Envisioning Toronto: An Independent City

This conversation with Alan Broadbent takes place from 6:00pm to 8:00pm on Thursday July 3, 2014 at the Toronto Bahá’i Centre in Toronto.

Toronto, the biggest city in Canada, is a cultural mosaic, the country’s financial hub, and has an ever growing population and a plethora of jobs. Toronto is a powerhouse. Yet the city is stifled under layers of governance, both federal and provincial, which makes one wonder, “Who really holds the power in Toronto?” Many European cities receive just as much control as their federal counterparts. In the U.A.E., this happens even more. Can Toronto adopt such a governance model, one that gives it the ability to make big decisions faster, without lengthy bureaucratic processes? Should federal and provincial governments give Toronto and other major Canadian cities more independence?

Urban Nation: Why We Need to Give Power Back to the Cities to Make Canada Strong, a book written by esteemed guest speaker Alan Broadbent, advocates for Canada’s largest cities to have greater control of their destinies. Cities produce more capital than smaller towns and are usually where newcomers settle. Additionally, individual city plans are particular to each metropolitan and must be precise. With these facts in mind, it could be assumed that big cities have immense decision-making power. However, this is not the case. How can a city narrate its own path when so much control lies with federal and provincial governments? Join Couchiching host Ahmer Khan as he discusses these questions, and many more, with Alan Broadbent.

Alan Broadbent is the chairman and founder of Maytree, and chairman and CEO of Avana Capital Corporation. He co-founded and chairs the Caledon Institute of Social Policy, Tamarack Institute for Community Engagement, Diaspora Dialogues, and the Institute on Municipal Finance and Governance at the Munk Centre, University of Toronto. In addition, Alan is a director of Sustainalytics Holdings B.V., senior fellow and governing board member of Massey College, member of the governors’ council of the Toronto Public Library Foundation, member of the Order of Canada, and recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal. Alan is the author of Urban Nation: Why We Need to Give Power Back to the Cities to Make Canada Strong and co-editor of Five Good Ideas: Practical Strategies for Non-Profit Success, and he was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Law degree from Ryerson University in 2009.  

The Toronto Bahá’i Centre is located at 288 Bloor Street West in Toronto. Limited seating is available, so please RSVP your attendance at couch@couchichinginstitute.ca or at 416.642.6374

For more information about Couchiching Conversations, please visit www.couchichingconversations.ca.