Is democracy under attack in Canada's largest city? Ontario's new government has turned upside down the upcoming Municipal Election in Toronto by announcing legislation to reduce the size of Toronto City Council from 47 this fall, to 25.
Currently there are 44 councillors but a Ward Boundary review was poised to increase that number to 47. Now that work and expense is being tossed out the window by the Ontario government. As well, the Province is suspending the upcoming election of Regional Chairs in Peel, York and Muskoka riding. Of course, former PC leader, Patrick Brown is running for the seat in Peel. Under the BNA Act of 1867, provinces have the power to make these changes. Municipalities are creatures of the Province.
The Ontario gov’t feels this move will save taxpayers about $25 million over four years although there is scant evidence to support that. Abacus Data conducted a survey of Toronto residents and found almost seven in 10 think the idea should be scrapped or postponed until the next election. That also includes one third of Toronto voters who cast a ballot for the PC’s. The majority of residents disapprove of the way it’s been handled and feel they weren’t consulted about the issue.
While there is little the federal government can do, there is a growing chorus of outrage about what is happening in Toronto.
Director and co-founder of Democracy Watch, Professor of Law and Politics at the University of Ottawa.https://twitter.com/duffconacher?lang=en
MP Liberal member for Spadina Fort York, Parliamentary secretary to PM for Intergovernmental Affairs. He was also on Toronto City Council during Doug Ford's term.https://twitter.com/TOAdamVaughan
The map above shows how the votes are broken down by district.