No, that doesn’t necessarily mean secession. The province could still handle the big items like education, healthcare, and the judiciary, but all other decisions that Toronto needs to make within its own borders should be made by the city.
In Charge of Our Destiny:
One example was when Mayor Tory wanted to implement road tolls.
I have mixed feelings on this issue. On one hand, I feel that it’s a regressive form of taxation, but on the other, it does have the potential to change behaviours.
Either way, Toronto should be able to make such decisions for itself. We should not have to go begging the province to change our own rules, especially regarding transportation.
The province also should not have the power to unilaterally take over city agencies like the TTC, and they should not dictate the signs we use on our streets or other standards regarding our roads (during a meeting with the city about the inconsistent ground markings and signage on the Woodbine cycle track, they claimed they have little choice in what to use because their selections can only be from provincial standards).
Toronto has conditions unlike any other city in Canada, and so should be an expert in itself, and not require a senior level of government to give the green light for its own decisions.
Bigger Than Many Provinces:
Toronto has the 5th largest government in all of Canada, and our population is greater than every individual province or territory—with the exception of BC, Alberta, and Quebec.
We have an army of competent staff and experts who are not only well trained and educated, but have specialized in Toronto itself.
We do not need decisions made for us by levels of government populated by people who do not live here, and may not appreciate or understand the needs of our city.
Toronto doesn’t need the Ontario government’s oversight as much as the Ontario government needs Toronto’s tax revenues. Many rural Ontarians mistakenly believe their taxes subsidize the cities when the opposite is true: Toronto is the tax revenue cash cow of the entire country.
This dynamic cannot be emphasized enough, and Toronto taxpayers deserve to be respected. We as Torontonians should not have our lives disrupted at the whim of a failed mayoral contender, bitter that he could never get council to vote his way.
An Independent Toronto simply means a Toronto in charge of its own municipal affairs. Let the province hold the reins on larger province-wide governance, but let Toronto decide for itself how it runs the day-to-day.