2009.11.10 Today, the Globe’s Brian Fenlon and Post’s Natalie Alcoba reports some sharp criticism for Toronto from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (from a report commissioned by the City). Bravo! Someone to tell us like it is!
But why do we need to pay an external body to tell us we have “one of the highest rates of car use among cities in the organization's 30 member countries” and that “the Toronto region should consider measures such as toll lanes, local fuel and parking taxes, and a Singapore-style congestion charge in which roads in the city centre and major routes such as the 400-series highways would be subject to fees that vary according to peak hours”? We know this, don’t we? Or perhaps like a case of a person in the next cubicle with a body odor problem, we need someone else to deliver the message.
The Globe article reports one of the OECD’s findings as “our region lags on innovation indicators such as patents, citations, high-tech employment and entrepreneurship… Governments should invest in more initiatives like Toronto's MaRS Discovery District.”
Now that cuts a bit close. A firm called Skymeter is in MaRS. They have developed several patents there. In fact those patents permit Ontario to solve the aforementioned “congestion charge” that would allow road-use fees to vary according to peak hours and well as cleaning up our parking problem. They have entrepreneurs and hire high-tech staff. I am one of them. And some 15 countries and cities are studying this Canadian-innovated and Canadian-made technology. Only innovations like Skymeter’s can prove the OECD wrong.
A CBC report.
Another OECD review.