Cities are creatures of the province. Cities, especially Toronto, often find it difficult to find extra money to start new (sometimes green) initiatives and are forced to cut other city service funding to accomplish those tasks without raising property taxes. Property taxes are really the only revenue stream for cities (except user fees - memberships). Smitherman's former provincial cabinet position, not only gives him energy and infrastructure policy experience (important for TO), but significant influence provincially. The Ontario Liberal government still has a powerful majority, so his provincial connections means a better bargaining position for Toronto. The relationship is reciprocal as well, Smitherman will certainly be supportive of McGuinty (his old boss) in implementing his vision for Ontario.