A decision affecting Toronto Council will have no bearing on the District of Muskoka. Today a Toronto judge ruled against Premier Ford’s plan to reduce the size of the city’s council, but that ruling doesn’t apply to Ford’s vow to cancel the election for a District of Muskoka chairperson.
Last June, Muskoka council voted in favour of a public election over appointing a chair in house, while Premier Ford squashed that notion over efficiency concerns, at the same time as he moved to reduce Toronto council.
The verdict from the judge only affects the Toronto decision, while the District of Muskoka says it has no plans to pursue any legal action of its own. A representative tells us a chairperson will be appointed by the newly elected council in early December.
Meanwhile, Premier Ford said following the judge’s ruling that his government will use the Notwithstanding Clause to override the court’s order. He would be the first Ontario Premier to use the controversial power of override, with only two provinces and one territory enacting it to date, since the clause was introduced into the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in the early 80’s.