After Doug Ford announced his intention last week to cut City Council seats in half, many people across Toronto are asking why, especially after there was no mention of such a plan during his campaign.
While Ford says his intention is to reduce the size of government, it’s conspicuous that he has no plans to mandate this change to any other municipality in Ontario, many of which have more representation by local representatives than Toronto.
This imposition into Toronto’s decision-making comes after the City’s years of study and consultation that recommended just the opposite of Ford’s plan to match wards to federal ridings — a ludicrous matching given the vastly different type of work performed by City Councillors. Now, just as Toronto is set to receive a more balanced population-by-ward distribution in the upcoming municipal election, we are set to lose out on this carefully researched and crafted design.
Fewer City Councillors also means candidates will need big money to run. And it means candidates supported by lobbyists with deep pockets are the most likely to win, giving us a City Council with less diversity and more attuned to the interests of big developers and businesses.
It is for these reasons Local 79 is taking a public stance against Doug Ford’s plan. Toronto deserves proper representation at the local level, and Toronto residents deserve to have a say in how their local democracy is run.
Join us with CUPE Ontario and the Toronto & York Labour Council in the following actions:
• Contact your MPP – let them know you disagree with what is going on.
• Contact your City Councillor and demand they act to defend Toronto.
• Sign up to Progress Toronto’s Stop Ford’s takeover of Toronto politics actions.
We leave you with these powerful remarks about Ford’s attack on Toronto from City Councillor Gord Perks at Monday’s City Council meeting.