Are Toronto’s mayor and city councillors up to the challenge of fixing what ails the city’s economy?

The major candidates for mayor will square off in a debate tonight over what they would do to make the city more prosperous.

According to the urban thinkers who have contributed background papers, it won’t be easy:

Competing with other cities is important, but council seems preoccupied with purely local issues.

“Lower taxes” is a popular cry.

But as the discussion papers note, Toronto’s property taxes are already lower than other municipalities.

While spending money is unpopular with some candidates, the backgrounders suggest the city badly needs more investment in transit, parks and culture and programs to fight poverty and substandard housing.

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