Toronto Port Authority unveils essay contest, poll results at annual meeting

    Federal agency bolstering community dialogue

    TORONTO, June 12 /CNW/ - The Toronto Port Authority continued to reach
out to the harbour community with the 2007 annual meeting.
    The Toronto Port Authority wants to hear what Toronto schoolchildren like
the most about their harbour community through an annual essay contest. And
the TPA also released the results of a public opinion survey indicating
Torontonians approve of its mandate and objectives.
    These initiatives are in keeping with the recommendations of the Tassé
Report, a review of the Toronto Port Authority submitted last October in
response to ongoing misunderstandings about the role of the authority.
    "Roger Tassé was very clear in recommending the TPA step up its
communications and consultation initiatives to clear the air about our role in
the harbour community," said TPA Chair Michele McCarthy. "We are working very
hard to improve our relationship with the community and other levels of
government, and the essay contest and poll are just two more ways to reach out
to the community."
    TPA officials announced an essay contest open to Toronto elementary
school students beginning in the 2007-08 school year. They will be asked to
write on what their favourite memory or activity is in the harbour community.
Winners and their schools and teachers will be recognized by the TPA, and a
sampling of the submissions will be published on the TPA web site. Also,
educational prizes will be awarded to the top writers.
    "One of our most important roles is as a steward of these harbour
facilities and natural areas for future generations. There is no better voice
to articulate the best things about Toronto's harbour community than the
children who live, go to school and play here," said TPA president and CEO
Lisa Raitt.
    Results from a recent public opinion survey on Torontonians' awareness of
TPA activities were also presented. The poll was conducted by POLLARA, a
market leader in public opinion research, and found that the majority of
Torontonians have a favourable view of the agency's mandate.
    Fifty-two per cent of those surveyed have a fair-to-very favourable
impression of the TPA, compared to only 16 per cent who had an unfavourable
impression. Also, 52 per cent agree that the TPA provides economic benefits,
compared to 10 per cent who disagree. And 59 per cent agree the TPA plays a
role in the environmental well-being of Toronto, compared to 10 per cent who
    Full results will be available on the TPA website (
    "The survey results endorse the general direction of our desire to
demonstrate that the Toronto Port Authority plays an important role in the
sustainable development and economic prosperity of our city," said TPA chair
Michele McCarthy. "But the poll also shows us that we can do better in
communicating with our community. We look forward to strengthening our
partnerships with other levels of governments and community groups in order to
fulfill our mandate."
    The TPA welcomes the opportunity to have a dialogue with the community at
its annual meeting, in accordance with the legal requirements of the Canada
Marine Act. But it also seeks input from the community throughout the rest of
the year through other informal consultative forums.
    The annual meeting is also a formal mechanism to present the agency's
audited financial statements to the community. This year, the TPA reported
increases in overall revenue, port revenue and marina revenue.
    Financial statements have been available since May at the TPA website,

For further information:

For further information: Lisa Raitt, TPA CEO, (416) 863-2016

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