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In 2012 he was made a member of the Order of Ontario in recognition for being "a consummate champion for the Greater Toronto Region as a founding member and chair of CivicAction and chairs and volunteers on countless fundraising campaigns".
Accordingly, the three governments have spent, to date, $1.26 billion and the study estimates that this direct investment on public lands generated impacts as follows: $3.2 billion of Canadian economic output, 16,200 full time years of employment and $622 million of tax revenues to government ($348 million to federal, $237 million to provincial, and $36 million to municipal).
The government of Ontario already spends less per resident delivering public services than any other province, and is working internally to achieve even greater cost effectiveness while continuing to offer quality, timely service. Reflecting measures to improve efficiency, Ontario’s per capita program spending in 2012–13 was $8,311, which was the lowest among the provinces.
Nonetheless, the Toronto region cannot ignore its long-term struggles on key economic indicators. Between 2000 and 2010 (the last ten years for which data are available), Toronto’s productivity, defined as real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per worker, declined by 6 percent. These figures put Toronto in last place out of twelve North American peer city regions: Montréal, Vancouver, and Calgary in Canada and New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Seattle, San Francisco, Dallas, and Atlanta in the United States.1 Clearly, Toronto has a major challenge to catch up to its competitor regions.
Spectrum policy framework as related to incumbent wireless carriers with respect to all technological and financial implications of proposed government policies.
Consumer advocates and others have argued that Canadian market is not sufficiently competitive and that aggressive policy action is needed to foster greater competition and to adequately protect consumers until market forces can be fully relied upon. The incumbent telecom companies and the CWTA (Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association) present a far different story, contesting multiple international studies and painting Canada as a market leader. . . .
As early as 2007, Prime Minister Harper shuffled then-Industry Minister Maxime Bernier (who most believed was opposed to government intervention in the form of a set-aside or other measures) with Jim Prentice. Within months, Prentice unveiled the government’s policy with the headline “Government Opts for More Competition in the Wireless Sector.” In case there was any lingering doubt about where the government stood, the release noted:
Recent studies comparing international pricing of wireless services show Canadian consumers and businesses pay more for many of these services than people in other countries. These services are key to strengthening the competitiveness of Canadian business.
In the years that followed, the government continued to support measures for greater competition – backing the Wind Mobile entry despite concerns about foreign financing (“The policy of our government is to encourage choice and competition in wireless and Internet markets. Ours was the government that set aside spectrum during the 2008 auction to allow new entrants to compete. New entrants mean more competition, lower prices and better quality services for Canadians.”) and later relaxing foreign ownership restrictions for the smaller players in the telecommunications market (“the goals remain steadfastly the same: increased innovation, increased competition, better service and better prices for consumers”). The icing on the cake came in 2011, with the public fight over usage based billing (not a wireless issue, but related to Internet access pricing). With over a half a million signing on an online petition calling for a policy change, the government recognized that telecommunications had emerged as a major consumer issue that could be a ballot box winner.
Beyond these headline-grabbing events, two other developments highlight just how badly the CWTA and the incumbent providers read the situation. On Sunday, the CWTA leaked a study to the media that purported to find that Canadians actually pay too little for wireless services. Relying on consumer surplus metrics, the study claims that Canadians would actually be willing to pay far more for wireless services given how much they love their smartphones. It is hard to think of any study more out-of-touch with prevailing public and government sentiment than industry claims that Canadian wireless services are a bargain.
In June, The Globe reported that Mayor Ford and his brother Councillor Doug Ford lobbied the city on behalf of RR Donnelley, a printing firm that was in negotiations to do business with Deco Labels around the same time. The Globe also reported on the mayor’s attempts to get city staff to help Apollo Health and Beauty Care – a Deco Labels client.
“The allegation of mixing up public duty and private interests – that goes to the heart of the question of integrity, and the questions that people focus on a lot in electing governments and watching governments perform,” Mr. Tory said in an interview.