Toronto municipal election, 2018

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gadar

This makes me worried about the future of minority rights in Canada. Doug Dealer just gave a big blow to the Charter. I can forsee politicians campaigning explicitly on using NWC against certain minority rights. The wearing of turban in RCMP and other religious accomodations, the same sex marriage, cllective bargaining and so on. Huge implications on the healthcare.

Even Gordon Campbell didnt have the guts to use the NWC when the SCC ruled against his Govt. on ripping the hospital employees contracts. Christy Clark didnt use this when SCC ruled in favour of the teachers. 

This, in my view, is going to have far reaching consequences, and that makes me very uncomfortable, even scared.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..includes video

'Grandmothers' handcuffed and detained as Doug Ford moves to suspend constitutional rights

It started with a coughing fit from the public gallery intended to drown out Premier Doug Ford’s statements about defending democracy in the Ontario legislature Wednesday.

Then the jeering started. “Shame!” shouted some people from the gallery. “Bully!” “We are the people.” “This is not democracy.”

Within minutes of Question Period, several older members of the public (National Observer observed three at least) were escorted out in handcuffs and security cleared about 50 people from the public galleries and closed them.

“I am 77 years old and I hate the destruction of democracy,” a woman shouted as she was led out of the legislature....

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

The legislature has to pass the bill while using the Not Withstanding Clause. We keep pointing at the asshole at the front of the parade but he can't pass it without the majority of the MPP's voting in favour in the legislature. We are not a fucking republic we have a parliamentary system and that means the caucus is to blame.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..that's the bad apple logic in play. like the cop that violates someone's rights. that way you avoid looking at the systemic problems.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
'Grandmothers' handcuffed and detained as Doug Ford moves to suspend constitutional rights

I'm not quarrelling with concerns over members of the public being escorted out in manacles.

But who cares what sex they are, what age they presumably are, or whether they have children who also have children??

Is it a slightly better government who would have told security "get these riff-raff out of here.  Except those three old ladies, because that would be just wrong!"?

voice of the damned

Magoo wrote:

But who cares what sex they are, what age they presumably are, or whether they have children who also have children??

And that kind of rhetoric is easily picked up by less benevolent political forces.

TRUDEAU SHOUTS DOWN GRANDMOTHER JUST FOR ASKING QUESTIONS ABOUT IMMIGRATION!!

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

'xactly.

We see no such reverence for the elderly when it's a GRANDFATHER sitting in the back corner of a Tim Horton's, wearing a MAGA hat over top of a "Support our Troops" hat, offering up his wizened opinion on why we need to clone Doug Ford so he can run federally too.

Again, just suggesting that if being led out of the gallery in manacles is wrong, it's wrong no matter how old you are.

cco

I'm not a constitutional lawyer, so anyone who is, feel free to weigh in. My reading of the decision indicates that it relies on two principles: one, the freedom of expression of council candidates, who have been unable to talk about anything but the council cuts (which seemed like a real stretch to me, and likely to get shredded by an appeals court, but is certainly subject to Section 33 override), and two, that the bill violates the "right to effective representation", which would emanate from the right to vote -- and that one's not subject to override, any more than Trudeau could pass a bill using the notwithstanding clause that said nobody west of Kenora got to vote in 2019. No?

voice of the damned

(WRITTEN BEFORE READING CCO'S POST)

Back to the legal aspects for a bit, Chantal Hebert wrote in her Star column on this that the federal government can, in fact, override provincial legislation, but they are highly unlikely to do so in this case.

I guess by the logic that says "Section 33 is there for governments to use, if you don't like it, suck eggs", you could also say "Federal override is there for governments to use, if you don't like it, suck eggs". Though the political fallout from the feds overruling Ford would likely be a lot worse than it is from Ford overruling the judge. If Trudeau quashed a provincial law, it would probably be all 10 Canadian PREMIERS being hauled out of the House Of Commons in handcuffs, kicking and screaming.

voice of the damned

CCO wrote:

My reading of the decision indicates that it relies on two principles: one, the freedom of expression of council candidates, who have been unable to talk about anything but the council cuts

Was that really the basis for the judge's Freedom Of Expression argument, ie. Ford's bill made it difficult to talk about other issues during the campaign? If so, yeah, that's pretty loopy. Election campaigns are subject to outside influence all the time, including actions taken by other levels of government.

