Toronto city council is holding a special meeting to decide how to challenge Premier Doug Ford’s unprecedented Bill 5, which slashes the number of municipal wards from 47 to 25 ahead of the upcoming municipal election.
Heading into Monday’s meeting, Mayor John Tory said he’s voting in favour of challenging the provincial government’s Bill 5, a decision which Tory calls “wrong and unacceptable.”
Today, I will vote to support a legal challenge of provincial legislation cutting the size of City Council before the Oct. 22 election. pic.twitter.com/O3ItPBlWwo
— John Tory (@TorontosMayor) August 20, 2018
Thanks to the Ford government’s majority at Queen’s Park, the bill, which is called the Better Local Government Act, had no problem passing legislature last week.
The new legislation will see Toronto’s municipal ward boundaries mirror provincial ridings, with each city councillor expected to represent an average of 110,000 residents.
“We take the representation of Toronto citizens seriously. We take the governance of this city seriously,” said Tory this morning during his opening remarks at city hall.
“And while we, as a municipality, must always acknowledge that we exist and operate within the context of a Canadian constitution, it is our duty to represent the people of Toronto and the best interests of this city at all times – and to make our position clear when we do not believe the actions of other levels of government are in our city’s best interest.”
Meanwhile, mayoral hopeful Jennifer Keesmatt has attacked Tory during today’s special city council meeting, saying Ford only went ahead with Bill 5 because he knew Tory wouldn’t fight it.
Doug Ford did this because he knew John Tory wouldn’t fight this and he was right. Doug Ford didn’t tell the mayors of Ottawa or London or Kingston how to run their elections, but he did here because he knew John Tory wouldn’t stand up for TO. That’s why we need a new mayor. 3/3
— jennifer keesmaat (@jen_keesmaat) August 20, 2018
Council will vote later today whether it will instruct the city’s legal team to fight the province in court ahead of the upcoming fall election, which is scheduled for October 22.