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Toronto politicians weighing steps as province revives bill to reduce council

16 September 2018

Others are angry because they simply don't like Doug Ford.

Toronto had challenged the province's council-cutting legislation in court and a judge agreed that passing the bill in the middle of municipal election campaign violated the freedom of expression rights for voters and candidates.

"The fact of the matter is that it is part of our Constitution. and it is I would say a necessary part of the Constitution to ensure that the power lies within the people that are elected by the people in this great democracy that we call Canada". The provincial government has appealed the ruling and reintroduced its changes this week in a new bill, compounding the chaos facing the clerk as she oversees preparation for the election.

In response, Mr Ford announced he would use the Constitution's "notwithstanding clause" to overrule a judge's decision.

"We are the people", a man yelled, referring to the Ford government's slogan of government "for the people".

And since there is no longer a question of whether or not Premier Doug Ford will invoke the clause, the next question is whether or not he will use it again and again if he's not satisfied with a result.

"Frankly, the uncertainty is making this very hard", she said.

Watkiss was making her comments to Toronto councillors during a special session at City Hall.

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

"We're all here to keep standing up for Toronto and I know we're all prepared to continue to do that because we believe in this city".

Clark would not say whether the province has a backup plan should the clerk find that the city can not be ready in time, despite repeated questions on the issue.

"While the NDP are playing procedural games to delay the passage of the Efficient Local Government Act, the PCs are willing to work around the clock through the weekend to speed up the passage of the bill", he said in the statement.

The Big City Mayors' Caucus at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities also threw its support behind Toronto on Thursday, criticizing Ford for his actions.

"We've used the notwithstanding clause in this province in the not too distant past", Moe said. New Democrats were later booted from the house as they attempted to drown out the reading of the bill.

Toronto politicians weighing steps as province revives bill to reduce council