Meet the new Toronto Council, same as the old Toronto Council - The Globe and Mail
Paul Ainslie, chair of the city of Toronto's government management committee, TORONTO ELECTION Meet your new city councillors. Soon after, he decided he wanted to represent its residents in municipal government in order to address issues such as lack of employment. It does not recognize municipalities as a separate order of government, meaning cities like Toronto do not get their powers directly from the constitution. Instead.
Unaffiliated anti-poverty activists like May Birchard also were elected to Council in this era. An important faction in Toronto politics in the s and s were the communists. There was considerable communist support in the downtown areas covered by Ward 4 and Ward 5, especially in the heavily Jewish areas of Kensington Market and the Garment District around Spadina Avenue and further west along College and up to Christie Pits including what is now Little Italy.
The peak of communist influence was in the election when leader Stewart Smith was elected to the Board of Control and three other communists won seats on city council. With the beginning of the Cold War and staunch opposition from the other political groups, the communist presence quickly disappeared. The last communist alderman lost his seat in The first part of the 20th century was the era of the newspaper slates. Each of the daily newspapers would endorse a full slate of candidates for office.
The two most influential were the right-wing Toronto Telegram and the more left-leaning Toronto Daily Star. In the early parts of the century, the duelling papers ran the communications portion of the campaign of the candidates they supported, using yellow journalism to extol those they supported and denigrate those they opposed. The newspaper slates did not have a unified ideology: Beyond these few exceptions, the slates of all the papers were largely made up of male, white, Conservative, Orangemen.
Many candidates also appeared on the slates of several newspapers. The character of Toronto politics began to change in the s and s as the Anglo Tory lock on power faded in the increasingly diverse city. InOrangeman Allan Lamport became the first Liberal elected mayor in over 40 years. He resigned to become TTC chair and his administration was implicated in a municipal corruption scandal.
His staunch defence of Protestantism became an issue in the election.
Municipal government in Canada - Wikipedia
Nathan Phillipsa long-serving Jewish alderman, was elected mayor. He was a staunch Tory. His religion was an important issue in the election, in which his opponent proclaimed himself to be running as " Leslie SaundersProtestant". Only seven of 23 councillors elected that year were members of the Orange Order.
He was an Orangeman and the last member of the Orange Order to be a Toronto mayor. Both groups crossed party lines and were divided by their approach to urban issues. The Reform faction arose in opposition to the urban renewal schemes that had been in favour in the previous decades. As a representative of the FCM told the Joint Committee on the Constitution with regard to municipal requests for entrenchment of their power to tax: I think that what we are talking about when we are asking for income tax is a clear defined portion of the income tax settled upon by the provinces and by the federal government, that we could rely on as an added income to the municipality so that we could release the burden of property tax.
One of the main barriers to a constitutional amendment that would enhance the powers of the municipalities was obtaining approval from the required number of provincial legislatures. What would be the long-term effect of another constitutional tier of government? They have concluded that, given the difficulties already inherent in federal-provincial relations, constitutional recognition of the municipalities might only add another combatant and increase the existing inflexibility and complexity.
If local governments were to have their way, they would likely ask for constitutional standing as equal partners in Confederation. Ideally this recognition would provide the legislative and fiscal autonomy which local governments require to meet the demands for local goods and services. But, if this were done, how successful would it be? Federal-provincial relations are defined by the Constitution, yet the extent of federal-provincial discord is well known.
Provincial governments criticize the intrusion which they see the federal transfers of expenditure powers making into their areas of responsibility.
In some ways, the delineation of authority provided by the constitution has impeded a rational reallocation of responsibilities over time as conditions changed from those of the nineteenth century. Might a constitutional standing for local government impose another element of inflexibility while protecting and enhancing local government? The municipalities did not address the issue in any presentations to the various parliamentary committees that held hearings on the Meech Lake Accord, much to the surprise of at least some commentators: It seems curious that 4, municipalities large and small have not taken this opportunity to assert themselves and enter the debate and thereby assure themselves of a legitimate and constitutionally confirmed place in Confederation.
Also inthe FCM submitted a brief to the Special Joint Committee on a Renewed Canada, asking that the status of municipal governments be redefined and that the Constitution be amended to recognize municipal governments. Provincial, territorial and federal governments refused to add these proposals to the constitutional agenda. Indeed, despite the efforts of municipalities to secure constitutional recognition, the possibility of achieving this goal seems doubtful.
Lobbying for Specific Goals As such, since the mids, the municipalities and their organizations have concentrated on lobbying for practical and specific services. The FCM reorganized and began to look for partners in joint ventures.
