Mayor: Toronto proud to share its success with world

09:22, June 25, 2010      

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Only two days away from the fourth Group of 20 (G20) summit, the mayor of Toronto is more than confident that his city will be a perfect example of Canada's successful story in economic recovery.

"There are great stories here," said David Miller in an interview with Xinhua at the G20 summit press center on Thursday. "The secrete of Toronto's success? We are the financial capital of Canada, which holds very well during the crisis," Miller said. "Different from what happened in the United States, we have the soundest banking system, and in the past a few years no tax payers' money has been requested to bail out financial firms."

Canada, which suffered the least impact from the crisis among advanced economies, recorded 6.1 percent growth in the first quarter, the highest since 1999.

"For media who wish to see a city that embraces incredible diversity and is financially successful, we have over a hundred cranes right now. Although there is a massive real estate crash in the United States, it didn't stop here," said Miller, "It's an unbelievable story, all those cranes in Toronto."

On June 26 and 27, Toronto will host the G20 Summit, where leaders of major economies will get together and discuss key issues regarding the global economy. Thousands of journalists around the world have come to Toronto to cover the event.

"I think we're well prepared for the G20 summit. We're very confident," said Miller."The city has prepared for all the eventualities possible, and has all the back up strategies in place. The police have all contingency plans, but of course we must keep this information private," said the mayor, citing as an example that no police officer will take leave that weekend.

While reluctant to release the exact number, Miller told Xinhua that "thousands" of city officials, including those who work for ambulance services, fire services and other so on will be working during the Summit weekend.

Despite the security measures made necessary by the summit, Miller expressed his hope the visiting delegations and journalists will be able to take a look at Toronto's different neighborhoods and get a feel for the host city. "We have very vibrant culture, exciting and unique neighbourhood," he said.

"We want to showcase to the delegates and international journalists that we are very multicultural, prosperous, diverse, and very green -- and also have a sense of equality," said Miller.

It is estimated that there will be nearly 4,000 international journalists flocking to the city. Mayor Miller seemed excited about garnering the world attention to Toronto.

"That's one of the reasons we want G20 to be here -- to tell Toronto's story, a city that is very successful from a business perspective, with very strong environmental values, and that also welcomes everybody. That's a model of a sustainable city." Miller told Xinhua.

The mayor said he's hosted hundreds of journalists because of G20, and has also spoken with journalists hailing from all of the G20 states.

Regarding his expectations of the G20 meeting, the Mayor speculated that the world leaders could act quickly on issues such as job creation and stimulating prosperity. This would bring direct benefits to Toronto, because ten per cent of residents are still out of work, according to Miller.

As the chair of C40 Group of World Cities, an international group that is heavily involved in the fight against climate change, Mayor Miller hoped that creating jobs in environmentally-friendly industries would be a priority.

"As a mayor, personally, I'd like to see the world leaders working together to fight against climate change and to create future jobs in (the environmental sector)," said Miller, who has been the mayor of Toronto since 2003.

That, he said, would be a powerful message for the G20 leaders to send out to the rest of the world, when they gather in Toronto.

Source: Xinhua


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