Toronto city council has been slashed by Premier Doug Ford’s PC government.
On Tuesday afternoon, the provincial government voted to cut the number of city councillors from 47 to 25. The Better Local Government Act (Bill 5), passed easily with 71 votes to 39. The bill will now go forward to receive royal assent before it becomes official law.
Ford and his party want the new city wards to mirror the provincial ridings. These new boundaries will be effective for the upcoming municipal election in October.
Bill 5 has also removed elections for regional chairs in Peel and York Regions.
Since Premier Ford’s desire to cut council was announced a couple of weeks back, Mayor John Tory and many city councillors have openly challenged Ford’s motion for change.
Tory emphatically declared, “Changing our government structure without public consultation isn’t right and isn’t necessary. Change of this magnitude needs the public to be heard. We are talking about a city of three million people; they deserve to be heard.”
He says to make a massive change in the middle of an election campaign isn’t right and it isn’t fair.
“The city I want to lead has its elective representatives listen to its people. The people should decide.”
Rocco Achampong, a lawyer, is running for councillor in Ward 13. He appeared in a Toronto court Tuesday morning in response to that legislation tabled by the Ontario government on July 30. If Toronto city council wants to join Achampong in court, it must decide by Aug. 21.
The court set aside Aug. 31 to hear arguments on the application.