Toronto politicians to weigh steps as province revives bill to reduce council

Postado Setembro 16, 2018

Meanwhile, the city official responsible for running Toronto's October 22 election said every delay resulting from the battle between the province and the city affects her ability to ensure fairness in the vote, regardless of whether it involves 47 or 25 wards.

Ulli Watkiss, who is in charge of running the municipal election, says matters have reached a "tipping point" and she's concerned that every day lost to delay between now and the vote affects her ability to ensure fairness.

"As elected representatives of the city, we want to assure the people of Toronto that we understand and respect the critical role that city hall and local democracy play in building the communities in which we live", the statement said. "Both scenarios are becoming virtually impossible for us to carry out".

Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau joined 23 other Toronto-area Liberal MPs who urged Ontario MPPs to reject Premier Doug Ford's use of the "notwithstanding" clause.

Scheer responded to a question of whether Doug Ford's use of the notwithstanding clause was a good idea with "Ultimately it's up to the people of Ontario", Scheer said in his first direct comment on Ford's measure.

Conservative justice critic Tony Clement said Conservatives believe that Parliament and legislatures are the "ultimate" law making bodies.

But Ford quickly announced he'd use the notwithstanding clause to override the ruling, and also said his government would appeal the decision.

Municipal Affairs Minister Steve Clark said he still believes the city can head to the polls as scheduled.

"I'm confident that my ministry and the clerk's office will be able to work out any issues and will be able to have an election on October 22", he said at the legislature. He wouldn't say, however, if the province has a backup plan should Toronto's clerk find that the city can not be ready for the vote in time.

The opposition parties have vowed to use procedural tools to delay the bill as much as possible. The legislation has passed first reading and the Tory house leader has said it is expected to pass final reading on the week of September 24.

Tory's office said that, in Council's votes today, it is sending a message that the process the province has engaged in to change the number of councillors is wrong. "We're all here to keep standing up for Toronto".