The Cheat Sheet: September 13, 2018 City Council

At this special meeting of City Council, there’s just one item on the agenda.

I didn’t do one for the last couple of special meetings because, hey, a single item, right? But someone on Mastodon asked what was going on and I wrote up a quick recap while waiting in line to get into Question Period at Queen’s Park so I might as well post it here, for anyone who has been living under a rock or is not from Toronto. Bullet list format!

  • Rob Ford happened. *waves vaguely*

  • In the 2014 municipal election, he ran for mayor again, and his brother Doug Ford ran for Council. At the last minute, due to Rob’s cancer diagnosis, they basically switched races—Doug running for mayor, Rob running for councillor. Doug Ford lost to John Tory, who is what oatmeal would be like if oatmeal were a person. (Rob Ford passed away in 2016 and was replaced by a young relative, Mike Ford.)

  • Flash forward four years! After years of consultation (and an unsuccessful OMB challenge), Toronto changed ward boundaries to reflect population changes. The Council-approved option added three councillors (from 44 to 47). Combined with the large number of vacant seats in the upcoming October 22 election, this had the potential to shift the balance of power on Council from the more right-wing suburbs to the left-wing “downtown”.

  • Doug Ford ran for PCPO leadership and won, then won the provincial election in June. In July, he pushed through a bill to essentially cancel the election in progress and have a new one—with half the number of councillors, changing municipal ward boundaries to the 25 provincial/federal ridings’. This would be problematic for several reasons, both democratic and logistical.

  • After a special meeting to discuss options, the City, as well as various candidates, took them to court.

  • This past Monday, the judge decided the bill was unconstitutional.

  • Later that day, the premier announced he would use the notwithstanding clause—the nuclear bomb of constitutional law—to override the court decision.

  • During a chaotic day at Queen’s Park, the PCs basically tabled the same bill under a new name.

  • Today’s special meeting of Council is to discuss what the City can do about it.

Anyway, so yeah, everything is in total chaos.

TL;DR: ajdshfakdjhfakjsdhfadhfadkjf;lajdflahd;lfahldfjaal;kdkfja

To follow the meeting, watch the livestream and/or my tweets.

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