john tory

Doug Ford is granting John Tory way more power over the City of Toronto

Some big changes are on the way for how Ontario's two largest cities are run, with Doug Ford planning on granting more power to the mayors of both Toronto and Ottawa in an unprecedented political move.

According to the Star, the municipal leaders will soon be able to go over the heads of city council members for budgetary and other decisions if need be, with new legislation set to change the province's City of Toronto Act, City of Ottawa Act and Municipal Act.

Within a matter of potentially a few weeks, John Tory and Jim Watson will hold new authority being referred to as "U.S.-style" and "strong," apparently in the name of tackling the housing crisis in both locales and the province at large.

The idea is to help hasten and smooth out the usual due processes to get more homes built faster.

"'Strong Mayor' powers are something that I've said I would support," Tory wrote in a statement Wednesday morning.

"I understand this is something that the province is exploring in order to get more homes built as quickly as possible. As Mayor, I am absolutely determined to get more housing built — no matter what powers I have as mayor."

Tory added that, to him, his job will remain the same regardless, and that he will continue to work with city council and "every elected official that wants to work with me" to move things forward in T.O.

As noted by the Star, the concept is one that provincial leaders like Ford have long supported, even before his terms as premier.

"I think mayors across the province deserve stronger powers," the now-premier wrote in 2016, two years before he unexpectedly culled the size of Toronto city council by nearly half. 

"One person in charge, with veto power, similar to the strong mayoral systems in New York and Chicago and L.A."

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