HAGGART: Time to reset Waterfront Toronto’s Smart City public consultation

Blayne Haggart, Associate Professor of Political Science at Brock, wrote a piece recently published in The Conversation about the need to expand public consultation on Waterfront Toronto’s Smart City project.

Haggart writes:

Sidewalk Labs, the Google company tapped by Waterfront Toronto to propose a smart-city development in its 12-acre Quayside district, has finally delivered its long-awaited (and long-delayed) Master Innovation and Development Plan (MIDP). The four-volume report clocks in at just under 1,500 pages.

The MIDP truly covers the waterfront, vastly exceeding its originally envisioned territorial scope. The report proposes extensive regulatory changes and carve-outs, new government agencies, significant governance powers for itself, expensive light-rail, timber skyscrapers (and Ontario-based mass-timber factories) and eye-catching (but yet-to-be-invented) possible new technologies.

And, in what can only be described as an act of remarkable hubris, Sidewalk Labs proposes that Waterfront Toronto — the tri-government (federal/provincial/municipal) agency supposedly running this process — either be restructured or replaced (see for example the reference on pages 232 and 233 of the MIDP Overview document to “Waterfront Toronto or Public Administrator” in terms of future responsibilities).

Continue reading the full article here.

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