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From the comments: Unprecedented legal battle over size of Toronto’s city council leaves readers divided

Monday, an Ontario judge ruled against Doug Ford’s move to cut Toronto city council from 47 to 25. Later in the day Ford announced he would recall the Legislature and invoke the Constitution’s rarely-used notwithstanding clause to override the ruling. Articles and columns about this developing story are being widely read and commented on. Today's comments were selected from those stories.

Toronto mayor John Tory speaks at a press conference at Toronto city hall after the Ontario Superior Court ruled that Ontario Premier Doug Ford's move to cut down the size of city council in a ruling delivered on Sept 10 2018.

Fred Lum

The judge's was a good decision. I support a decrease in the size of council (it’s an unwieldy beast that where gets nothing done), but the reduction should be planned and discussed, not sprung on voters and candidates. - JPP221

Whether you agree or disagree with Ford's decision, you have a choice to re-elect him or not in four years, you do not have the choice to elect a judge. Some people will say this is a great decision, however, if the U.S. has taught us anything, having unelected judges decide most issues (especially decisions we elect our leaders to make) creates hugely partisan bickering and a complete stalemate of democracy. It becomes a rush to appoint more right or left leaning judges rather then hold our politicians accountable through democracy. - corey zimmermann

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The notwithstanding clause is part of the Charter, a needed protection against rogue, activist judges. - William Lyon MacKenzie1

If Ford goes ahead with the notwithstanding clause he will pay a major political price. Cutting the number of councillors in Toronto or anywhere else was never mentioned during the election. Not one word. We live in a democracy where people can go to the courts when they feel their rights have been abused. We do not live in a dictatorship. This was clearly a case of Ford paying back the city council for the treatment of he and his brother.

If the city council of Toronto is dysfunctional, why does Ford think that decreasing the numbers of councillors will solve the problem? Maybe it will cause more problems. Why not do consultation with the voters and key stakeholders to identify the reasons behind the dysfunction? I am not opposed to cutting the number of politicians where warranted, but if this is a big urgent problem that needed immediate action why didn't the PC's mentioned it during the election? - JHM4

I have already stated that not being a Toronto resident , the decision doesn't affect me one way or the other. However in a brief look at the notwithstanding clause, it states that it can't be used to over ride democratic rights. Your right to vote is obviously not being taken away, but one might argue that representation is being diluted to the point of being meaningless. It would seem that the spirit of the law is not being broken though, in that you can vote and get a representative on council because of your vote. Effectiveness is not part of the law here. - JeffSpooner

It is not what Ford did, it's how he did it. Good. I'm very happy. You don't change things mid-stream. There is a time and a process. Ford thinks he's running a printing plant where he is King and can do whatever he wants. A great headline to wake up to. - Barb22c

In response to Barb22c:

Did it ever occur to you that Ford knew exactly what he was doing? That he wanted to lob a grenade at council and snap them out of their lethargy and make them accountable? Council will be reduced either now - through an appeal - or in the next couple of years. - Ceuvas

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I believe that the judge made the right ruling under the circumstances. However, it doesn't strike me as such a bad idea to cut the size of Toronto city council and it will be interesting to see if the Ford government tries again, after the October election. - viajero

Doug Ford won the election, fair and square, but certainly not with the majority of voters. What this means, on any given decision, is that Ford's particular views may not represent the will of the people. He needs to remember this to govern effectively. - slofstra

How on earth is it unconstitutional? I could still vote. Anyone that wanted to run could have run. We just had an election. Whether one agrees with Doug Ford having won or not, he did win and his political perspective and core beliefs were obvious even to the blind. Having a country run by judges is unconstitutional by very definition. Appeal now, Premier. - Ceejaybee

So now we have a mess. A month before the election we have a mess. To mitigate the we are wasting all kinds of time and money that will far outstrip the meagre cost benefits of this change. It didn’t have to be this way. The government could have passed its legislation to be effective after this election for all subsequent ones. Few would have argued with that. But Ford and friends had to have their vengeance now. - Huntsman57

Recently I was at a dinner party with 5 other Torontonians. 5 of the 6 of us had been planning to vote PC until Ford became the leader. None of us felt that we could vote for Ford. We also all agreed that if Caroline Mulroney did not distance herself from Ford and his idiocy she would be permanently tainted by him. We would never vote for her in any capacity in future. Ambitious candidates who hope to succeed in this province really need to think about how close they want to be to this man. He has failure written all over him. - smartsaver

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