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Response to Bill 5

September 10, 2018

“For decades, there have been countless debates around Queen’s Park regarding the relationship between the Province and municipalities. Never before has the veto card of the Canadian constitution’s notwithstanding clause been played to solve them in Ontario. Not on a single issue, not once.

It was played today in deciding to overturn this morning’s Superior Court Justice decision, which deemed Bill 5 – Toronto City Council ward cuts from 47 to 25 – to be unconstitutional. This unprecedented move raises questions about when the Province might choose to use it again.

Major decisions affecting millions of people benefit from healthy debate and dialogue between residents and affected orders of government. These were missing in the process to cut Toronto’s city council and the election of Regional Chairs.

We need our leaders to engage in dialogue, work collaboratively and leverage tools beyond the veto to get things done.

We urge the Government of Ontario to reconsider today’s decision and sit down with elected officials and others to find a way forward. There is common ground that could be found here.”

Sevaun Palvetzian, CEO, CivicAction