(TORONTO, ON) ─ By calling back the legislature in order to use the notwithstanding clause to force through the reduction of Toronto City Council, Doug Ford is undermining the courts and democracy for Toronto’s municipalities, and showing his disrespect for Ontario’s laws and Ontarians themselves.
The court decision quashing Doug Ford’s plan to cut the size of Toronto City Council from 47 to 25 seats is a good one for Toronto and lays the groundwork for protecting the democratic rights of municipalities and citizens across Ontario. Doug Ford is in the wrong.
“When Ontarians stand up for their rights in this province we get results, and with Doug Ford stubbornly ignoring that voice, Ontarians must both celebrate the court decision and prepare to keep up the pressure,” said Ontario Federation of Labour President Chris Buckley. “The people of Toronto demanded that the city take this fight to court. In doing so, they made sure that their voices were not silenced by changes that limit their access to effective and responsible representation across Ontario.”
Ford’s proposal to cut the number of Toronto city counsellors from 47 to 25, only three months before the October 22 municipal elections, ignored four years of consultation with the City of Toronto and undermines citizens’ access to representation.
“The work to stop Ford’s cuts will be an ongoing struggle to protect rights in this province, in all areas including health care, social assistance, education and Bill 148. We can and will defend our public services and rights in this province,” said Buckley.
“We are still paying for the destructive decisions from the last time a Conservative government was in power in Ontario, decisions that had costs masked by simple slogans and mean-spirited ideology. Crumbling schools, cancelled transit lines and boarded up housing are the legacy of that experience. The Ford regime must come to understand that the rule of law does matter,” said Toronto York Region Labour Council President John Cartwright.
“The government has said it will appeal the decision but in the next few days, Ontarians will continue the work of protecting and enhancing our rights in this province – from human rights to education to workers’ rights across Ontario,” said Buckley.
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Meagan Perry, Director of Communications, Ontario Federation of Labour