Premier Doug Ford responded to his 2018 decision to cut Toronto’s City Council by half, calling it “the best present I’ve ever given to the mayor.”
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court of Canada will be hearing a case on the 2018 Legislative Assembly of Ontario’s decision to enact legislation reducing the number of wards from 47 to 25, changing ward boundaries, and reducing the number of city councillors to 25.
Two groups of private individuals applied to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice seeking orders restoring the 47 ward structure and “challenging the constitutionality” of the Better Local Government Act.
“I can tell you I haven’t heard a councillor who disagrees … I’m sure there’s a few,” Ford said in response to the hearing.
“I was listening to the radio recently, and someone who’s dead against it, Councillor Shelley Caroll, agreed it was the right decision. I almost hit a telephone pole when I heard that one.”
Ford then continued that it was the “right thing to do” and knows firsthand from being a Toronto councillor that cutting down the staff has made business more efficient.
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“Rather than have double the amount of politicians, and no one out there should want more politicians, I’ll tell you that we made sure we made it feasible to get stuff passed through a lot more efficient,” Ford added.
He noted when he was a councillor some meetings would last four days, and take four times the amount of work and staff.
Ford then continued, “I know the mayor is doing a great job, but I always joke around with him, it’s the best present I’ve ever given the mayor. He’s been dealing with 25 councillors… they wanted to bump it up to 56, who wants more politicians?”
The premier finished by saying the 25 councillors are “doing a pretty good job” and that
his nephew, Michael Ford, is “the best councillor down there.”