A new poll finds nearly half of Toronto residents give a thumbs-down to both Premier Doug Ford and his plan to cut the size of city council in half, while a third approve of the ward reduction, the Toronto Star reports. The other 19 per cent are neutral or don't know what to think of the drastic measure, according to the survey from Forum Research. Meanwhile, fully 70 per cent of Torontonians say they would cast their ballot for Mayor John Tory if an election were held today, putting him well in front of last-minute mayoral candidate Jennifer Keesmaat, who garnered support from 30 per cent of poll respondents.
Toronto lawyer and Ward 13 candidate Rocco Achampong plans to seek legal recourse over Ford's abrupt move, saying he will ask the Superior Court of Ontario to halt the premier from slashing city council to 25 seats from from a planned 47. Echoing Tory, he says the premier's decision "basically changed the rules of the game in the middle of an election," Global News reports. Achampong, a member of the PC Party of Ontario, ran for mayor in 2010 before endorsing Rob Ford. The would-be councillor says Ford's move may have good intentions, but is unconstitutional.
#BREAKING: Ward 13 candidate & lawyer @Rocco4Toronto tells me he will be filing a notice of application to Superior Court of Ontario against @fordnation & @C_Mulroney tmrw asking crt to restrain premier from interfering in election cycle...he believes he will win #ONpoli #TOPoli pic.twitter.com/Zr63CtJbwp
— Travis Dhanraj (@Travisdhanraj) July 29, 2018
And if the flurry of changes since the June 7 election have your head spinning, here's a timeline recap of the past month in Ontario politics courtesy of CTV.
Meanwhile, the backlash builds against Ford's most recent surprise move, with today's city council session promising to be a heavily attended one.
— Progress Toronto (@progresstoronto) July 29, 2018
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In other news:
Per Postmedia, a Toronto municipal lawyer lays out the city's limited legal options in the wake of Ford's announcement.
CBC News explains some of the potential changes, both constrained and extreme, that Ford has the power to carry out in his capacity as premier.
The carp are coming! The invasive species has been found in Lake Huron, with the Georgian Bay Great Lakes Foundation issuing an alert last week and calling for Ohio — the fish are reportedly reproducing in the Ohio River — and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to start eradication measures ASAP.
A key program keeping nurses in Ontario is safe for now after the government took down an advisory from its site warning it was under review, the Hamilton Spectator reports.
The third Sidewalk Toronto public meeting will happen Aug. 14 and 15 — but it's already run out of space, raising questions about access to an effectively registration-required event on the Google-affiliated project along the Toronto waterfront, Bianca Wylie writes on Medium.
A wood pellet-fuelled Thunder Bay generating station has shut down for good, Ontario Power Generation and the Independent Electricity System Operator announced Friday, CBC News notes.
An explosion at a Hydro One power station in North York left about 35,000 Toronto Hydro customers in the dark overnight on Saturday, CBC News reports.
From the opinion pages:
- John Michael McGrath highlights four unanswered questions around Ford's city council shrink-down.
- John Ibbitson sees the premier going full Mike Harris with fast and furious decisions.
- The Star editorial board argues that Ford is spitting in Toronto's face with the last-minute move.
- Rosie DiManno muses that the 6ix should have seen the spitball coming.
- Chris Selley writes that you take the Ford out of city hall, but you can't stop him from moonlighting as mayor.
- Christie Blatchford proclaims Ford's cut to the size of council offers a much-needed jolt to democracy.
- Lorrie Goldstein contends that Ford did the right thing, the wrong way.
- Heather Mallick says Ford came in like a wrecking ball.
- Marcus Gee opines that Jennifer Keesmaat poses a real challenge to Toronto Mayor John Tory, and that's healthy for democracy.
- David Reevely makes a parallel argument for the mayoral race in Ottawa.
- Postmedia applauds Ford for ending the nearly five-month-long York University strike.
- Criminal justice professor Daniel Bear states that Canada needs to get marijuana regulation right, because it's lighting the way for much of the world.
Bills and motions
Resuming the debate adjourned on July 26 on the motion regarding government priorities.