Taxpayers Coalition finds loophole to cut council in half
Toronto Taxpayers Coalition today announced they have forced City Council to revisit cutting the number of city councillors in half. The Coalition has forced the issue by submitting a petition to the City Clerk demanding a reduction in councillors from 44 to as low as 25.
But if councillors don’t act, the Coalition plans to bypass City Council and to force the issue at the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB).
Coalition president Matthew McGuire said the group sprung into action shortly after the last council meeting saw councillors refuse to consider the idea. “It’s outrageous that Toronto council decided to not even consider reducing the number of councillors at its June meeting.”
“After that decision, our researchers went to work and discovered a little known clause in the City of Toronto Act – which also exists in the Municipal Act – that allows residents to petition for a change in the number of wards in their municipality.”
The little known clause requires a minimum of 500 voters to sign a petition. If council does not act on that petition within 90 days, the petitioners can appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB). The OMB can them impose a reduction in the number of city wards.
“It took 10 of our volunteers two weeks to secure 1200 signatures. We’ve received an additional 750 electronic signatures online,” added McGuire, referring to the online petition at www.torontotaxpayer.ca. The online petition continues to collect new support each day.
“We think it’s important to remind taxpayers that they have rights and they should exercise them often.”
McGuire noted that City Councillors were notified of the petition from the acting City Clerk on June 28th, 2013.
Council will be dealing with the petition at the July 16th meeting.
NOTE: You can download the letter from the acting City Clerk here.