Bombshell decision reverses Ford gov't on Toronto election

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The move reduced the number of wards to 25 from 47, using the federal and provincial riding boundaries instead of new wards approved by the city and the Ontario Municipal Board after a four-year review.

Belobaba struck down most of the province's Better Local Government Act after finding that it interfered "with both the candidate's and the voters' right to freedom of expression as guaranteed under Section 2 (b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms". A first-time volunteer with Walied Khogali's campaign for the Ward 23 City Council seat, Aderonmu was shocked by the provincial government's announcement that it would be cutting the number of wards. Ford, a failed Toronto mayoral candidate and single-term city councillor, argued the move will improve decision-making and save $25 million.

An Ontario judge delivered a scathing ruling Monday to strike down the provincial government's plan to slash nearly half of Toronto's city council.

Bill 5 also cancelled planned elections for the head of council position in the regional municipalities of Muskoka, Peel, York and Niagara, turning them into appointed roles.

Why, the city was smack in the middle of an election campaign (the actual vote is October 22, so candidates had registered and started hustling), people cried.

"While the timing of the bill was not ideal. this bill was introduced almost three months before the election date, which is still longer than federal and provincial writ periods", CTF's federal director Aaron Wudrick said in a statement.

Horwath thanked Belobaba for his work and all those who gave their time and expertise to the court battle against Ford's move to meddle in Toronto's municipal elections.

The deadline for candidates to register in the municipal election is September 14. The free and fair election is the essence of democracy, a right that free men in this country and others have died to preserve.

Howard Anglin, director of the Canadian Construction Foundation and former deputy chief of staff to then-prime minister Stephen Harper, called the decision "looney tunes" and said that it poorly reasoned and "definitely a candidate" for invoking the notwithstanding clause - a legal override of the Charter that Ontario Premier Doug Ford said he plans to use for the first time in the province's history.

"It's a great day for the City of Toronto and for democracy".

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"I followed the rules that were put in place, I put my best foot forward and to have this happen - Bill 5 introduced two-thirds into the campaign - threw us all off", he said.

Doug Ford is the kind of politician who doesn't mind stirring up a little needless chaos.

The Ontario government had at least an arguable basis on which to explain the decision: By invoking Section 33, it could have presented itself as maintaining certainty and the status quo for the municipal election while also seeking to appeal the lower court ruling.

He is "literally suspending the Charter of Rights of the Ontario people in order to plough ahead with his revenge plot against his political enemies at Toronto city hall." said Horwath.

Speaking at city hall on Monday, Ward 27 Coun.

Ontario's Superior Court delivered a damning decision Monday, ruling Ford's gerrymandering law is undemocratic and unconstitutional.

But, if Ford gets his way by forcing a reversal, it's not clear if there will be an opportunity for those who have not yet signed up to register in the 25-ward race. "(It) has to be, 'judges have a mandate to overturn unconstitutional laws, but that in this particular instance we disagree with the constitutional reasoning'". We believed in the judicial process.

Um, "Crickets"? Really? That's now a valid argument by a judge in Ontario?

"Respect the taxpayer and abort the costly appeal", she tweeted.

"I don't object to rulings being sarcastic or spicy if they expose the flaws in particularly government thinking when a right's at stake, but this is basically bringing in Twitter snark into a judgment and it did nothing to add to the judge's logic", he told HuffPost Canada Monday.