Premier Doug Ford’s plan to cut Toronto city council by almost half from 47 to 25 councillors is being hailed by some as long overdue, and as undemocratic and spiteful, by others.
“I promised to reduce the size and cost of government … this is something I fought for at City Hall,” Ford said. “More politicians [are] not the answer.”
The bold statement has garnered plenty of reaction online:
Every Torontonian/Ontarian should stand up against the assault on local democracy by Premier Ford. Regardless of whether you think there should be more or less councilors, this should be a Local decision made locally. #onpoli #TOpoli
— Ray*mond Li*terally (@madbarrister) July 27, 2018
This move by #DougFord seems more political than about saving money–a way to spite John Tory, to whom he lost the mayoral election. Remind you of someone south of the border? With each bill & pronouncement, Ford behaves more and more like #Trump. #Ontario #ontpoli #TOpoli https://t.co/ZgFZv7g7W2
— Lindsay Brambles (@LBrambles) July 27, 2018
We have a city council that’s voted 10 times at least for a subway to Scarborough there’s been no shovels in the ground. Our council should be cut
— Rick Baldwin (@baldyduke18) July 27, 2018
I’m running for city council in #ward20 but I strongly support @fordnation slashing council seats, even if my riding is cut. Nothing is getting done at city hall. They don’t listen to people who pay the bills. Councillors running city hall like it’s their own personal fiefdom. https://t.co/X6n9OWTsqd
— Karlene Nation (@karlenenation) July 27, 2018
— Dennis Furlan (@dennisfurlan) July 27, 2018
So when residents have concerns but can’t get through to their local councillor because they are overloaded with emails. who do they turn to? The PC government is going to respond to thousands of complaints?
— Priya Ramsingh (@Priya_Ramsingh) July 27, 2018
We’ve waited almost 50 yrs to directly choose, through election, our Regional Chair in Niagara for the first time. Now Ford wants to stop this? Why? Is it to protect the current Chair? Don’t interfere, Ford, you’re tampering with our democratic process!
— Don Crocock (@dcrocock) July 27, 2018
He’s going to make existing councillors fight for the new ridings. Nothing but revenge on Toronto. Good luck getting hold of your city councillor now
— Zaptor999 (@zaptor999) July 27, 2018
@fordnation‘s move to cut council and cancel a regional election is purely vindictive and undemocratic. City Council spent the better part of 2017 consulting Torontonians about the municipal boundary review. #topoli
— LatteUrbanite (@LatteUrbanite) July 27, 2018
IMHO four years from now Ford won’t necessarily lose votes because he cut Toronto city council, but he will lose votes if this sets a pattern in the minds of voters of of reckless policy on the fly, scribbled on a cocktail napkin with no consultation
— Derek Leebosh (@Dleebosh) July 27, 2018
— Kristian Howald (@HowaldK) July 27, 2018
At the same time, Toronto has three million people and growing. Sure, give politicians a pay cut, but to reduce city council in half isn’t the greatest idea (mostly due to the growing population). A referendum would be interesting.
— Enza (@Enza_94) July 27, 2018
@fordnation wants to cut almost half of Toronto’s City Council with a wave of his hand. No inquiries. No discussion. No democratic process. It may well be that we need to cut City Council. But if you are going to act “for the people”, then let the people have a referendum.
— Laurie Januska (@ljanuska) July 27, 2018
why would you cut city council seats?
1. optics of “reducing government”
2. elections favour incumbents, meaning a conservative bias on council.
3. keeping out leftist newcomers who would give Doug a headache
— Summertime Radness Li’l(@karengeier) July 27, 2018
So Toronto city council decided we need 47 seats for effective representation based on a 4yr review, and Doug Ford will cut it to 25 with zero consultation, no mention in his campaign, based on his personal opinion from one term on council. Abuse of power, much? #topoli #onpoli https://t.co/i3Bz2K3AAf
— Ritika Goel (@RitikaGoelTO) July 27, 2018
John Tory & council have no choice but to seek legal advice regarding Ford’s sudden decision to cut the # of city councillors & regional chairs. This decision must be legally examined. While there may be merit in some of the points, it is not just or fair. #topoli #law
— penny collenette (@penottawa) July 27, 2018
I don’t think Toronto should cut council size or have a referendum to cut council size. But Doug Ford wants to cut it and he has the power to cut it. Holding a referendum may be the only way to slow him down and prevent it from happening immediately.#TOPoli
— Rick (@Rick_City) July 27, 2018
The myth perpetrated by the right wing is that the City budget is eaten up by Council.
So where does the money go?
Two biggest items by far:
Police services &
There’s your gravy.
Let me know when right-wingies do deep cuts there.
— Hermann Neutics (@CharlieHuisken) July 27, 2018
The Ontario PC Party has morphed into a Trojan Horse with this move to cut Toronto City Council in two, and cancel the regional election in Peel and York regions. Nothing during the campaign. Not a word. This is completely unprecedented. #ONpoli
— James Di Fiore (@jamesdifiore) July 27, 2018
to cut city council at this moment in time is dumb.sure less red tape is always better but we need all hands on deck to accomplish what we need to do going forward..#badidea
— Daniel Trayes (@DANTRAYES30) July 27, 2018
If it’s true and @fordnation is to cut city council by nearly half then my question is where was the consultation? For a someone who was upset there was not proper consultation on #Sexed, he won’t even consult on this reported slash with people. Guess we’ll find out. #onpoli pic.twitter.com/qZAL2TVf14
— Why I Love Toronto (@whyilovetoronto) July 27, 2018
@fordnation Less Representation should mean Less Property Taxes . A Cut in Toronto City Council should mean an Equal Cut in Taxes . Thank You .
— Frank Agostino (@steelmaximums) July 27, 2018
My personal theory on Ford slashing TO city council: it’s probably a pre-emptive move to kneecap opposition since TO city council is the largest independent elected body that could plausibly resist massive coming cuts and downloading service responsibility onto municipalities.
— Nate Wallace(@HappySisyphus) July 27, 2018
Councillors will need more staff. Fewer wards means more constituents per ward, more issues that residents will expect a single Councillor to deal with. Toronto won’t shrink. This will save nothing in the end. This is just Ford being spiteful. #Topoli https://t.co/5sGR5prSem
— Dan Jelly (@KingAndJames) July 27, 2018
The hypocrisy of the “for the people” as they cut municipal respresentation w/o consultation at the 11th hour smells of political opportunism & double standards. #onpoli #topoli #ScarboTO https://t.co/6zWmOnQqT8
— Sumi Shan (@SumiShan1) July 27, 2018
A reasonable, democratic government would impose these changes effective the NEXT municipal election. This is petty and spiteful.
And it’s just the beginning. #topoli
— Neil Hermes (@BitchinGlasses) July 27, 2018