And even if most of the candidates start talking about Ford's seat-reducation plan, any individual candidate is still free to ignore that issue and talk about whatever else he thinks is important.

I think you could make a case that introdcing his bill during the middle of the campaign constitutes interference, since the bill threatens the agreed-upon basis on which the campaign was being conducted(ie. a certain number of seats are up for grabs). Not sure that's a Freedom Of Expression issue.  

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
and two, that the bill violates the "right to effective representation", which would emanate from the right to vote -- and that one's not subject to override, any more than Trudeau could pass a bill using the notwithstanding clause that said nobody west of Kenora got to vote in 2019. No?

One's right to vote is certainly not subject to override.  But what does that have to do with this?

And to be fair, "effective" representation might be a concern if (let's just say) suddenly a whole bunch of GTA federal ridings were compressed into one "super riding" with 4M constituents and one MP.

But unless the sizes of Toronto municipal wards are vastly different, nobody in Toronto is suffering from less representation, municipally, than their neighbour just across that ward line.

I 100% don't agree with Ford's plan, and I 100% wonder exactly what personal vendetta this represents for him, but the idea that it cannot be allowed specifically because we have some right to a certain size of ward (assuming they're all as reasonably similar as provincial or federal ridings) doesn't really make sense.

cco

Here's the ruling. It's not too long a read. I might be misinterpreting it. But the "effective representation" bit leaned heavily on the previous ward boundaries review (see (2)[45] and the next couple of pages). Of course, it also characterizes the right to vote as a freedom of expression issue, not a Section 3 one, which might in and of itself screw up an appeal.

Ward

If the Toronto city council really wanted to demonstrate some bravado they could just invoke their own not with standing motion and direct the election office to follow the courts order.

jerrym

gadar wrote:

This makes me worried about the future of minority rights in Canada. Doug Dealer just gave a big blow to the Charter. I can forsee politicians campaigning explicitly on using NWC against certain minority rights. The wearing of turban in RCMP and other religious accomodations, the same sex marriage, cllective bargaining and so on. Huge implications on the healthcare.

Even Gordon Campbell didnt have the guts to use the NWC when the SCC ruled against his Govt. on ripping the hospital employees contracts. Christy Clark didnt use this when SCC ruled in favour of the teachers. 

This, in my view, is going to have far reaching consequences, and that makes me very uncomfortable, even scared.

I am afraid that I agree totally and not just for what people traditionally call minorities but for any group a government thinks it can abuse without severe electoral consequences by invoking this clause, or for that matter, for majorities that are split into different camps politically but opposed to this or another autocratic government. If Ford is re-elected, and quite possibly before that, other governments will be road testing the notwithstanding clause. Already, when asked, Scheer has not supported Ford. 

Andrew Scheer, federal Tories back Doug Ford’s use of notwithstanding clause

The federal Conservatives say Ontario Premier Doug Ford has the legal right to use the Constitution’s notwithstanding clause to move ahead with plans to cut the size of Toronto city council.

Brock Harrison, a spokesman for Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer says the constitution places municipal administration under provincial authority.

https://globalnews.ca/news/4443804/andrew-scheer-doug-ford-notwithstandi...

voice of the damned

Bill Davis has what seems(to me anyway) like a rather unique interpretation of Section 33...

Davis warned “the sole purpose of the notwithstanding clause was only for those exceptionally rare circumstances when a province wanted to bring in a specific benefit or program provision for a part of their population — people of a certain age, for example — that might have seemed discriminatory under the Charter.”

