John Tory on Ford’s plans to cut Toronto city council

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I stand before you today as the duly elected mayor of the city of Toronto and it is my job to stand up for the people of Toronto all of the people try to whether they voted for me or not and I firmly believe that one of my fundamental responsibilities is to protect which binds our society together the Bedrock of that democracy is fair process that the people always have an opportunity to be heard by their government upset mid-campaign people regardless of their political stripe are rightly angry this is a gigantic decision about the future of Toronto like many of you I read news reports last night about changes that are being poor close to the size of Toronto City Council the largest city in the country the 4th largest city in North America and told him around this stunning and massive change is absolutely not right I want to be clear I told him repeatedly during that conversation that I welcome a discussion around how are city is covered in fact I raise one aspect of a number of days ago in an interview on the subject of the mayor’s powers like many people in the city I believe we need a discussion of both the role of the mayor as well as a discussion about the size of counsel and other issues including term limits again I repeated to the premier a number of times in our discussion my own willingness to support proper public discussion of all of those issues what we don’t need and what I just can’t support is changed being rammed down our throats without a single second of public consultation and on top of that done in the middle of the election. Itself you don’t change the rules in the middle of the game that is not right and that is not fair I have always believed that I have been consistent on that is Mayor not changing the rules in the middle of the game because it is just not the right way to bring about change but that’s what we have here hundreds of people for example I put their names forward to run for Castle they raise money they’ve been out campaigning and all of a sudden they’re being told stop we’re not doing it that way anymore what happens to them do they continue on or do they change where they’re running how does that work and the answer is we don’t know this affects the way people are represent the very structure of the gum closest to the people and the notion that we will make significant change to that structure without absolutely any public consultation with no public consultation our discussion with the people isn’t right and it isn’t necessary change of this magnitude you should always happen with a degree of consultation that allows the public to be heard we’ve actually heard those very words from this government and other issues in this case we are talking about a city of 3 million people they deserve to be hurt they promised to be a government before government did for the people they campaigned on that everyday and so I would say be true to your words if you are true government for the people then let’s put this question to the people let them decide and so I’ll be moving emotion later this morning or this afternoon at 2 instructor city clerk’s to find a way to have a referendum held whether it’s on the back October 22nd election or otherwise and the question candy very simple do you support reducing the size of the city council from 47 to 25 yes or no it isn’t so much the question that matters as it is the fact there will then be on that sugar on the whole matter of this a very full a public discussion in the fullest and most open possible way we would live with the result whatever it is but at least the people it will be the people all of them who choose to vote who will decide we are here to serve our residents they pay the bills they are the ones that put us in office and so they should get to have the same to unilaterally decide in the middle of an election campaign to make a massive change in the way the city is govern isn’t right and it isn’t fair one of the reasons we live in the greatest country in the world is because we collectively make rules and we follow them and when we change the rules we do it in a way that listens to the pub and follows one form or another of due process the city I want to lead is one where elected representatives the mayor in particular listens to the people that is the very Foundation of our Civic and of our democracy it’s true The Province does have broad powers to do as it chooses when it comes to the city of Toronto the way the law I set up the city of Toronto is a creation of the problems but this is a city that is booming it is a city that is admired around the world it’s a city that is a magnet for talent and jobs and investment it’s a city with an economy that powers the problem and with that admired way of life and its admired not just in the rest of this country but around the world and all of those purple things are because of the people who call Toronto home the 3 million people who live here they’ve never been asked about this it’s never been discussed with them I hear people this morning talking about conversations and consultations discussions and debates there haven’t been any of those things on a major decision that affects them and their civic democracy at the very least don’t they deserve a say in how their government and Toomey to that question is simple and the answer that question is yes they do the people should decide
Toronto Mayor John Tory responds to reports that Ont. Premier Doug Ford plans to slash city council to nearly half its current size.

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