TFSA welcomes new provincial infrastructure funding

    TORONTO, Aug. 25 /CNW/ - Additional infrastructure payments for Ontario
municipalities announced today, including $238 million for Toronto, are
welcome news, said Toronto Financial Services Alliance President Janet Ecker,
and she urged the City of Toronto to invest its share of the grant in
improvements to the city's transportation system.
    "Time and again, in international ratings of financial centres, the
quality of infrastructure is cited as a key differentiator," said Ms. Ecker,
"and Toronto has to continue to make improvements if it wishes to remain
    Toronto's score on the Global Financial Centre Index (GFCI) has remained
fairly constant over the past two years, but other financial centres as varied
as Amsterdam, Dubai, San Francisco and Shanghai have raised their scores and
their rankings, and Toronto will have to take additional steps to improve its
attractiveness as a centre for investment.
    In examining the GFCI results, it has emerged that Toronto could score
more highly if it were to improve its transit system, including moving forward
on a faster transit link to the airport.
    "While only one in five people arriving at Pearson may be heading to the
downtown core," said Ms. Ecker, "a disproportionate number of this group are
the international business travelers whom we are trying to attract.
    "Ease of doing business is a key competitiveness indicator driving
financial business leaders' opinions of Toronto as an investment location,"
she added. "An improved transportation infrastructure will be a positive
driver and would provide competitive advantage."
    The TFSA supports proposed improvements to the transit hub at Union
Station and improved regional coordination of the transit system. The economy
of the Toronto region extends beyond the boundaries of the city so it is
important to improve commuting and ease congestion over this entire region.
    "We applaud the McGuinty government for making more money available to
municipal infrastructure projects," said Ms. Ecker, "and we look forward to
hearing the city's proposed investment plans."

    About the TFSA:

    The Toronto Financial Services Alliance is a public/private initiative
whose mandate is to enhance and promote the long-term competitiveness of
Toronto as a premier North American financial services centre. Its membership
encompasses core financial services companies - banks, brokerages, investment
fund managers, insurance companies - as well as partner sectors - accounting,
law and education. The TFSA was created in 2001 by the financial services
industry, in partnership with the City of Toronto and with the support of the
federal and provincial governments. For more information, please check our
Website at

For further information:

For further information: Brian Smith, tel. (416) 822-3130

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