FORD: Priority lies in ending Toronto’s council gridlock

BY DOUG FORD

You don’t need to spend much time at city hall before realizing that Toronto’s government is completely dysfunctional.

The city is paralyzed by a bloated and inefficient council where debates can go on for days but no decisions ever get made.

It doesn’t matter if you are talking about David Miller, Rob Ford or John Tory. No matter who the mayor is, time and time again we see that transit, infrastructure and housing just cannot get built.

I was elected to deliver change that includes reducing the size and cost of government and actually getting transit, housing and infrastructure built. And 2.3 million Ontario voters agreed with our plan.

Getting those shovels in the ground will require more than just fancy speeches. It will require a partner at City Hall that is actually able to back up talk with real action.

That’s why our government introduced the Better Local Government Act in July. This Act would have reduced the size of Toronto City Council to put an end to the gridlock that is paralyzing the city.

The Act would have taken $25 million that are currently going to politicians, and allow this money to be spent on the real priorities of Toronto families.

In fact, the people most loudly fighting against the Better Local Government Act are a handful of left-wing city councillors who are desperately trying to save their taxpayer-funded jobs along with a network of activists and special interests who have entrenched their power under the status quo.

Unfortunately, this week a Toronto judge found in favour of these councillors and activists and their attempts to block our efforts to put an end to the gridlock at Toronto City Council. He did so despite the fact that many legal experts, including those who do not support our government, had already agreed that our law was constitutional.

We think this judgment is wrong. That’s why our government is appealing this decision to Ontario’s Court of Appeal..

At the same time, while this appeal takes place we need to take additional action to ensure Toronto’s elections can proceed on time.

That is why we are also invoking Section 33 of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Section 33 of the Charter ensures democratically elected governments can continue to deliver on their commitments. By using section 33 in this way we are protecting the democratic rights of the people.

Because in Ontario, and in Canada, the rule is simple.

If you want to make laws, you first need put your name on a ballot and win a mandate from the people.

Our government won a mandate from the people, and we will fight to ensure the will of the people is heard. It will be the people who decide whether we have been successful in getting things built.

And it will be the people who will be the ultimate judge of our government when we seek re-election in four years’ time.

— Doug Ford is the Premier of Ontario

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