TORONTO – A published report suggests that the Ontario government is poised to reduce Toronto city council to just over half its current size.
The Toronto Star, citing unnamed sources within the Progressive Conservative government, reports that legislation will be introduced “as early as Monday” to reduce the number of council seats to 25 from 47.
The report comes on the eve of a deadline for candidates to register for the municipal election on Oct. 22.
Premier Doug Ford has scheduled a news conference for Friday morning, just hours before the 2 p.m. deadline.
The newspaper also reports that the Ford government will cancel planned elections for regional chair positions in two Greater Toronto Area communities — Peel Region and York Region.
Such a move would put a damper on the political redemption hopes of Patrick Brown, whom Ford replaced as leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservatives.
Brown, who stepped down as Tory leader in January amid allegations of sexual misconduct that he denies, had thrown his hat into the ring to become the chair of Peel Region.
Representatives for the Progressive Conservative government did not immediately respond to requests for comment late Thursday.
Several Toronto councillors have reacted on Twitter to the Star report, with one calling the reported move a “gross misuse of power.”