For example, inan agreement with the Department of Regional Industrial Expansion established the Municipal Economic Development Program to strengthen the ability of local governments to promote economic development. The FCM has also established a series of task forces to devise a municipal point of view on national issues that affected its members. These task forces and their yearly policy statements assist the FCM in lobbying the government on an issue-by-issue basis with the relevant federal authority.
It appears that municipalities and other organizations now recognize that federal support is essential for completing many projects which, at first glance, would seem purely local. Nonetheless, some have pointed out that federal support for these types of projects has not been overwhelming. Increased Intergovernmental Cooperation Intergovernmental cooperation on some matters of local concern particularly on infrastructure issues has been increasing. All three levels of government have played important roles in this program, with the costs being shared among them.
Municipalities have, in recent years, also called on the federal government for military support during natural disasters. In January ofthe Canadian Forces were dispatched to assist during the ice storm that ravaged eastern Ontario and parts of Quebec.
Downloading and Tri-level Relations This is not to suggest that relations between the municipalities and the federal and provincial governments are always amicable.
Sincethe provinces have been faced with cuts to federal funds and, as a result, they have tended to push the burden downwards to the municipalities, which in turn pass the costs on to the consumers. This practice is often referred to as downloading.
Under the Act, the federal government was able to impose limits on payments provided to the provinces under Established Programs Financing provisions, money traditionally spent on health care and education. This freeze was passed on to the municipalities. As a result, municipalities were burdened with new responsibilities, but no additional funding or real political autonomy.
In response to downloading, municipal organizations have attempted to negotiate with provincial governments to reduce the effects of downloading.
Meet the new Toronto Council, same as the old Toronto Council
In addition, as Graham et al. This implies significant intergovernmental consultation before provinces re-align responsibilities and fiscal arrangements affecting cities. Further, the report contends that Toronto must compete with nearby North American cities and thus, it needs different tools than other municipalities. Moreover, Charter legislation would allow the province to consolidate the large volume of special legislation that currently applies to Toronto.
Such a bill or Charter might be subject to the same regular legislative procedures for amendment or repeal that currently apply to the provincial municipal Acts.
Federal Government Interest in Urban Affairs Although not formally discussing constitutional recognition or guarantees of legislative autonomy, the federal government does appear more interested in urban matters.
Indeed, speculation that the federal government would create an urban affairs portfolio has never really died. Given the historical resistance to federal encroachment on provincial responsibilities in Quebec and the growing resistance in Alberta and Ontario, the political feasibility of such a move is not known.
Moreover, if history is instructive, a federal urban affairs portfolio may not be the best tool for achieving greater municipal autonomy and fiscal security, which is what municipalities really desire. As such, municipalities have chosen instead to lobby the federal government for greater fiscal support, and the provincial governments for legislative changes to the provincial-municipal relationship.
However, it is not likely that calls for constitutional recognition of municipalities and guarantees of fiscal security are going to die down in the near future. All provinces provide that the mayor shall be elected at large meaning that unlike councillors, they do not represent a specific geographic area or "ward" of the municipality.
Canadian mayors generally preside at all council meetings, are ex officio members of all committees and can make recommendations to the council.
Canada has had a number of colourful mayors who have made national headlines for various reasons. Toronto 's Mel Lastman, a local character who founded Bad Boy furniture, famously called in the army in to help shovel snow during a big winter storm, making the city the butt of jokes across the country.
Toronto's Rob Ford faced allegations in that he smoked crack cocaine the allegations were never proven when alleged images of him circulated on the Internet and in the media. Mayors have also had to deal with major civic emergencies.
The flooding in Calgary put Naheed Nenshi in the national spotlight while he led the city through the disaster. Nenshi was widely praised for his leadership. Mayors also tend to help promote their cities to draw workers, tourists and to promote local business. Mayors also sometimes rise to higher political office. Ralph Kleinmayor of Calgary from towas later the Conservative Premier of Alberta from to Glen Murray, mayor of Winnipeg from to the first openly-gay mayor of a major North American city later moved to Toronto where he became a Liberal cabinet minister in the Ontario government.
Chief Administrative Officer CAO The CAO may be known as the city administrator, municipal manager or city commissioner, and is largely a modified version of the council-manager system popular in the United States.
The position is an attempt to formally separate the functions of policy making and administration by assigning the former to the elected municipal council and the latter to the non-elected municipal manager. Few Canadian cities have attempted the rigid, formal division inherent in the council-manager plan. The CAO, appointed by the council, has responsibility for administration and is accountable to the council.
However, he or she can make recommendations to council with respect to policy. In the same way, municipal councils often make suggestions with respect to administration. A clear cut distinction between the two functions of policy and administration is not always easy to maintain. In practice, there is some crossover in the respective activities of council and CAO.
The creation of the position of CAO has enabled some councils to abolish committees. When this occurs the municipal council usually acts as a committee of the whole to receive reports from the CAO and other officials.