Toronto civic leaders urge public officials to ‘welcome’ Sidewalk Labs’ plan

A number of Toronto civic leaders, including former mayors, have written a joint statement urging public officials to welcome Sidewalk Labs’ Master Innovation Development Plan.

The 30+ leaders say that Toronto should mobilize all of its talents to solve problems, including housing affordability. They write that public officials should “welcome and evaluate this proposal for the many positives it can bring.”

The leaders behind the statement include Sharon Avery, the President and CEO of Toronto Foundation, Barbara Hall, the former mayor of Toronto, and Janet Ecker, the former Ontario finance minister.

However, they write that although there are points worth debating in the plan, they believe there is room for the government to negotiate and adjust the plans.

“Some issues and details must still be resolved, like data governance and a final path to rapid transit financing,” they wrote.

The civic leaders believe that the ideas in the plan can help address and tackle some of the issues in Toronto. They also see the benefit in a new Canadian Google headquarters site, as is outlined in the plan.

They concluded by saying that Toronto has the “civic and political strength to say yes and make Quayside work for all its residents.”

This statement comes as the Privacy Commissioner of Ontario stated that the provincial government should modernize its privacy laws ahead of the preparation of smart cities to ensure the protection of data privacy.

Source: Letter from the civic leaders