Local Response to the Global Challenge: Comparing Local Economic Development Policies in a Regional Context

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Abstract:

This article reports on a study that examined and compared the responses of six Greater Toronto Area (GTA) municipalities (two central, four suburban) to the challenges of global economic change. The study was carried out in a context characterized by the transfer to municipal governments of both administrative and financial responsibilities for local services by the government of the Province of Ontario. It found a strong tendency for the municipalities to compete with each other for economic advantage, despite efforts to convince them of the need for a cooperative region-wide approach. Suburban governments relied principally on strategies to draw businesses away from the core, and this type of activity seemed likely to increase because of the municipalities' increased dependence on local property taxes. Nonetheless, study findings suggested several ways in which regional organizations or senior governments might help to strengthen regional economies without expecting municipal governments to surrender control over economic development policy.

Document Type: Original Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/0735-2166.00062

Affiliations: York University

Publication date: December 1, 2000

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