If you have not noticed, Toronto City Council has been a greater mess than we have experienced for years. More taxes, hidden fees, special interests, posturing on the left wing and the right. Worst of all however, and part and parcel of what drives the issues is the politics surrounding the Wards.
Aldermen want to be re-elected and in this City Council that means if you support the Mayor, there is a good chance that issues that effect your ward will be the first at the check-out line. Is it better for ward residents to push to elect someone who they know is on the Mayor’s Team or someone who is going to stand up for the issues in the riding? Again and again, Toronto residents hear of Council meetings that seem more like planning the High School Prom than running one of the largest corporations in Canada.
One of the ways to alleviate the issue is to move to a Council that is represented one half ward alderman and the other half by Alderman-at-large: representatives that are voted on by the full citizenry and are responsible to the whole of Toronto. Right now the Mayor is the only member who is at-large, and that is not enough.
We need to have strong representation by members of Council who are beholding to the voters, taxpayers, and the City as a whole and not afraid to ruffle this Mayor’s feathers.