<STAR METRO TORONTO front page, January 16/2019>
From out of the blue TORONTO’s city council was cut in half by Premier DOUG FORD’s Progressive Conservative government. Now we’ll all be in the drink together (no sympathy from the capital city) as “Ford takes aim at regional reform”.
Ontario’s mayors have greeted the news from Queens Park with excitement and dread, saying the promise of consultation must be legitimate (we’ve heard that song before). One concern is the possibility of forced amalgamation, which was once handed to TORONTO by former P.C. premier Mike Harris.
Municipal Affairs Minister STEVE CLARK announced plans to review regional governments and cut red tape in Peel, Halton, Durham, York and other municipalities. “We will be looking at ways to make better use of taxpayers’ dollars, and make it easier for residents and businesses to access important municipal services,” Clark said in Tuesday’s statement.
“The last time DOUG FORD meddled in municipal governments, (he) abruptly axed more than two dozen local elections (in TORONTO and four) regional chair elections,” observed JEFF BURCH, NDP MPP, Niagara Centre.