SCOC TO RULE IF REDUCING THE SIZE OF TORONTO CITY COUNCIL WAS LEGAL

Sep 30, 2021

By Bob Komsic

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The answer to the question ”Was Doug Ford’s decision to cut the number of Toronto city councillors from 47 to 25 in the midst of the municipal election three years ago unconstitutional?” is coming.

The Supreme Court will finally provide it Friday morning.

As for how we got here, after a years-long independent review and consultation, city council had voted to increase the number of wards from 44 to 47.

Then with the 2018 election campaign underway the premier overruled the process, introducing legislation, saying there would only be 25 wards  that lined up with larger provincial and federal ridings.

A group of candidates and voters banded together to legally challenge Bill 5.

While a Superior Court justice ruled it unconstitutional and struck it down, that was not the end.

The province took it to the Ontario Court of Appeal.

By the time it was heard in 2019 the election was over.

In a split decision, a panel of the province’s high court sided with Queen’s Park.

The city directed its lawyers to take the matter all the way to the top in November that year.

The Supreme Court, which only hears a handful of cases every year, agreed to hear this one.

After a one-day hearing this past March, the final decision is expected around 10 a.m. Friday

The next municipal election is just over a year away – Monday October 24, 2022.

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