Ontario is undergoing a reconfiguration of its electrical distribution system, with the province gently nudging municipalities to consider amalgamating their utility assets. The following experts consider the pros and cons of selling municipal utilities. The Sale of Norfolk Power: Council's Choice Dennis Travale, Mayor of Norfolk County Holding on to Power: Deciding the Fate of London Hydro Joni Baechler, City of London Considering the Consolidation of Ontario's Municipally-Owned Electrical Distribution Companies Dr. Philip R. Walsh, Ryerson University The Privatization of Municipal Utility Assets: A Legal Perspective Scott Stoll, Jody E. Johnson, & Jonathan Bright, Aird & Berlis LLP
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Cities are important drivers of productivity, innovation, and economic growth. To achieve their full economic potential, they need to provide a wide range of services – "hard" services such as water, transit, and roads, but also "soft" services such as cultural facilities, parks, and libraries that will attract knowledge workers. Cities that fail to provide these services will lose their economic advantage. The challenge cities face is to raise enough revenue to deliver high quality public services that will attract residents and businesses in a way that does not undermine the city's competitive advantage.
Much has changed in Calgary since 1909 when its public transit system began as the Calgary Electric Street Car Railway serving a population of 30,000 people. Calgary is now home to over one million people with approximately 200,000 people living in the surrounding communities. Calgary Transit operates within the City of Calgary and serves approximately 500,000 customers every weekday on fixed route transit service, including buses and trains. It operates almost 1,000 buses/community shuttles, 193 light rail vehicles, and four maintenance facilities. It also operates Access Calgary to provide shared ride, door-to-door public transportation services for Calgarians with disabilities.