Taking Back Our Cities


“This book is smart, thought-provoking, inspiring and easy to read,” says one reviewer.

Municipalities in Canada are at a crucial moment in history.

The property tax system is broken, relations between towns and cities and their provincial masters are often strained and cracking, and robust cities around the world are surging economically and culturally. Canada’s cities are at risk of being left behind unless the structure and financing of our communities changes.

Through exclusive interviews with mayors and political and government leaders from coast to coast, Taking Back Our Cities shines a bright spotlight on the complex, often convoluted and sometimes thorny relationships between our various orders of government.

The book is filled with candid, thoughtful quotes from present and past leaders. It also offers insightful comments and ideas from people who have been in the council and federal and provincial political trenches for many years. It includes innovative ideas and thought-starters from the author, and provocative truths and challenges from Canadian political leaders “on the inside.”

It is the first book to analyze and assess municipal government from this perspective. As one reviewer said, “This book should be mandatory reading for every elected official in Canada.”

How can this country’s cities successfully compete internationally in this 21st century with a municipal tax system devised in the 17th century and a governance model from the 19th century?

Canadian cities need to change the conversation. Taking Back Our Cities is the starting point for this long-overdue and badly needed conversation.

This book will make you question traditionally accepted standards and practices, wonder about how we got into this mess, sometimes make your eyebrows lift in shock, and sometimes make your lips smile … but, most of all, it will make you think.

“This book provides a valuable contribution to the future existence and vitality of cities – Maybe this will become a mandatory read of municipal councils across regions? Should be. Maybe some of them will recognize themselves (good and bad) in the text?”

Approx. 172 pages

ISBN: 978-1-926843-00-1

Item 0034