Ontario Premier Doug Ford is setting his government on a collision course with Toronto’s mayor and councillors, introducing legislation today to cut the size of city council in half months before a civic election.
Mr. Ford abruptly announced his plan Friday to cut the number of councillors in Toronto to 25, from 47, in line with provincial and federal riding boundaries. He has not announced any intention to do the same for other cities in Ontario.
Toronto Mayor John Tory and the city’s councillors have vowed to fight the planned cuts, though it’s not clear how. Councillor Joe Cressy wants city staff to study its legal options, though Mr. Tory has expressed skepticism that a lawsuit would succeed. Mr. Tory wants the provincial government to call a referendum rather than making changes unilaterally.
Mr. Ford’s legislation would also cancel regional chair elections.
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The federal government is examining ways to limit the growth of Chinese high-tech giant Huawei in next-generation 5G wireless technology, which the federal government and its allies increasingly view as a security threat. Those efforts include Canadian officials’ talks with U.S. national security adviser John Bolton about how to broadly deal with China’s economic growth while also ensuring Huawei does not dominate telecom.
Canada will meet with Mexican, South Korean, Japanese and European leaders this week as they continue to plot strategy in the fight against U.S. President Donald Trump’s threats to impose tariffs on the auto industry. Japan and the EU organized the meeting, and Canada’s deputy international trade minister Timothy Sargent will be in attendance. Mr. Trump has threatened to impose tariffs on auto imports, citing “national security” concerns. Canada has said it would respond with retaliatory countermeasures.
First Nations are calling on the federal government to include cannabis among the list of drugs covered by the Non-Insured Health Benefits program run by the Indigenous Services Department.
Long-time Conservative MP Peter Van Loan, a member of former prime minister Stephen Harper’s inner circle, will be retiring from his seat in the House in September. The Ontario MP was a cabinet minister from 2006 onward and is expected to return to practising law.
The federal government is considering a “tiered” approach to compensation for damages related to the failed Phoenix pay system. More than half of the people employed by the federal government, some 300,000 people, have been affected by problems since Phoenix was implemented in 2016.
A renewed debate over gun control has emerged in the aftermath of the Toronto shooting, but stemming the flow of illegal guns into Canada will likely prove to be a difficult task for police and lawmakers.
After the deadly bus crash involving the Humboldt Broncos, Transport Canada considered enacting a new seat-belt rule sooner. The regulation would make seat belts on highway buses mandatory. Sixteen people were killed in the crash and another 13 were injured. The rule was first proposed more than a year before the tragic crash, but won’t take effect until September of 2020.
Although Ontario’s decision to move to a private retail system for recreational cannabis is being lauded by many within the industry, it’s raising questions about how the province and municipalities will actually implement the new system with just months to go before legalization. Ontario was the first province to announce its regime for legalized marijuana under the former Liberal government, which envisioned a business…