ONT APPEAL COURT: LAW THAT SLASHED TORONTO CITY COUNCIL IS CONSTITUTIONAL

Sep 19, 2019

By Bob Komsic

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Ontario’s top court has ruled the provincial law, which saw the size of Toronto city council reduced nearly in half last year, is constitutional.
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In a 3-2 decision, the Court of Appeal has sided with Doug Ford in his dispute with the city, which had challenged the unprecedented intervention.
The Better Local Government Act was passed last year partway through the municipal election, slashing the number of wards from 47 to 25.
A lower court had ruled the law infringed on the free expression rights of candidates but the province won a stay of the ruling pending outcome of its appeal.
The city then asked the appeal court to declare Bill 5 unconstitutional, but to leave the election results until the next election in 2022.
Three justices on the appeal panel ruled the law stands, while the other two feel the province’s appeal should be dismissed, increasing the likelihood this will go to the Supreme Court.  
City lawyers will review the decision then report to City Council next month. 
In January, City Council directed staff ”to pursue a leave to appeal application to the Supreme Court of Canada in the event the Province is successful on its appeal at the Court of Appeal.”
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