WHY NOT RESPOND TO THE NEEDS OF TORONTO RATHER THAN GIVE THE MAYOR SPECIAL POWERS: LAYTON TO FORD

Jul 21, 2022

By Jane Brown

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Following Wednesday’s report in the Toronto Star saying Ontario’s premier is set to offer special powers to the mayors of both Toronto and Ottawa, Doug Ford confirmed he’s planning to move on this.

He offered few details, only saying that a two-thirds vote by councillors could overturn a veto by the mayor.

“Be it the mayor of Toronto or Ottawa, or any mayor, they’re accountable for everything,” Ford explained to reporters, “But they have the same single vote as a councillor and no matter if it’s a good decision or a tough decision that they make, they have to be accountable.”

Ford also said he hopes to have this in place by October’s municipal election.

But Toronto city Councilor Mike Layton told Zoomer Radio’s Fight Back with Libby Znaimer, it’s not as if Mayor Tory has had trouble implementing his agenda. Rather, he says, the provincial PCs under Doug Ford have not been as responsive to the needs of this city.

“And if the province focused more on the request that we’ve made of them so we can fix some of these issues from our homelessness crisis to our affordable and supportive housing crisis, to our transit system and funding new lines and expansion and the operational funding of public transit, as well as our climate initiatives,” Layton explained, “If the province focused more on actually responding to requests that a majority of city councillors have made of them, rather than on something that nobody has asked for, then maybe we could address some of these challenges.”

Toronto Mayor John Tory, who is running for a third term, has signaled his support for such a system but also says it special mayoral powers would not change the way he works with Toronto City Council.

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