We recently sent letters to both MPP Christine Hogarth and Councillor Mark Grimes sharing our concers and asking they support an evidence-based process, including consultation with Toronto residents, on any changes to the number of Toronto City Councillors. We have recieved the response below from Councillor Grimes. MPP Hogarth is yet to respond.
Thank you for your letter and expressing your concerns regarding the decision of the Provincial Government to reduce the size of Toronto City Council, under the Better Local Government Act. We do have a long history or working together for the betterment of Mimico, and I am concerned about the ability of any Councillor to provide equitable and effective representation to residents should this Act be implemented. I am also concerned about the timing of this proposed change, during the current election period, and I share your desire for further consideration of this issue.
At the July meeting of City Council, I voted in favour of the following actions:
- City Council request the Province of Ontario to conduct a binding referendum on the number and boundaries of wards before proceeding with the proposed legislation.
- If the Province does not conduct the referendum, City Council urge the Province to amend the Municipal Elections Act or regulations thereunder to permit the City to put a question on the ballot in 2018 on the proposed reduction in the number of wards and Members of Council.
- That City Council direct the City Solicitor to consider the validity and constitutionality of any provincial legislation, including its potential violation of the rights of the citizens of Toronto to fair and effective representation and to report back to City Council at a special meeting to be called by the Mayor before Labour Day with options for City Council’s consideration.
There will be a special meeting of Toronto City Council on Monday August 20 and I look forward to hearing the report from the City Solicitor regarding our options to dispute aspects of the Better Local Government Act.
Councillor Mark Grimes
Ward 6, Etobicoke-Lakeshore