Toronto City Council votes to challenge Ford government's Bill 5

Aug 20 2018, 3:46 pm

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.”

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.

Bill 5

City of Toronto, 25 electoral wards

“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.

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.

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