UPDATE: Mayor wants more decision-making powers for cities

After his plan for road tolls was defeated by the province, mayor John Tory is starting a crusade to get more decision-making powers for the city.

He says he intends to initiate a "vigorous debate" on city responsibilities and finances, if the province is willing to have the discussion.

Last month, the premier rejected allowing Toronto to introduce road tolls on the Gardiner and DVP. Even though council voted in the majority to move forward with tolls, the idea had to be approved by the province.

Tory says cities as large as Toronto should have the ability to make their own decisions and be held accountable for them.

Giving the municipal government more power would require a change to the City of Toronto Act.

Tory admits it will be an "uphill struggle."

NDP leader Andrea Horwath says a big part of the problem is that the province needs to step up in helping cities meet their financial needs.

"I know the mayor is very frustrated and I get that," she tells NEWSTALK 1010. "The other orders of government need to be a partner with municipalities when it comes to some of the big ticket items, like housing, like transit, like child care."

But she stops short of agreeing with mayor Tory that cities should have more powers.

"There's no doubt that it's a discussion that needs to happen and I look forward to having that discussion in the public realm," she says.

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