I believe there IS a section of the Charter that talks about how the rights enumerated should not be interpreted as outlawing affirmative action(or whatever terminolgy is used), but it's certainly not Section 33. And even if that's what was going through the minds of the premiers, they didn't write it into the clause, so it's hard to argue, for legal purposes anyway, that that was the sole intent.

https://tinyurl.com/y995l7xo

 

voice of the damned

So, I guess this means Ford WON'T be invoking Notwithstanding then.

https://tinyurl.com/y7oex6rt

 

 

 

 

cco

Let's say he doesn't, and the election goes forward with 25 wards, but then the appeal rules that Belobaba was correct. Does council get to stay for another 4 years, or is it retroactively invalidated and a new election called?

Mobo2000

That would be a mess, but it isn't going to happen:

"“However, unfairness alone does not establish a Charter breach,” the court’s judgment reads. “The question for the courts is not whether Bill 5 is unfair but whether it is unconstitutional. On that crucial question, we have concluded that there is a strong likelihood that application judge erred in law and that the Attorney-General’s appeal to this court will succeed.”

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

Mobo2000 wrote:

That would be a mess, but it isn't going to happen:

"“However, unfairness alone does not establish a Charter breach,” the court’s judgment reads. “The question for the courts is not whether Bill 5 is unfair but whether it is unconstitutional. On that crucial question, we have concluded that there is a strong likelihood that application judge erred in law and that the Attorney-General’s appeal to this court will succeed.”

This was the type of reasoning I expected from the courts all along. I found the trial judge's decision quite shocking. It is no surprise to me that the Court of Appeal would take this position.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Let's say he doesn't, and the election goes forward with 25 wards, but then the appeal rules that Belobaba was correct. Does council get to stay for another 4 years, or is it retroactively invalidated and a new election called?

My guess would be that council remains until the next election.  One problem with trying to make this all about violated charter rights is that if the "real" problems were changing the number of wards during an election and that the candidates' freedom of expression was violated is that once the election is over, those problems are water under the bridge, in that a new election can't reasonably go back in time and fix them.

Mobo2000

Yes.   This whole situation really pisses me off.   It's an outrageous move by Ford, if it was an important part of his plan, he could have and should have let the voters know that beforehand instead of pretending he didn't have a platform.   But this judge's decision was perhaps well intentioned but obviously a stretch, and reinforces all the "unelected activist judges vs democratically elected politician" tropes favoured by the right.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

The Conservative Party of Ontario has changed a significant municipal law without running on the issue. In our system as long its MPP's control the legislature it is legal and within the government's power. The BC Liberals knowingly breached most of the public sector union's Charter rights but FPTP afforded absolute power to the majority of MLA's.

This highlights that our system itself is far from a democracy.  The timing of this change is clearly the only thing to complain about in a political system that legally cedes ultimate power to minority opinons. The interesting thing for me is that if the Ont. Cons had held a few phoney balony consultation meetings it could have completely deflected any real criticism.

Mobo2000

Yes, that's all depressingly true.   It just rankles.   I thought the public backlash against the sale of Hydro One, also unannounced during the election, was great.   Hoping for more of the same with this issue, I guess.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

It would be interesting to see how many people who live in the GTA agree or disagree with Ford's slashing of the Toronto Council.

We've all heard plenty about how the elite, latte-sipping metrosexuals of the GTA impose their electoral will on the rest of the province.  Maybe this time it's "rest of the province payback".

I say this as someone who lives in Toronto and disagrees with Ford.  But here we are anyway.

voice of the damned

Just a total guess on my part, but I suspect the attitude of the rest of Ontario might not be anti-Toronto, so much as "Who gives a fuck?" Not that people are really cheering for the decimation of the council, just that they can't bring themselves to care.

Granted, apathy might be an easier posture to maintain if you never much cared for the jurisdiction in question to begin with. But it is still a different thing than outright support.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Does anyone care about the GTA or would people rather they lived in Scarbourgh and York. I remember back in 1998 it was not exactly a popular move with many people. This is amalgamation 2.0. Least we forget that Doug Ford is merely the latest in a series of Conservative Premier's. He is just a continuation of the Common Sense Revolution. Is Doug worse than Mike?

