Premier Ford's Move To Slash Toronto Council

Premier Doug Ford intends to make a unilateral decision to drastically shrink the size of Toronto’s City Council from 47 to 25 representatives. This significant change comes just shortly after the City conducted an exhaustive Ward Boundary Review Process to ensure residents are adequately represented at City Hall by maintaining approximately 60,000 constituents per council representative.  Premier Doug Ford has expressed that a 25-ward system in Toronto will increase efficiency and save $25 million over four years.  Details on these two items have not yet been made public, nor have there been any disclosures in relation to the potential risks that this decision may introduce. 

I do not believe that this projected $25 million is a net and sustaining cost reduction; I will look forward to seeing the itemization. In order to ensure that constituents’ concerns are addressed and community needs are met, Councilors will presumably need more staff to meet the greater demand of a Ward that has doubled in population. It is also important to consider the short-term and potentially significant administrative and legal costs associated with such a move. Other non-financial impacts worthy of thoughtful examination include the possibility of further marginalizing at-risk communities, as well as making it harder for diverse candidates to be heard and elected.

It is, without a doubt, clear that our current council system is fractured and is worthy of reconsideration through a CLEAR and TRANSPARENT process. If we are concerned about efficiency, rather than slashing the number of politicians, we should focus on electing highly-competent representatives and hold them accountable to their mandate. This is something that I plan to bring to City Hall.  

As the situation unfolds, I remain fully-dedicated to representing my community at Toronto City Hall.  My motivations are principle-based and this political environment is a catalyst to the campaign to earn the trust and votes of the residents, regardless of the size of the ward.  Ultimately, my energy and my work ethic allow me to remain confident in my ability to sever 56,000 residents or 110,000. 

Your voice counts.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Valerie Maltais

Toronto City Council Candidate, Ward 37 (or TBD)