Toronto mayor John Tory has written an open letter to the Prime Minister of Ontario Doug Ford with a request to “press the pause button” in the incarnation of his plans to reduce the size of the city Council of Toronto, which, according to him, not repelled or from “any informative advice.”
On 27 July, Ford announced that the provincial government will reduce the number of municipal districts from 47 to 25 to the October elections, but this would throw the election campaign into chaos.
Defending the need for change, Ford claimed that he “consulted with thousands of people across the city,” but in his letter to tori notes that no formal public consultation was not.
Toronto mayor noted that the multi-year process of revision of the boundaries between the electoral districts has pushed the municipal government to increase the number of councillors from 44 to 47 ahead of the elections on 22 October, and although, according to him, he opposed increasing the number of advisors, “at least he respected the fact that this recommendation was made after a more extensive process involving public participation”.
“Something so fundamentally important as the elections in the original scheme of civil democracy − should not be changed without public participation and without a clear process or a clear understanding of what impact this will have on society and what will be the price, − he wrote. In light of the absence of any public consultation, I urge you to consider suspension of the process for the referendum, so we can allow people to Express their opinions. For me, that you click on the pause button will power. I would respectfully suggested that the legality of the fact that your government takes such a high position to rise sharply, backed by your commitment to a legitimate process.”
In his letter to the Tory also said that none of the parties did not raise the issue of reducing the size of the Council of Toronto during the recent election campaign and, in his opinion, “none of the parties has no right to such unilateral action.”
As he says, Ford presented the bill “defies common sense from the point of view of practicality of changing the electoral process that has already begun, and from the point of view of our current relationships between the province and the municipality.”
In addition, tori believes that it is “contrary to the spirit of the Law of the city of Toronto” and possibly other laws, so on this issue now work as city lawyers.
The Prime Minister of Ontario Doug Ford has not given an official response to the letter from the tories, but his representative issued a statement which says that a planned change in size of the Council in Toronto will allow to “efficiently execute the priorities of importance for the people of Toronto.”