Doug Ford to slash number of Toronto councillors Q&A


downtown Toronto is Tasha keratin host of the Tash of keratin show in New York tonight we have Sean’s beer he’s a senior fellow a fiscal policy normally at the McDonald Laurier Institute and former advisor to Stephen Harper also joining us in Ottawa tonight moniker he was the co-founder of democracy watch and the Democracy education Network please join the conversation leave us your comments and questions on the CBC news Facebook page and YouTube channel or tweet me at Carol McNeil with you tonight was this the right thing to do I think it’s the right thing to do not destroy the right way to do it obviously a lot of people are upset because campaigns have been underway in about 25 cases of candidates spending money spending time so of course those people and people in general are involved Municipal politics a you just don’t do this in the middle of a campaign at the same time I think there’s a lot of Merit in reducing the size of council I don’t know what the ideal number is but you know there are meetings that dragged on for days and days on issues to be resolved more quickly because all counselors usually have a right to speak you also have situations where counselors horse trade in awhile for this project in my ward are your ward if he’s kind of at the senses Toronto’s become poorly governed and this is an attempt to clean it up okay do you think this is Shawn do you think that Ronda was poorly governed and that this will clean it up let me just say that I think that the level of ambition out of the Ford government is surprising many of us any kind of exciting we’ve seen major reforms in a whole range of areas as soon as soon as they hit the ground I agree with Tasha that the dropping this bomb days before the closure of the nomination date is bound to inflame inflamed debated and then produce controversy and frankly ultimately put the forms at risk and then there’s a substance are these the right perform. I agree with tashy that the system is broken in and by the way that’s just not my opinion that’s the opinion of marriage on Tori and many others who who studied and looked at Washington City Council it’s up to mr. for to argue with these reforms reducing the size of counsel is the right way to go about addressing the problems with with the function of a city council there have been various performance note there including on City Hall at the University of Toronto my colleagues set out a series of procedural forms to try to get at some of the issues attached to rape that don’t involve amending the underlying statute here in reducing the size of the council so the oldest we on there for to make the case for why this is Ultimate is right way to go use of power and attack on local democracy Janet Davis for example what do you think no mention of it in the election platform so to claim that you have some Mandy to do this is essentially just a dishonest false claim and so it’s a it’s move it’s made very badly and is changing the local democracy which without asking the people and Doug Ford promise government for the people are you can come for the people if you don’t ask them before deciding on a whim to do something more efficiently than 47 people in there is just no evidence if they were wanted to get good governance in Toronto and at the Province by the way the conservatives platform would have included first and honesty and politics law because dishonesty is a fundamental problem that undermines good decision-making and also strengthen the ethics sparin C and waste prevention and spending rules and enforcement but none of that was in the conservative platform and it doesn’t look like it’s going to come at all that’s the way you actually drain a swamp and clean things up and Doug Ford’s not promising that at all you’re saying drain the swamp you could fire 50% of any government agency and the average person would never know the difference and I both travel on the in conservative circles as you know and have a predisposition to smaller government fewer elected which on the face of it you might think conservatively predisposed to but if if that means that we all definitely have greater power to an elected officials fewer elected official Muse means that bureaucrats are making more choices not sure whether that’s in the interest of democracy planned and is even concerned I think it’s fair to assume because these people can’t serve their constituents because MPP service a number MP service they never constituents the truth is so they will have bigger staff that is one thing I won’t I won’t disagree with what are those stats are political staff so to speak i e assistance to the counselors in their offices that are directly you know I’m on the same page as them or whether it’s your crabs were just on the same page there as the city in general long for help from your counselor for staff is not doubled to make decisions undemocratic it’s not the government was elected they have the power within the Constitution to change the city of Toronto AccuWeather people that or not is another issue mayor Tori wants to put tools on the gardener he was told no by Kathleen win the people scream that’s undemocratic know they change that long as you don’t like it I think it’s the onus is on mr. Ford to make that case we may be surprised with the outcomes that we did Twitter assuming it’s not the dog for the Toronto is bloated and can’t make decisions either quickly or at all Ford can’t help the timing of Elections he is moving quickly to prevent more waste on Election please comment and react to this up in and of Conakry you first this is just no evidence that 25 people will make decisions more quickly than 47 people I’m sorry it’s still still have debates and you’ll have 25 voices and they all speak okay so it takes 47 people have been but that doesn’t mean that their points or any different or that it will take any longer or it’s more efficient efficient or effective exactly what happened to one of the counselors recently Stephen holiday was on radio today saying This is been a meeting going on on for 6 days at City Council on issues he says could be resolved much quicker you look at a lot of what city council talks about as well this the length of deputation all these things that can be changed and yes cutting it in half will cut the debate and half it is it is a Time issue but the bigger question is you know when these people do make their decisions who are they and that is really I think with the all about I think that the real reason this is happening