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Toronto city clerk says it's becoming 'virtually impossible' to hold municipal election

16 September 2018

City staff said they have printed two sets of voter cards - one for the eventuality of 47 wards, one for the 25 - which are scheduled to be mailed to voters soon. Joe Mihevc, who brought forward the resolution to ask for Ottawa's assistance.

The clause allows a government to have a law operate in spite of a right found in Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Earlier on Thursday, the legislature was adjourned until Wednesday of next week.

The chair of the Big City Mayors' Caucus at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities said Ford's moves have now placed Canadians in a constitutional debate when the limits of how governments can work together within the document have not been tested. "The people of Toronto deserve nothing less".

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Toronto city clerk Ulli Watkiss said every delay between now and the October 22 vote affects her ability to ensure fairness, regardless of whether Toronto's electoral map will retain its current 47 wards, or 25, as the Ontario government wants.

"We're working on our platform right now and we're confident we'll be able to implement the types of proposals that we're working on right now through the normal legislative process", said Scheer. "Both scenarios are becoming virtually impossible for us to carry out".

Ford took the rarely used step Monday after a judge said it was unconstitutional to slash the number of city council seats in the middle of a municipal election without consultation, as it interfered with the right to freedom of expression of candidates and voters.

Supporters of Mr Ford's say his use of the clause is a justifiable response to what they see as judicial activism.

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It says that the elected representatives of the city "want to assure the people of Toronto that we understand and respect the critical role that city hall and local democracy play in building the communities in which we live".

Ontario NDP members were booted one by one out of the Ontario Legislature - starting with Leader Andrea Horwath - as the official opposition protested the government's use of the notwithstanding clause in the Charter.

"We believe MPPs elected in Toronto have a responsibility to defend the city, its democratic institutions, and the rights of citizens to a free and fair municipal election".

Conservative justice critic Tony Clement said Conservatives believe that Parliament and legislatures are the "ultimate" law making bodies.

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Toronto city clerk says it's becoming 'virtually impossible' to hold municipal election