Toronto mayor not keen on NDP promise to roll back council size cut

Toronto’s mayor appeared to reject an NDP pledge to restore the council to its pre-2018 size when asked on Wednesday, saying revisiting the Ford government’s controversial council-cutting exercise would be harder than it does. ‘worth it.

Toronto Mayor John Tory told CP24 that while he was opposed at the time to the decision to reduce the council from 44 to 22 councilors in 2018, he would not favor revisiting the issue after the June 2 provincial elections.

“If you told me then that I would be in favor of reopening all of this, I’m not sure I would.”

In a decision Ford did not mention during the 2018 election campaign, he introduced legislation that reduced the size of Toronto City Council and ended regional president elections in several regions, including Peel.

The move was highly unpopular in Toronto and hampered the city’s municipal election campaign, as it was introduced in the months before its own vote, sowing confusion over who might actually run for council in 2018 and where.

“In a way, you’re like, listen, I was very opposed to how this was handled without consultation in the middle of an election campaign,” Tory told CP24.

He said a 44-seat council allowed councilors to spend more time dealing with day-to-day issues in the constituency.

“It has quite frankly allowed a few more counselors to deal with people properly. The local level of government has a lot of very intense customer service type issues. »

Protests from opposition New Democrat politicians and members of the public protesting the move to the public galleries in Queen’s Park forced the Speaker of the House to eject virtually everyone from the Legislative Assembly to the fall of 2018 when the Conservative government voted on the measure.

Toronto’s legal challenge to the move ultimately failed.

Last year, the Supreme Court ruled Ford’s board cut was constitutional in a 5-4 split decision.

During the 2022 campaign, the Ontario NDP promised to reverse the council cuts.

But Tory appeared resigned that Doug Ford will win again on June 2, citing the fact that Ford had threatened to use the notwithstanding clause to pass the council cut at the time if the courts found it unconstitutional.

“Again, it is likely that Mr. Ford, who indicated in the last round that he would use the notwithstanding clause to impose this on the City of Toronto, could do so again.”

He called the PC leader a “prime minister”, although that result is not yet a certainty, although Ford retains a significant lead in most polls.

“It’s my job to work for economic recovery, it’s my job to work with Premier Ford to get people back to their jobs, making sure the city is stronger than ever economically and not involving myself in these kinds of problems.”

Leave a Comment