Judge Overturns Ford’s Toronto City Council Contraction Plan

CBJ — Unprecedented and unconstitutional.

Those were the words used by a judge in overturning Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s edict to reduce Toronto’s city councillors from 47 to 25.

Justice Edward P. Belobaba ruled that the Better Local Government Act, which cuts the number of city councillors in Toronto from 47 to 25, contravened Torontonians’ rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Ford’s mandate would have left Toronto with one councilor for every 111,000 residents, instead of the current one councilor for every 61,000 residents. As a comparative: Kingston, Ont., which has a population of 118,000, has 12 city councillors, or about one for every 10,000 people.

Toronto Mayor John Tory and many Toronto councillors had voiced opposition to the attempt to cut the size of council and the timing of the legislation.

However, the judge did not overturn Ford’s decision to cancel elections for regional chairpersons in three municipalities. As of now, those positions will continue to be voted upon by regional councillors.