LEGAL FACE-OFF OVER REDUCED TORONTO COUNCIL BEGINS IN COURT

Aug 31, 2018

By Jane Brown

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Lawyers with the Ontario government and the City of Toronto face off in court Friday as the Doug Ford Progressive Conservatives seek to quash a legal challenge of their decision to cut the size of Toronto City Council by nearly half.

The legislation, which passed earlier in August, reduces Toronto Council to 25 seats from 47 to align the city’s ward map with federal and provincial ridings in time for the October 22nd municipal election.

Premier Doug Ford has argued the move will improve decision-making and save $25 million over four years.

But city lawyers say the law will only hurt Toronto, and are urging the court to strike it down and let the city clerk continue with the previously planned election.

Municipal law expert John Mascarin told Zoomer Radio’s Fight Back with Libby Znaimer, a decision from the judge is not expected by the end of the day Friday.

“Considering the material that he’s received and the importance of the matter, I don’t think he’s going to make a decision on the spot. I think he will think about it and may come back relatively soon, perhaps next week, with perhaps a decision on what he’s going to order,” Mascarin detailed.

The provincial legislation also cancels planned elections for the head of council positions in the regional municipalities of Muskoka, Peel, York and Niagara, turning them into appointed roles.

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