Maybe the people of the GTA should be asked about how they want to govern themselves once in a while instead of this recurring bs.

Bacchus

What is the GTO?

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Bacchus wrote:

What is the GTO?

 

Bad typing.

Bacchus

Ah ok. I was confuded especially since if it was GTA then York and Scarvoriugh are part of Toronto proper, not just the GTA

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

York and Scarborough were both cities prior to amalgamation by Mike Harris's Conservatives. I was wondering if people in those parts of the GTA still relate to those old city boundaries rather than the mega city. I know some of my relatives from TO still say they live in Scarborough.

1998 amalgamation

Amalgamation occurred in 1998 when the regional municipality of Metropolitan Toronto and its six constituent municipalities – East York, Etobicoke, North York, Scarborough, York, and the City of Toronto (1834) were dissolved by an act of the Government of Ontario. A new single municipality called the City of Toronto (colloquially dubbed the "megacity") was formed, replacing all seven governments. The expanded city became the fifth most populous municipality in North America, behind Mexico City, New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago; it later surpassed Chicago in population.

bekayne

Bacchus wrote:

What is the GTO?

 

Girls Together Outrageously

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
I was wondering if people in those parts of the GTA still relate to those old city boundaries rather than the mega city. I know some of my relatives from TO still say they live in Scarborough.

Toronto is big enough that I think most Torontonians, at least to other presumed Torontonians, will often indicate where, in Toronto, they're from -- Cabbagetown or Parkdale or North York or the Junction, or whatever, even though most were never separate municipalities.  Even Scarberians are prone to differentiate between "Scarborough" and "Agincourt", and so on.

If an American asked me where I live, I'd say "Toronto", but if a Torontonian asks, "Little Italy".

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
I was wondering if people in those parts of the GTA still relate to those old city boundaries rather than the mega city. I know some of my relatives from TO still say they live in Scarborough.

Toronto is big enough that I think most Torontonians, at least to other presumed Torontonians, will often indicate where, in Toronto, they're from -- Cabbagetown or Parkdale or North York or the Junction, or whatever, even though most were never separate municipalities.  Even Scarberians are prone to differentiate between "Scarborough" and "Agincourt", and so on.

If an American asked me where I live, I'd say "Toronto", but if a Torontonian asks, "Little Italy".

I know this couldn't possibly be true...but I've long nurtured the image that Agincourt is inhabited solely by professional Henry V and Falstaff impersonators.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Hehe.  In reality, a huge Asian population (leading to it sometimes being called "Asiancourt").  Back at the end of the 80's I had a girlfriend who lived there.  It was the first place I'd ever seen Chinese signs on things (me originally being from the boonies and such).

So, no archers, no knights.  But lots of subdivisions!

Aristotleded24

Looks like Ford's plan to marginalize Toronto council's left flank by cutting the number of council seats may be backfiring:

Quote:

A new survey suggests Anthony Perruzza is on track to defeat Giorgio Mammoliti in October's municipal election — although Mammoliti maintains he's still ahead and the poll is the work of his "lefty" foes.

Mainstreet Research looked at the battles in five key wards this week, including three redrawn wards where incumbents are squaring off.

...

Here's a closer look at what the new poll found:

In Humber River-Black Creek, Perruzza, at 30.2 per cent support, leads Mammoliti and school trustee Tiffany Ford, who each have 21.1 per cent support. Deanna Sgro, who ran for the provincial Liberals in the spring election, was fourth with 17.2 per cent.

About 28 per cent of people said they are undecided.

Aristotleded24

Mayoral candidate to express way to better design communities:

Quote:
"We can build new communities with new jobs in retail and employment and affordable housing — places for people to live — by unlocking this land," Keesmaat said at a news conference on Sunday.

...

Keesmaat added that the money saved would be reinvested into transit. 

"We know that we can't be adding more cars into to the downtown. There's not enough room on the streets to be doing that," she said.

"We know that we can add more people and more pedestrians if we build better transit that really makes transit a true choice in every corner of the city."

