Toronto city council grappled with its potential Hunger Games-style cull in an angst-ridden meeting Monday, but the 45 members of council failed to put up a united front. Several councillors expressed support for the province cutting council's numbers in half despite the lack of notice or consultation, and despite the fact that the city is already mid-campaign. But the majority of councillors did vote to symbolically express their opposition to the halving of its membership, agreed that a referendum should happen sooner rather than later, and chose to hold a special meeting on Aug. 20 to hear legal advice on options from the city solicitor. All of this may be a futile effort, though, as the province has clear legal jurisdiction over municipalities.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited Toronto's Greektown on Monday to pay his respects to shooting victims from last week's tragedy. The Globe and Mail also reported that the federal government has policy related to the incident on its mind, as the PM is weighing a Toronto city council request for a handgun ban. "We’re taking a look at things that have been done around the world," he told reporters. The Globe added that the federal government could come to decision by mid-August as to whether a policy shift would be included in the fall throne speech.
In case you missed our stories Monday:
- Toronto City Hall tries to push back against ward reductions
- Bill to chop city council in half prompts cries of ‘vindictive’ grudge-settling from opposition MPPs
- Your Question Period briefing: The city council edition
- City council liveblog
Despite a major potential policy shift on marijuana that could see the province move away from the LCBO model to an Alberta-style model, the government insists it will be ready for the Oct. 17 legalization, reports the Star.
Ottawa won't wage a constitutional battle with Ontario on slashing Toronto wards in half, reports the Star.
The Financial Post asks who is on the nominating committee for Hydro One's board, but there are no answers at this time.
Canada's attorney general has given notice of intent to approve a roadside saliva test that would allow police to detect recent marijuana use, reports the Growth Op.
Twenty school boards have now spoken out in opposition to reverting to the 1998 sex ed curriculum, reports the Star.
Postmedia reports that Ontario's wildfires mean Forestry minister Jeff Yurek has a lot to learn on the job, quickly.
Brampton Mayor Linda Jeffery says the city's top municipal job shouldn't be a consolation prize for former PC leader Patrick Brown. She also questioned how much he knows about the city's issues, according to CTV.
A fight broke out at a Markham protest over refugees, reports the National Post.
And in the opinion pages:
- Kelly McParland writes that no one cares that Toronto city council could be slashed in half.
- Edward Keenan argues that Jennifer Keesmaat signing up to run for mayor of Toronto is good for the city because it encourages a competition of ideas.
- Paul Wells says that Ford will proceed by trusting his gut.
- Christopher Hume writes that Toronto should pursue a renewed push for independence.
- David Reevely argues that Ontario municipalities trusting the province to manage cannabis stores looks like it will create some blowback.
- The Star editorial board opines that Ford's sense of what constitutes consultation is "troublesome."
Bills and orders
Resuming the debate adjourned on July 30, 2018 on the motion regarding government priorities.
Second Reading of Bill 4, An Act respecting the preparation of a climate change plan, providing for the wind down of the cap and trade program and repealing the Climate Change Mitigation and Low-carbon Economy Act, 2016.