Jul 20, 2022

By Jane Brown

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Toronto’s mayor says he hasn’t seen or heard anything official on whether Premier Doug Ford is set to give U.S.-style
“strong mayor” powers to the cities of Toronto and Ottawa.

A Toronto Star report quotes unnamed sources as saying the reforms are designed to improve city government and would be unveiled within weeks by Municipal Affairs Minister Steve Clark.

But the report also says that when Clark’s office staff was asked about this, the minister’s director of issues management would only say any looming civic changes would be to help tackle the housing crisis.

Speaking on Wednesday to CP24, John Tory explained this has long been a discussion point, but has never come to pass.

“This has been talked about going all the way back to 2005, and there have been various reports and discussions. Premier Ford has talked about it, I’ve talked about it, but at the moment there is nothing written down and nothing that has been done to my knowledge that you can comment on. And so, the best interest we all have is to just get things done at City Hall including getting housing built,” Tory detailed.

Both the City of Toronto Act, the City of Ottawa Act and the Municipal Act would all need to be amended to enhance the mayoral powers.

Should the dramatic change take place, it would dilute the influence of city councillors in Toronto and Ottawa, ensuring far more authority for the mayors over financial matters and appointments.

Doug Ford’s cabinet is set to meet Wednesday, while Toronto City Council meets this week for the final time before the October 24th municipal election.

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