Doug Ford’s government wants to reduce the size and cost of operations, and it’s looking to slash the number of Toronto City Council in half.
According to Ford’s PCs, should the Ontario legislature pass the Better Local Government Act, it would reduce the size of Council to “align with current federal and provincial boundaries.”
“We ran on a commitment to restore accountability and trust, to reduce the size and cost of government, including an end to the culture of waste and mismanagement,” Ford said in a release. “Because one thing every politician at every level and in every region needs to remember, is that we all share the same boss. We all work for the people.”
But Mayor John Tory is questioning the move, which he says is a “gigantic decision” about the future of the city.
“The bedrock of that democracy is fair process – that the people always have an opportunity to be heard by their government,” said Tory on Friday morning. “That’s why when elections are meddled with, when the very rules that guide them are upset mid-campaign, people – regardless of their political stripe – are rightly angry.”
Tory said that he spoke with Ford after hearing the news, and told him that the process around this “stunning and massive change is absolutely not right. You don’t change the rules in the middle of the game. That’s not right and that’s not fair.”
The Mayor will be instructing city clerks to add a referendum question on the ballot on October 22nd, the date of the municipal election election, the question would be, “Do you support reducing council from 47 to 25, yes or no?”
The newly elected provincial government claims that reducing the size of Toronto City Council is estimated to save Toronto taxpayers more than $25.5 million over four years.
“Premier Ford promised to be a government for the people,” said Tory. “They campaigned on it every day. And so I would say to the premier and his government, be true to your words. If you are truly a government for the people, then put this question to the people. Let them decide.”
I hear people this morning talking about conversations, consultations, debates, discussions. They have not been given the opportunity to have any of those on a major decision affecting them.
— John Tory (@TorontosMayor) July 27, 2018