Ontario’s new Conservative government has ended a whirlwind summer session of legislation by slashing Toronto’s city council from 47 to 25 representatives, CBC News reports.
Premier Doug Ford announced the decision two weeks ago after scrapping the province’s green energy program, stopping a cap and trade relationship with Quebec and California and ditching a discredited graphic sex education program for children.
Ford pushed through the Better Local Government Act on Tuesday despite the outrage and threats of legal action from Toronto city hall, where almost half of the city’s councilors won’t be heading back to their jobs after the October municipal elections.
“The people want smaller government,” Ford told the Ontario provincial parliament in Toronto as the bill passed easily. “They want a city of Toronto that is functional, a city of Toronto that can build transit.”
Conservative Members enthusiastically clapped after voting on the bill while the opposition New Democrats, a quasi-socialist party, and what remains of the Liberal Party after being nearly wiped-out in last May’s provincial election, sat silently.
Although the Opposition suggested the legislation was “undemocratic,” Ontario Municipal Affairs Minister Steve Clark told the provincial parliament that the bill was all about good governance.
“The City of Toronto must run more smoothly and not be mired in bureaucracy and wastefulness,” he said.
“We are proposing to help the largest city in the province run like a well-oiled machine.”