A News Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper
Posted July 21st, 2021 on Niagara At Large
Well here we go with the first jack boot hitting the ground in the dictatorship Tory Premier Doug Ford is going to impose on Ontario, a mere six weeks after winning a majority government thanks to a pathetic 18 per cent of the province’s eligible voters.
But never mind such a tissue thin mandate that might cause others to lead the province with a little humility.
Thanks to an Ontario election this June that drew the lowest voter turnout in the province’s history, Ford and his Conservatives managed to win a majority of seats which allows them, if they want, to run a dictatorship for the next four years.
And low and behold, the first jackboot hit the ground this week with Ford’s announcement that he is going to create a “strong mayor” regime in Ontario which means that, starting with the mayors of Toronto and Otatwa, mayors will have veto power over decisions approved by a majority of elected representatives on their councils. It would then apparently take a vote by at least two-thirds of the council to override that veto.
.As Niagara Centre NDP MPP Jeff Burch says in a statement below, Ford and company must have known before the recent Ontario election that they were planning to launch this “strong mayor” plan, but they waited until after the election to inflict it on us.
And have no doubt.
This draconian move may start with the municipal councils in Toronto and Ottawa, but we can count on other mayors across province in Niagara Falls and Welland and St. Catharines and London and Windsor, and on and on, to want the same veto powers.
And with municipal mayors getting that kind of power over decision-making in their communities, count on members of the development industry and other special interests to donate even more campaign money in the upcoming fall municipal elections to elect mayors that will do their bidding, regardless of the wishes of a majority of residents in their communities.
Look forward to this “strong mayor” move to being just the first of many moves by the Ford government to rape ordinary Ontario residents of any effective say in the affairs of their communities.
Now here is a Statement circulated this July 20th, 2022 by the Ontario NDP and Niagara Centre MPP Jeff Burch –
STATEMENT, July 20, 2022
NDP says Strong Mayor is the wrong priority
NIAGARA — NDP Municipal Affairs critic Jeff Burch released the following statement on behalf of the Official Opposition as cabinet deliberates a scheme to give the mayors of the Toronto and Ottawa more unilateral powers:
“Why did Premier Doug Ford keep his Strong Mayor plan secret throughout the campaign?
“Why won’t he consult municipalities or the people they represent? It’s baffling that Ford is focused on giving two mayors more power, instead of working on giving municipalities support that would actually help people — like better funding for housing, public health, long-term care and transit.”
For more on this issue, click on the following link for a CBC story – https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/toronto-strong-mayor-powers-tory-1.6526069
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