Judge to release decision on council cut challenge on Monday
Chris Herhalt, CTV News Toronto
Published Saturday, September 8, 2018 6:10PM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, September 8, 2018 7:15PM EDT
A judge who heard a charter challenge to the Ford Government’s decision to cut the size of Toronto city council in half says he will deliver his decision to the public on Monday.
Justice Belobaba told lawyers involved in the case Saturday he will deliver a decision on Monday morning at 8 a.m. lawyers Rocco Achampong and Selwyn Pieters said.
The City of Toronto challenged the Ford government’s decision, saying it was “arbitrary” to do so while a municipal election campaign was already underway and that the cut violates the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The province’s lawyers responded by saying that cities are creatures of provinces in Canada and there is no constitutional guarantee of local democracy.
The Ford bill also cancelled regional chair elections in Peel, York, Muskoka and Niagara. It also realigned remaining council ward boundaries to fit existing provincial and federal ridings.
Ford and his ministers argued the council cut would save Toronto ratepayers $25 million over four years, and that nobody should ever oppose reducing the number of politicians in a jurisdiction.
Candidates running for Toronto city council say the redrawing of ward boundaries has left many of them in the lurch, not knowing what ward they should run in or how many incumbents they will face.
The deadline to register as a Toronto city council candidate is Friday, Sept. 14.