A blog to give a voice to our concern about the continued erosion of our democratic processes not only within the House of Commons and within our electoral system but also throughout our society. Here you will find articles about the current problems within our parliamentary democracy, about actions both good and bad by our elected representatives, about possible solutions, opinions and debate about the state of democracy in Canada, and about our roles/responsibilities as democratic citizens. We invite your thoughtful and polite comments upon our posts and ask those who wish to post longer articles or share ideas on this subject to submit them for inclusion as a guest post.
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Sunday, July 29, 2018

Democracy Under Ford?

This blog was started back in 2009 to highlight what I and my then blogging partner viewed as the declining respect for democracy by the then recently elected federal leader , one Stephen Harper. I now find myself appalled to see a similar mind set being displayed by the freshly elected Ontario leader Doug Ford who less than a month into his mandate is arbitrarily and with little or no consultation shutting down many long standing programs.

Whilst the specific programs and initiatives being discontinued are in my view more in need of a tweak or two than elimination it is the manner in which such changes are being announced or made that bothers me more. I doubt very much that the dozens of 'new' MPPs are even up to speed yet and I suspect that even those who are members of the Con inner circle have not been 'consulted' on any of the sudden and fundamental changes being almost daily announced by Ford. The announcement regarding the composition of Toronto council just as the election nomination process closed being one such example.

The Ontario legislature is somewhat different from the federal one which is where my focus was for nearly 10 years, it having no secondary chamber of checks and balances and with a majority government in power effectively has no limits upon legislation it can pass. Even it would seem being able to dictate to municipalities the composition of their councils without further debate, at least in the case of Toronto who discontinued their association with the Association of Municipalities of Ontario some years ago.

Even those smaller municipalities who are members of the AMO could in theory be dictated to by the province (i.e. Ford) in that they only have a Memorandum Of Understanding with the province who can override their wishes any time they wish (as happened during 'amalgamation). The AMO should be 'consulted' but has no recourse in law.....
The objective of consultation with AMO is to receive input on proposals and to identify impacts that would arise from a proposed statutory or regulatory change and its implementation.
In the spirit of fairness, openness and good faith, any proposed change in legislation or regulations that, in Ontario’s opinion, will have a significant financial impact on the current municipal budget year or on the current municipal budget planning cycle will be accompanied by prior consultation.
.....Failure of the parties to comply with this Memorandum does not affect the validity of any action taken by the parties or give rise to any rights or remedies by the parties.

In short it seems that a majority Ontario government can dictate to any and all municipalities the structure and composition of their councils should they be so inclined. Under the current 'leader' and his minions that thought is very scary given his recent announcements and promised actions.

Less you think that such thoughts are alarmists you may wish to review a few of the actions of the Harper government before they really got rolling with their undemocratic agenda by viewing our early posts in the lists to the right.
Support Democracy - Recommend this Post at Progressive Bloggers

1 comment:

Owen Gray said...

Harper's agenda is alive and well, Rural. It just has another surname.