Read the Toronto & York Region Labour Council statement condemning Premier Doug Ford’s attack on Toronto.
LABOUR COUNCIL CONDEMNS FORD’S ATTACK ON TORONTO
Premier Ford’s bombshell announcement that he will hijack the Toronto election and unilaterally slash Council representation is a deeply disturbing indication of how Ontario will be run over the next four years. With no notice and no consultation, Doug Ford has decided to cut the Council to 25 seats from the current number of 47. This is not how governments acting “for the people” conduct themselves. At stake are the vital services that are provided to working families and local communities, and programs that affect the quality of life of all of Torontonians.
This deliberate interference in an election that is already underway is unprecedented in Ontario history. It shows the same contempt for democracy that marked the Mike Harris regime the last time Conservatives ran the province. This move is driven not by a pursuit of savings, but by shadowy special interests that want to reduce accountability so they can profit from the resources of our city. They are looking to silence the voices of residents at city hall by reducing representation. And behind it will be a drive to privatize services and sell off city assets.
The people of Toronto saw nothing but chaos and global ridicule when the Fords ran City Hall. They scrapped transit plans and cut services, outsourced jobs and targeted libraries for closure. We are now seeing how that same chaos will be imposed from Doug Ford at Queen’s Park. Ford ran and lost his bid to be Mayor, and to many this surprise attack smacks of a revenge agenda as well as dirty politics. It seems we are heading into four years of Trump-like rule, where facts and due process are either ignored or worse.
The claim of savings equals less than $3 per person – a insulting price to pay for less access to the elected Councillor in a ward that will be many time larger than in any other city in the province. There is no fairness anywhere in this plan – just a targeting of Toronto’s progressive policies that have been won through hard work and diligent decision-making. Last time the Conservatives took over this city they dumped billions of costs on the property taxpayers. It took years to recover – in fact we are still paying for those destructive decisions that were masked by simple slogans and mean-spirited ideology. Crumbling schools, cancelled transit lines and boarded up housing are the legacy of that experience. We cannot afford four more years of chaos in Toronto or Ontario.