is because there’s a movement in Toronto supported by something called the progress party which was started in April which is helped also by people who are sympathetic to the NDP to get people involved in politics which is their right to do but Ford knows that there’s going to probably be a very left-leaning Council electric cuz they are organizing in a serious way for this election he doesn’t want to deal with that for 4 years so he’s pre-empting it by cutting the number of counselors in the world that would be most likely to go to leftist or Progressive candidate stuff as I said a dictatorial move by someone based on women private interest not in the public interest violation I’m sorry it is undemocratic the fundamental violation of rights to do something that is not mentioned in your type that is so significant that is undemocratic by definition unless you don’t believe in voter rights and know what they’re getting when what they vote campaign and voters have a right to know what they’re going to get when they vote I’m sure many of the 40% who voted for him are also surprised by this promise to do and then don’t do them that’s undemocratic don’t make a right let me go to Art to the public this isn’t about saving my money Daniel G comments on Twitter this is Revenge okay we haven’t heard from you in a while Sean what do you think have to address what was the underlying take me as I said earlier there is a general consensus that the functioning of of Toronto city council is in need of Reform the question is are these the right reform then what’s the underlying motivation look them before coming on the air at the press release that was put out by the government and the truth is it’s it is pretty weak it’s pretty one at it and so as I said earlier there was a whole host it if the goal is to make city council function better and to strengthen the hand of the mirror I think I’m afraid I don’t know what Mike say but I’m I’m predisposed those kinds of arguments the question is is reducing the size of counsel the right way to go about it my call University of Toronto who released last year ranging from a state of the union type of dress by the mirror in which he or she sets out major priorities greater regularity around the budgeting process and so on and so until mr. Ford makes the case that this is the right way to go about it he’s naturally going to have to address questions about his underlying motivation and whether it’s ultimately personal rather than substantive tuning in to what you’re all saying as well as Sahara’s asks on Facebook why does it matter if he reduces the amount of people on city council we’ve addressed that also proof on Twitter saying how precisely is this saving the province money and where does it say he can do that anyway we’ve also addressed that do is the Milad he can do it but the question Sharon Meade commenting on Facebook it might be legal but it certainly isn’t moral I’ll go to Nicholas Dion asking on Facebook so what recourse of any with the city or the feds have they wanted to oppose this stuff well done torious proposed referendum but for something to be on the ballot this election it would have had to have been finalized by March 1st and approved by counsel be put on the ballot so unless the bill is amended as it goes to the Ontario legislature making that possible and making a referendum possible there will be no referendum before this is shut down voters throats I think we can count on the fact that Ontario public servants have scrutinized the bill closely and are satisfied that it would stand up to any legal challenge otherwise we wouldn’t have seen it faces to challenge it and for the point that it’s not moral you know I can understand why people will say that I understand why people especially if they’re opposed to the idea of it will say that because there’s a certain time it yes he should have probably said during the election campaign I would like to do this other people though I’ve said I was listening to talk radio earlier today calling in and say look he promised to clean up government that’s enough for me in fact there’s not a single collars World instead he’s doing what he said he was going to do which is clean it up so here’s the thing I was just talking to Andrew sangtin is a professor of other than politics who it was part of the consultation group that said 25 is a good number that they wanted to reduce city council he doesn’t like the way the province’s going about this but we were speculating about where the where the weakness and what would that where are the provinces cases week and it might be around the idea of consultation was there a proper consultation. here and perhaps the the city might have a case there for an injunction to amalgamate to the city of Toronto and that decision did that was made with very little consultation the judge who ruled on that case said very bad decision-making very undemocratic but unfortunately legal go forward there’s no there’s no way out between a legal the next election is Tasha said at the outset have the government handled it differently had they Telegraph this during the campaign or had they made the case even within the past several weeks of the the nature of the problem and the extent to which these proposals specifically dress those problems they may have been able to nip some of those critiques in the butt because they haven’t I think this is going to consume a lot of political oxygen for this new government between now and end the middle of neck actually given oxygen Jennifer Keys Matt’s already throwing her hat in the ring she was a former Chief planner the city of Toronto I think that may not have happened at the 11th hour is it did if there was not a sense that meritorious been weakened by this and that the entire I know City of Toronto every Progressive voter who’s angry that this needs a champion for their views and so I think that that is going to be DD the biggest kick to the Ford government they may think they’re getting what they want here but they may not at the end depending how the results of the selection go so stay tuned we will talk to most of the task of keratin show Sean spear senior fellow of fiscal policy at the McDonald’s Laurier Institute education at work thank you all very much thank you
Ontario Premier Doug Ford plans to slash the number of city councillors in Toronto. Is this the right thing? Our panel casts its own opinions and are taking your questions. Ask them in the chat. To read more: https://www.cbc.ca/1.4763757

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