The Toronto City Council voted 27-15 to challenge the legality of the Ontario Government bill, which shortened the council by almost half.
BREAKING: city council agrees to continue with legal challenge of the Ontario government bill cutting size of city council. This is the distribution of votes. #TOpoli pic.twitter.com/fs3HYWzrRF
The Council also voted 25-17 to exhaust all legal possibilities to challenge Bill 5, including challenging disputes.
The vote took place around 6.00 pm Monday, after a day of debate. Alderman Josh Matlow made the request to support the legal challenge of bill 5, the Better Local Government Act
Counselor Matlow moved two motions on item CC45.1 – Legal options to challenge Bill 5, the Better Local Government Act, 2018. View live: https://t.co/NQVj1B95oB #tocouncil pic.twitter.com/XY7ogHg7ac
Mayor John Tory called the county's decision to delete Toronto's city council by almost half "wrong and unacceptable," saying that he will support a lawsuit.
The Toronto councilors debated on Monday what they should do with the progressive conservative government's plan to reduce the number of neighborhood boundaries from 47 to 25 for the 22nd city council election.
The council members made their last arguments for and against a legal fight this afternoon, after a long meeting with closed doors. You can view the debate here.
Tory called the movement of the province unprecedented.
"It is our duty to represent the residents of Toronto and the interests of this city at all times – and to make our position clear if we do not believe that the actions of other levels of government are in our city's interest," he said. .
Thanks to the majority in Queen & # 39; s Park, the PCs had few problems with passing the Better Local Government Act or Bill 5 last week, less than 90 days before the fall election. Tory, however, has repeatedly criticized what he calls an unacceptable process that does not include any input from the city or its inhabitants.
The legislation sees the municipal city limits of Toronto as those of provincial ridges. Under the 25-station model, each council member will represent an average of 110,000 inhabitants.
The Council has today voted whether it will instruct the city's legal team to fight the province in court – possibly for a legal challenge that is already in court.
Ford, itself a councilor of a term, who also runs mayor against Tory, has said that the shake-up will make the city hall more efficient.
Prior to Monday's meeting, the prime minister sent two letters to Tory stating that the city should draw up a plan to combat armed violence instead of a meeting that would focus on saving jobs for politicians.
New nomination period in progress
Bill 5 disrupted a nomination period that had been in progress since May and was scheduled to close on July 27 (nominations for mayor were on that day, as planned).
Last week the city agent chose to continue, regardless of the outcome of the Monday meeting, and start a new nomination process that starts today and ends in September.
Meanwhile, city staff told a full meeting room on Monday that they were working all day to catch the system with 25 departments. They estimate that the move will cost an additional $ 2.5 million over the approved election budget of $ 14.9 million due to the size, size and complexity & # 39;
But city agent Ulli Watkiss warned of a successful legal challenge – which could be further challenged – would make it risky to return to 47 for the autumn mood. To change the process, almost two months earlier, would be like "two elections at the same time," said the city's staff.
Ford has told the Ontario municipal leaders at an annual conference this morning that it does not intend to submit further legislation that would affect the size of the city council elsewhere, as the problems are unique to Toronto.
"The feedback we get from the people who take this step was overwhelmingly positive," he said during a speech to the Association of Municipalities of Ontario in Ottawa.
The city lawyer determines the legal options of the city
City attorney Wendy Walberg presented a report of 15 pages, called legal options to challenge Bill 5, which examines the validity and constitutionality of the bill.
Walberg and employees answered questions this morning about the report in the city hall. It is being debated this afternoon for a public vote.
There is already a legal challenge in the making.
A judge has granted lawyer Rocco Achampong, a candidate in Ward 13, Eglinton-Lawrence, permission to appear in court on the Better Local Government Act after his application for a ban at Ontario Superior Court's Toronto division was denied .
A hearing is scheduled for 31 Aug.
Achampong told CBC Toronto that he is disappointed about the city's reaction.
"I found it to be desired and lacking what the city should do – not just the processes, the jurisdiction and my respectful opinion, but also its relevance," he said.
"They should not leave it to one resident in Toronto to do this for them."
John Mascarin, a local councilor at Aird and Berlis, said that there is a constitutional precedent that gives the province the power to rebuild a municipal administrative structure.
"Twenty years ago, when the provincial government of the day decided to join the former municipality of metropolitan Toronto and its six boroughs to create the city of Toronto and there was a huge shout that this is not a real democracy," he said.
"But the province went ahead and did it, so the result here is a kind of precedent in Ontario and with the city of Toronto."
Mascarin pointed out that Toronto has other reasons to challenge the province.
"The city could claim that they had done the right studies, that the right reports and good consultations had been made – and the province has done nothing but say that there will be 25 million dollars in savings, which is not substantiated," he said. .
"So I think the city should not leave, I think they should be represented in the [Aug. 31] hear and must provide some convincing arguments. "
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