Councillor Josh Matlow

National Post: Toronto votes against slashing number of councillors from 44 to 25 after lengthy debate

July 18, 2013

The National Post

Jessica Vitullo

By a vote of 25-13, city council voted Thursday not to adopt the requests set out in a petition commissioned by the Toronto Taxpayers Coalition to slash the number of councillors from 44 to 25. The petition became the centre of a lengthy debate that often ranged off target and at one point had Mayor Rob Ford wish he could take over the school board. He and his brother, Councillor Doug Ford, asked council to vote in favour of the petition’s guidelines in the name of efficiency and saving taxpayers money. Other councillors spoke out against the petition, saying the city’s growing population would require more councillors, not fewer. Matthew McGuire, leader of the taxpayers group, was dissatisfied with the debate and the vote. “Councillors are not known to want to eliminate their jobs,” he said. Mr. McGuire now intends to take the matter to the Ontario Municipal Board. Some of the debate’s highlights:


“Most of us represent about 60,000 people, wards bigger than most towns in Ontario. If you go down to 25 councillors, it almost becomes a dictatorship. That’s not what I want to see for a democratic-run city.” — Councillor Gloria Lindsay Luby

“I can tell you there’d be no savings to shrink council. Remaining councillors will have to double, triple up on their staff.” — Councillor James Pasternak

“I never came across one taxpayer that wants more city councillors. I truly, truly believe we must do what the taxpayers want. They want less politicians and more action and I have no problem saying we align ourselves with members of provincial parliament. It would be so much more efficient with 22 councillors down here. We all know it.” — Mayor Rob Ford

“I met thousands and thousands

[of people] that said get rid of those councillors. It is dysfunctional at city hall. That’s what this is all about down here, folks.” — Councillor Doug Ford

“You won’t find the reduction of councillors make it [city council] more efficient, especially when it comes to councillors’ cost and money. If it were to be reduced, you’re just picking up [more] staff that you would require to meet thousands in the riding boundaries.” — Councillor Michelle Berardinetti

“Fewer people around the table means more dialogue rather than monologues.” — Councillor Josh Matlow

“I’d love to take over the school board.” — Mayor Rob Ford

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