Last week our Interim Executive Director, Caryl Arundel, deputed before the City of Toronto's Executive Committee about the reports from the City Manager and the Toronto Office of Recovery and Rebuild (TORR).
The TORR report included 83 recommendations, ranging from detailed, service-related recommendations to others focused broadly on issues and relationships. The report was based on input from Torontonians, including marginalized communities who participated in SPT-supported consultations (summarized in the Community Voices Pave the Road to Recovery report we published last week). The City Manager’s report focused on how the City would address TORR's recommendations.
Caryl's deputation outlined 3 big things that were missing from the City Manager's report — the What, the How, and the Who.
What: The City needs to articulate a clearer vision for the rebuilding work needed, one grounded in principles including inclusiveness, equity, transparency, accessibility, and engagement.
How: The City must support Toronto's rebuild and recovery work with adequate resources and municipal capacity to act. That means Council will have to make tough decisions to reallocate money within City programs and services, introduce more revenue sources already allowed under the City of Toronto Act, and advocate for new revenue sources from the provincial and federal governments.
Who: The City must engage all residents, especially people and communities most negatively affected by the pandemic, in meaningful and ongoing discussions about the rebuild and recovery vision and implementation.
We've also partnered with 10 other organizations to submit a letter to Council calling on them to not only define a clear vision and guiding principles, but also to outline tangible commitments, goals, timelines, and budgets for implementation.
We don't want a rebuild of what we were. Only through a collective vision and action can we build back better than before.