Toronto

New powers for those elected in Toronto

Toronto's mayor and city councillors will have broader powers not long after they take office.

Toronto's mayor and city councillors will have broader powers not long after they take office.

The new provincial City of Toronto Act goes into effect just under two months after they begin their four-year term in office. Passed by the Ontario government in June, the law givesthe citythe power to tax the sale of alcohol and tickets for public events.

It also gives the mayor the ability to name committee chairs and members of a new executive committee, charged with overseeing the mayor'sagenda.

The act will also give community councils the ability to grant final approvalon localissues such as speed bumps and property matters, instead of going to council where the issues could be debated for hours.

Proponents of the act say it will free up council time to address broader issues and allow the city to decrease reliance on property taxes.

The act is expected to come into effect on Jan. 1, 2007.

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