic:

Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion said a new partnership is not enough — it’s time to open the “can of worms” that is the constitution to give recognition to the important role of cities, enshrining powers and revenue sources needed to keep municipalities viable…“It really means a look at the constitution, there’s no question about it,” McCallion said.

David Miller, with nothing to lose anymore, continued the absurdity angle by asking what Canadian political life would be like if Ottawa had to ask the cities for money: “Would we use $1 billion to build [LRT] to serve the neediest people in Toronto, to create 10,000 jobs, to build public transit for 100 years… or would we use it for security for a few days’ event in Toronto?”

The mayor has clearly forgotten our much-better list of things to do with a cool billion.

• Big city mayors want seat at big table [Toronto Sun]
• Big city mayors demand clarity over Ottawa’s urban responsibilities [Globe and Mail]
• Hume: Vancouver’s mayor speaks for all [Toronto Star]