Aug 15, 2018

By Jane Brown

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At least one legal challenge is getting underway, now that Ontario Premier Doug Ford has used his majority at Queen’s Park to push through a controversial bill cutting the size of Toronto City Council by nearly half.

A Superior Court judge has ordered that lawyer and city council candidate Rocco Achampong will present his case against the new legislation on August 31st. There is also a report that the City of Toronto solicitor could present arguments to the court that day. Wendy Walberg is set to first brief Toronto Council on Monday as to whether its worth launching a legal challenge.

Prior to the bill’s passage in the legislature yesterday, opposition MPPs vocalized their distaste with The Better Local Government Act, including former premier Kathleen Wynne and Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner.

“It is undemocratic for the premier to interfere in local elections after campaigns have already begun. It’s undemocratic for the premier to cancel local elections in Peel, Muskoka, Niagara and York Regions. It’s a slap in the face of the people living in Toronto and the regions to have their local elections interfered with in the middle of the campaign,” Schreiner told the legislature. Mike Schreiner will be a guest on Zoomer Radio’s Fight Back after Wednesday’s noon news.

The legislation reduces the size of Toronto City council from 47 to 25 wards in the coming municipal election to match federal and provincial riding boundaries. It also scraps planned elections for regional chairs in Peel, York, Niagara and Muskoka. Premier Ford has said reducing the size of Toronto City Council will save Toronto taxpayers $25-million over four years. Toronto Mayor John Tory is calling for a referendum on the issue.

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