Mayor Tory has penned a public letter to Premier Ford, asking him to put the provincial government’s plan to reduce the number of Toronto City Council wards nearly in half “on hold.”
On July 27, Ford announced the PC Party’s plans to cut Toronto City Council wards from 47 to 25, “without meaningful consultation of any kind,” according to Tory.
The letter, which was sent Thursday evening, has an urgent tone, with Tory stating it’s “unacceptable and unfair” to change the rules in the middle of an election.
The mayor says the 2018 municipal election should be allowed to proceed as planned, with 47 and not 25 wards.
Last night, I sent a letter to Premier @FordNation on behalf of Toronto City Council in opposition to the provincial government’s legislation to reduce the number of wards from 47 to 25. I am asking the Premier to hit the pause button on cutting council and to call a referendum. pic.twitter.com/fRm4TzTEcG
— John Tory (@TorontosMayor) August 10, 2018
“Something as fundamentally important as an election – a primary mechanism of civic democracy – should not be changed without public input and in the absence of a clear process or robust understanding of public impacts and costs,” he wrote.
Due to a lack of public consultation, Tory reiterated his belief there should be a referendum on the ballot for Toronto residents, so “we can let the people speak.”
Tory added that “hitting the pause button is a sign of strength” and that following a “legitimate process” would increase the legitimacy of Ford’s government.
“It is always better to do something right as opposed to doing it quickly,” wrote Tory.
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.
Tory is seeking re-election, opposing former chief planner Jennifer Keesmaat who jumped into the mayoral race just before the deadline to register.