QUEEN’S PARK – The Official Oposition is fighting to force the government to hold public consultations on the bill to cut Toronto City Council by half and cancel a number of democratic elections already underway. That move comes after the Ford government forced the legislature yesterday to cancel the usual committee stage for the election-rigging bill – the only opportunity for public hearings and input from Toronto people.
Fighting back on behalf of the people of Toronto, MPPs Gilles Bisson and John Vanthof moved amendments on Ford’s consultation-cancelling time allocation motion – an attempt to force Ford to hear public input.
“The Official Opposition have been fighting like hell to force Doug Ford to listen to the public on this bill,” said Gilles Bisson, House Leader for Ontario's Official Opposition.
“The Premier is being vindictive toward Torontonians, and using his power to cut out their input on this bill, silencing the people. "
"The Premier kept this plan secret during the election. He didn’t consult any Torontonians. He’s unilaterally rigging elections to get revenge on political rivals. In all my years at Queen’s Park, this stands out as one of the most egregious moves against the public that I have seen.”
The Ford government’s time allocation motion to push Bill 5 forward will both cut off legislative debate, and skip public input entirely – clearly designed to pass Ford’s bill without any further questions.
“Toronto belongs to Torontonians,” said Vanthof, who is the Chair of the Standing Committee on Government Agencies. “Ford’s contempt for their input shows a disturbing willingness to put his inner circle’s politics ahead of the people of Ontario.
“Bills passed through the legislature are supposed to allow for public input before laws are passed in the province. Doug Ford’s attack on that is a disgrace, and an act of utter disrespect towards the people of Ontario. People deserve to have a say in any law passed in this province that affects them.”