Written by Terry Davidson
Published in the Toronto Sun
TORONTO – A collaborative approach between sectors would help leaders in the GTHA deal with challenges such as building infrastructure, affordable housing and developing public spaces, said Rod Phillips, chair of the Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance.
Phillips, also chairman of Postmedia Network Canada Corp., was a co-host of CivicAction’s Better City Bootcamp at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre — an event focused on specific civic challenges, as well as some possible solutions.
Better tailoring seniors’ living spaces to their needs, expanding supports for workplace mental health, emphasizing childhood health, and widening the definition of what is considered green spaces were just some of the issues discussed.
Phillips called the bootcamp a “launch pad” for promoting greater community collaboration and expanding the stakeholder spectrum.
“What we heard (Tuesday) was three levels of government talking about these challenges and talking about working together, which is positive, but … what is new is the breadth of ideas and the breadth of involvement beyond just government,” said Phillips. “What CivicAction has always focused on is a multi-sectoral approach … To reach into labour, to reach into business, to reach into community, and into government — not just to say, ‘Government, what have you done for us?’ but ‘What are we all going to do for each other?’ and I think that’s the new approach.”
Earlier Tuesday, Toronto Mayor John Tory and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne delivered speeches.
Phillips said the event, which will result in the production of a report with recommendations, promoted the idea that Greater Toronto Hamilton Area leaders needs to learn from success stories in other jurisdictions when addressing challenges.
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