Photo: Christopher Katsarov The canadian Press
The mayor of Toronto, John Tory
Michelle McQuigge – The canadian Press, and
Paola Loriggio – The canadian Press
July 31, 2018
The Toronto city council voted Monday to denounce the controversial bill proposed by the government of Ontario, which would reduce its size by almost half.
The elected members of the Queen City also voted to ask the provincial government to conduct a referendum on the number of seats and their boundaries before the passage of the bill, which would increase the number of councillors from 47 to 25.
“Today, the city council has sent a strong message to Queen’s Park, [saying] that he is opposed to the process around the change of the boundaries of the seats,” said mayor John Tory in a statement.
“The city council has approved my request for the province to hold a binding referendum before proceeding with any change on the boundaries of the seats in Toronto. Changes of this magnitude should always be made with a degree of consultation that allows the public to be heard. “
The vote took place at the end of a heated debate at city hall, while the elect were wondering if it was necessary to challenge before the courts the bill of the progressive conservative government.
The prime minister, Doug Ford has surprised politicians and citizens, last week, by announcing that it planned to cut by half the number of seats in the municipal council of the canadian city with the largest population, without, however, touching the tips of the other large cities of the province.
The prime minister, progressive conservative, has argued that this reduction will simplify the decision-making process at city hall and will allow the taxpayers of Toronto to save $ 25 million in salaries for councillors and their staff.
Himself a former Toronto city councillor, Doug Ford had been a candidate for mayor to succeed his brother, Rob, in 2014, but he finished second, behind John Tory.
Mr. Ford said Monday in the legislative Assembly that he had had campaign to reduce the size and spending of the ontario government, so this decision should not surprise anyone. “I have spoken to tens of thousands of people across the province, I’ve spoken to thousands of people in Toronto, and each person I spoke with in Toronto told me that the city council was dysfunctional,” said Mr. Ford.
“We do not believe in a government as big, we do not believe in most politicians, or to more bureaucracy : we will ensure that the City of Toronto finally works more effectively. “
Mr. Ford has even found an ecological argument to plead in his favour. “I can assure you that when we will have 25 councillors, there will be 500000 sheet less : I protect the environment and I protect the trees,” he started.
Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti, a long-time ally of Mr. Ford, suggested Monday that there could be another reason for this change. “There will be less left-wing politicians in the City of Toronto, which will be a great thing,” said Mr. Mammoliti, during a press conference to defend the project.