Toronto Mayor Tells Doug Ford to Stop Cuts
Toronto Mayor, John Tory is determined not to back down on his resistance against the intended slashing of Toronto City Council seats. This is coming as Ontario’s Premier, Doug Ford had in July called the City Council dysfunctional and introduced legislature intended to cut the council seats from 47 down to 25. This action did not go down with Tory who had since then spoken publicly against the idea.
Mayor John Tory tweeted last week on the 10th of August, “Last night, I sent a letter to Premier @FordNation on behalf of Toronto City Council in opposition to the provincial government’s legislation to reduce the number of wards from 47 to 25. I am asking the Premier to hit the pause button on cutting council and to call a referendum.”
In a letter, John Tory asked that the decision to cut council seats as well as other reforms such as term limits be allowed to appear on ballots in the Oct. 22 municipal elections. He questioned the timing of the intended council cuts, stating, “I have made my own position clear – it is unacceptable and unfair to change the rules in the middle of an election.”
He implied that the process, if not done through a referendum, would be wrong and illegitimate. In his words,“I would respectfully suggest that the legitimacy of your government’s position dramatically increases if supported by a legitimate process,” Tory said. “It is always better to do something right as opposed to doing it quickly.”
The letter further read,“The proposed legislation is contrary to common sense in terms of both the practicality of altering a live election process and in terms of our ongoing provincial-municipal relationship.” “Something as fundamentally important as an election – a primary mechanism of civic democracy – should not be changed without public input and in the absence of a clear process or robust understanding of public impacts and costs.” The Mayor said.
According to Citynews.ca, Ford who was once a city councilor has said he had always had the dream of cutting the council seats, “I promised to reduce the size and cost of government and end their culture of waste and mismanagement in government,” he said when announcing the plan. “This is something I fought for at city hall, something I continue to believe in today.”
The New Democratic Party, led by party legislator Gilles Bisson has also stood vehemently against the bill.
“We will continue fighting like hell to allow people to have their say in what happens to their local representation,” Bisson said in a statement. “We will do whatever we can to stop Doug Ford from silencing the voices of the people in the middle of an election.”
Ford had in July, dismissed accusations that his decision to cut council seats comes as a unilateral imposition on citizens, he said “I consulted with thousands of people right across the city and every person I talked to said you have to reduce the size of government, no one has ever said to me ‘Doug we need more politicians.’ In fact it is the opposite. People tell me that we have too many politicians making it hard to get things done and making it harder to get things built.”