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November 2018

Toronto’s Future: Who’s Paying? The 7th Annual IMFG Toronto City Manager’s Address

November 29 @ 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm
Campbell Conference Facility, Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, 1 Devonshire Place
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3K7 Canada
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Chris Murray, Toronto's new City Manager, is a former planner who thinks of the future in terms of decades, not years. In his address, Toronto's Future: Who's Paying?, he will discuss the "elephant in the room" when it comes to municipal government: what kind of city are we leaving behind for future generations?

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Housing Access & Urban Governance: Lessons from Mexico’s Recent Experience

November 19 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, Room 208N, 1 Devonshire Place, Room 208N
Toronto, ON M5S 3K7 Canada
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Changes to federal housing policy in Mexico in the 1990s helped finance the largest housing boom in the country’s history. During the 2000s, millions of Mexicans acquired mortgages to buy homes in the fringes of cities throughout the country. At the same time, decentralization efforts were under way to increase the capacity of local governments to, among other things, manage urban growth. Yet, even large municipalities have been ill equipped to provide adequate infrastructure and services to the new remote housing locations that have popped up in the last two decades. Furthermore, an increasing number of Mexican households have struggled to keep up with their mortgage payments with the result that some new developments have alarmingly high housing vacancy rates, all while about a third of Mexicans live in poor housing conditions.

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October 2018

Behind the City Beat: A Pre-Election Media Panel

October 2 @ 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm
Campbell Conference Facility, Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, 1 Devonshire Place
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3K7 Canada
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In the lead up to Ontario’s upcoming municipal election, the Institute of Municipal Finance and Governance (IMFG) will bring together a panel of journalists who will address how they cover municipal elections; which policy issues matter most; and how they adapt and stay relevant in the changing media landscape.

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June 2018

Mind the Funding Gap: Transit Financing in Los Angeles County and Metro Vancouver

June 26 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, Room 208N, 1 Devonshire Place, North House, Room 208N
Toronto, ON M5S 3K7 Canada
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Across North American cities, the demand for better public transit is pervasive, yet many local governments lack the sufficient revenue tools to finance the construction of new infrastructure. To resolve this dilemma, some localities have turned to citizens directly, proposing temporary earmarked sales tax increases as a way to finance capital-intensive projects. Why have some communities been more receptive to this funding model than others?

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Toronto: The Accidental Metropolis

June 20 @ 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm
Campbell Conference Facility, Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, 1 Devonshire Place
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3K7 Canada
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Toronto is evolving with a style and character unique in the world, widely recognized for its livability. Now its economic power and its critical and largely successful function as a crucible of immigrant settlement is becoming more and more evident. Remarkably, the emergence of Canada’s cities on the world stage, and Toronto’s rise to the top dozen in global status, has been largely accidental. How did this happen?

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Is Municipal Cooperation a Silver Bullet? Experience from Australia, Brazil, and Canada

June 14 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Municipal cooperation on planning and service delivery is often advanced as a means to strengthen local government and address fragmented governance in metropolitan and other regions. If municipalities could work together, we could improve efficiency, lower service delivery costs, achieve better outcomes, and provide an alternative to municipal mergers. But, is municipal cooperation a panacea, or is it just a convenient solution to address some immediate problems?

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May 2018

The reality of sub-national taxation in conflict-affected states: The incidence and implications of informal taxation

May 24 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Taxation is at the centre of the relationship between state and society. In conflict-affected countries, it can be especially critical to rebuilding infrastructure and ensuring sustainable peace and development. When policymakers and international donors approach the task of rebuilding fiscal systems, they often do so with a narrow conception of tax reform in mind – one that is often based on the experience of developed countries.

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Are You Serious? The Governance of Metropolitan Sydney

May 16 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Sydney is Australia’s largest metropolis with 5 million people, growing towards 7-8 million by mid-century. It faces serious challenges of infrastructure and service provision, environmental management, and spatial inequality.

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Does local government autonomy promote fiscal sustainability? Lessons from Illinois’ home rule municipalities

May 3 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

What are the consequences of home rule authority on fiscal sustainability? What lessons does this hold for Canadian municipalities? This seminar will address these questions by analyzing the experience of over 50 cities and villages that adopted home rule within the past two decades.

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March 2018

Legacies of the Megacity: Toronto’s Amalgamation 20 Years Later

March 27 @ 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm
Campbell Conference Facility, Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, 1 Devonshire Place
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3K7 Canada
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In 1998, Metropolitan Toronto and its six lower tier municipalities were amalgamated to form the City of Toronto. The decision to amalgamate was controversial then, and continues to be contentious to some today. Two decades later, what can we say about the megacity merger? Did it achieve its goals? Are Torontonians better served by one large government than the previous two-tier model? Looking forward, what lies ahead for regional governance in the GTHA?

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