TORONTO – The Ontario government and the City of Toronto face off in court today as the province seeks to quash a legal challenge of its decision to cut the size of the city’s council.
The legislation, which passed earlier this month, reduces Toronto council to 25 seats from 47 to align the city’s ward map with federal ridings in time for the Oct. 22 municipal election.
Premier Doug Ford has argued the move will improve decision-making and save $25 million.
But city lawyers say the law will only hurt Toronto, and are urging the court to strike it down and let the city clerk continue with the previously planned election.
The province argues that municipalities are “creatures of the Legislature” and have no recourse when it comes to the powers of the province over their affairs.
The provincial legislation also cancels planned elections for the head of council position in the regional municipalities of Muskoka, Peel, York and Niagara, turning them into appointed roles.
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