In first meeting of new Toronto council, Mayor John Tory outlines conditions for using ‘strong mayor’ powers

Share to friends

John Tory pledged Wednesday he would solely use the most controversial of his new “strong-mayor” powers if it was essential to advance housing and transit insurance policies of “citywide importance,” and if he couldn’t attain consensus with council after receiving recommendation from metropolis workers.

In his deal with to the first meeting of council’s new time period on Wednesday, the three-term mayor acknowledged there are issues about laws, launched by the Ontario PC authorities final week, which might enable him to go sure measures at council with the help of simply one-third of its members. Critics together with five former Toronto mayors have described the invoice as an assault on democracy.

Tory reiterated that the province’s introduction of that and other “strong-mayor” provisions gained’t change his strategy to governing throughout his eight years in workplace, which he stated has been characterised by collaboration.

“I will continue to work with the council and those who want to work with me to get things done, as we have done together for two terms,” he stated.

But at the same time as he made what he known as “meaningful commitments” to restrict his use of the minority-rule provision — swearing to solely apply it to necessary issues, search consensus first, and get a written workers report the problem at play — Tory argued he could possibly be compelled to make use of it as a result of council has proven itself ineffective at tackling the largest challenges dealing with town, like the shortage of inexpensive housing and an insufficient transit community.

READ ALSO  DWTC lauds Nigeria’s digital economy progress, meets Sanwo-Olu to explore partnership with Lagos

“I think most people understand that to continue to do things exactly as we have been doing them and to expect a different result is not realistic,” he stated.

The mayor, who gained the Oct. 24 election with 62 per cent of the vote, stated he had a powerful mandate from the general public to do what it takes to make progress on housing and transit.

“I am doing what people sent me here to do as the mayor,” he stated.

He additionally argued that he could possibly be trusted to not use his extraordinary new powers for political acquire as a result of he has promised to not run for workplace once more in 2026.

“You will be able to see that my motives are pure because I am not seeking re-election,” he predicted.

The mayor’s assurances did little to quiet his harshest critics, nevertheless. The first meeting of council’s time period is often dedicated to ceremonial issues and largely devoid of political debate, however in a exceptional second Wednesday Coun. Josh Matlow (Ward 12, Toronto—St. Paul’s) rose from his seat and alleged Tory had “impugned the privilege” of council.

Matlow stated that with out telling the general public or councillors, the mayor had requested the premier to grant him “undemocratic minority rule powers that are unprecedented in any democratically elected body anywhere in the world.”

READ ALSO  Ligue 1: Moffi grabs 10th league goal in Lorient’s draw at Strasbourg

After the proceedings, Matlow stated Tory’s self-imposed limits had been meaningless. He argued that even when Tory could possibly be trusted to not abuse the new powers, the provincial laws will grant the identical talents to anybody who holds the workplace sooner or later, and “you also need guardrails against tyrants.”

Bill 39, the Better Municipal Governance Act, would allow the mayors of Toronto and Ottawa to go some bylaws in the event that they safe the help of one-third of fellow council members. The rule would solely apply to bylaws the mayors imagine would advance provincial priorities.

Tory has acknowledged he requested the province for the new energy after he decided robust mayor laws announced in July that gave him a veto over some council choices didn’t go far sufficient. During the municipal election marketing campaign he didn’t publicly disclose he had made the request.

The Ontario PC authorities, which can also be facing criticism from the opposition at Queen’s Park over the bill, says the laws will empower cities to deal with the housing disaster and expedite transit development.

Toronto council is predicted to debate a report on the robust mayor laws at its December meeting.

Ben Spurr is a Toronto-based reporter masking metropolis corridor and municipal politics for the Star. Reach him by e-mail at [email protected] or observe him on Twitter: @BenSpurr

Go to Source