Politics Briefing: Toronto mayor, councillors to escalate opposition to legislation cutting size of city council

Good morning,

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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