By Brenda Molina-Navidad
Mayor John Tory was at the Ted Rogers School of Management on March 16 to discuss the importance of public-private partnerships for city building in Toronto.
“Any chance to get the public and private sectors working together in a partnership is going to advance the public interest because you put together two different skill sets and different sets of resources to achieve a better result,” said Tory.
Tory said that placing infrastructure management in the hands of the city alone has not resulted in success, since the city council has approved projects in the past before finding a funding source. According to Tory, the approved plans combined are worth a total of $17 billion. When city projects cost this much overspending can be problematic – an issue Tory addressed.
“The resources of the city are already stretched thin, the city of Toronto pours over the budget and all of the focus is on incremental spending,” said Tory.
Private partners would serve as financial aid, said Tory. Businesses have capital that can save the city a few dollars and help complete projects such as transit expansion, rehabilitating the Gardiner expressway and building more affordable housing.
Tory emphasized that these public-private partnerships can create more quality services that are delivered in a timely manner and at the same time can reduce city project costs.