A special meeting has been called by community activists and at least one member of the city council to consider provincial legislation that would give the mayor even more authority.
Nearly 1,000 people have signed a petition started by Progress Toronto, a non-profit group that promotes progressive reform in the city, calling for a “immediate meeting.”
The petition states that the meeting on December 14 is too late to allow for genuine input from residents or council members. I implore you to use your influence to oppose this Bill, support the preservation of our community’s democracy, and see that a City Council meeting is held before it’s too late.
The legislation—known as Bill 39—gives the mayors of Toronto and Ottawa the power to propose and amend bylaws related to provincial priorities with a council vote of just more than one-third of its members.
This means the mayor would not need a majority vote to push their agenda forward. In Toronto, that would mean a bylaw could pass with just nine out of 25 votes.
Under the current strong mayor rules, if council wants to override the mayor’s decision, it needs more than two-thirds support.
In a message on social media, Parkdale-High Park Counc. Gord Perks calls on Toronto Mayor John Tory—who was the person who asked the Doug Ford government for more powers—to hold a special meeting to discuss the bill.
“Torontonians are continuing to raise their voice in opposition both to the specifics of the bill and the undemocratic move to bring it forward without consultation,” Perks wrote. “Everyone across our city should have the right to have their voices heard through their democratic local government.”