In November 2012, I requested that the City of Toronto news release boilerplate — the standard text that follows each official City news release — be revised to remove the inappropriately ideological partisan, and politically aspirational (rather than factual) content which purported to speak for City Council without the authority to do so.
The most troubling line of the boilerplate was: “Toronto’s government is dedicated to delivering customer service excellence, creating a transparent and accountable government, reducing the size and cost of government and building a transportation city.” Toronto’s government is City Council, but I am confident that Council did not endorse this sentiment. Rather than serving as a political weathervane, the official boilerplate describing our city ought to reflect the fundamental characteristics and qualities of Toronto that we can all agree on.
Following a year of obstruction by the Mayor’s office, City Council approved a factual, non-partisan boilerplate and delegated authority to the City Manager (instead of the Mayor) to make factual updates as necessary, such as revising the City’s population as it grows. Here is the approved text:
Toronto is Canada’s largest city, the fourth largest in North America, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. It is a global centre for business, finance, arts and culture and is consistently ranked one of the world’s most livable cities. Toronto is proud to be the Host City for the 2015 Pan American and Parapan American Games. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can visit www.toronto.ca, call 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or follow us @torontocomms.