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Saron For Mayor

quote:

Six for the 6ix:

1.  Right to Housing: Recognize that housing is a fundamental human right and that incremental targets alone are not enough. This means we must set in place aggressive plans to provide adequate and sufficient housing for everyone. My first priority will be addressing our housing crisis. To do this, part of what I will focus on will include:

  • Setting and meeting aggressive targets for new affordable housing units — both purpose built rental units and ownership units. This means going beyond the lip service of past administrations. We want to set a target of 20,000 new affordable housing units over the next 4 years and tracking their full development.
  • Re-defining the definition of “affordable housing”. Right now, there is no clear definition of affordable housing. Various levels of government use differing approaches and this means that nobody is actually able to keep track of what’s changed in the marketplace. The city currently utilizes average market rent as its baseline.  Utilizing proper definitions for differing unit types and maintaining an awareness that our current definition is out of reach for low-income families should be the first order of change. That means recognizing that any definition of affordable housing should be based on the year over year income level increase for individuals in the median and lower income brackets. This way, we can attach a definition of ‘affordable housing’ to increase or decrease in real wages.    
  • Engage the co-op housing sector to help develop affordable co-op housing options and set inclusionary zoning targets at 20-30%.
  • Focus specifically on purpose built rental housing
  • Utilize Section 37 Benefits in a more creative fashion and move aggressively on rezoning strategies.
  • Work with federal and provincial partners to develop policies that ensure that our city shelters and other institutions can soundly manage and support refugees and their families  

2.  Right to Transit — Towards Free Public Transit: Yes, it’s possible! And the benefits are immense. I will focus on developing a strategy that will set Toronto on a path towards free transit. Free transit will help address climate change, urban gridlock and sprawl, and cut down on spending for road maintenance.   

3.  Right to fair allocation of city resources: Re-prioritize our spending towards more targeted youth employment as well as arts and cultural programming so that no one is left behind, especially from low-income areas and the inner-suburbs. This means – among other things – setting a 4 year target of generating at least 1,000 new jobs for youth in low-income neighborhoods and our most crime-affected areas as opposed to hiring 200 new police officers.

4.  Right to employment outside of the downtown core:  We have to develop proper and sound incentives for businesses to invest outside of downtown Toronto, among other strategies. This can include waving business registration fees and commercial property taxes for a set period of time. It can also include offering targeted grant programs geared towards these new offices to assist them with providing new employment opportunities in those areas.

5.  Right to Mental Health and Accessibility: Develop an overall mental health and accessibility framework that underpins all aspects of city planning and budgeting. This means that our city’s budgeting should also be filtered through an overall mental health framework that assesses how our policies contribute towards developing positive mental health outcomes.

6.  Right to Diversity in City Politics and City Hiring:  Increasing Diversity in Our Politics and City Hiring. I will call for electoral reform that will create space for fresh faces and voices that reflect diverse backgrounds. I will move towards creating a city-wide employment equity regime that will ensure our city’s workforce and senior leadership reflects the city itself. 

Aristotleded24

Unfortunately it looks like Tory will easily be re-elected. Keesmaat may have had a solid platform, but for whatever reason her campaign didn't seem to move her support beyond the usual people who would disagree with any incumbent mayor.

I guess the best to hope for would be for Mamolitti to go down.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

I'm still going to vote for her anyway.  But Tory has basically been an acceptable, if unexciting, mayor.  Maybe we've come to expect our mayor to be brash, outspoken, offensive and contentious, but he's basically done a boring but proficient job, and he's the known entity.

Bacchus

Huge win for Tory and what a surprise, my Ward has a Ford

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Giorgio Mammoliti lost.  Nice.

Some of Jack Layton's DNA won my ward.  Also nice.

I voted for Keesmaat, secure in the knowledge that Tory was probably going to take it anyway.  And now I have to give the side-eye to one out of every 30 people I see on the street -- Faith Goldy got a little over 3% and got the bronze.

Mobo2000

Ha, yes.   3.4% for Faith Goldy is far too high.

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