Our city is not being respected. The same mind that caused our city to be amalgamated appears to have brought forward our current mayor. Rob Ford does not want to represent the interests of the majority of people living in Toronto, he wants to represent the private interests of businesses. Amalgamation means applying the same rules to the entire region, rather than respecting the unique differences of each Borough within.
-- In 1998, against the democratically expressed wishes of most voters in the city of Toronto, as well as those in East York, Etobicoke, North York, Scarborough and York, amalgamation was forced on us by the province of Ontario, under the government of then-premier, Mike Harris, in order to create a stronger, more unified Toronto. However, this has NOT happened.
Because the city and its suburban municipalities often have very different needs, they naturally have very different perspectives regarding what should be done in the Greater Toronto Area regarding everything from Transit to Waterfront development.
This creates a great deal of conflict both at election time as well as on a daily basis at City Council. Sometimes, the city wins and governs with a downtown perspective against the wishes of the suburbs; other times, the suburbs win and govern against the wishes of downtown Toronto. Either way, a significant portion of the population is left to the management, and sometimes the whims, of a government that it voted against and each successive municipal administration is left trying to undo the damage caused by the last. Amalgamation has not made Toronto either stronger or more unified as we were promised, and given that 12 years have now passed, the situation seems unlikely to improve.
In order for all communities within current Greater Toronto Area to progress and become the kind of places we want to live, work and do business in, the Legislative Assembly of Ontario must reverse the amalgamation decision.
Democracy is supposed to be a basic right for all Canadians but as long as Toronto remains a single, amalgamated, municipality the majority of the city's residents will be denied that right for years at a time.
As citizens of Toronto, the province of Ontario and Canada we expect this issue to be discussed in the coming provincial election and for legislation to reverse the amalgamation process to be introduced thereafter.
WE the undersigned petition the Legislature of Ontario:
To hold a referendum on de-amalgamating the presently constituted City of Toronto;
If the majority of votes are in support of de-amalgamation, to introduce legislation to allow this to proceed.