Beaches-East York councillor-elect Brad Bradford is one of many critics of Premier Doug Ford’s decision to reduce the number of Toronto city council seats from 45 to 25.
However, the unprecedented move may offer community councils a chance to move into the spotlight, he said.
“This is a natural opportunity for us to explore what is considered to be a local or citywide matter, providing community councils with more autonomy and more authority over local decisions.” Bradford said. “This would have the added benefit of taking things off the lengthy City Council agendas.”
With the reduction of city council seats the new city council will have eight councillors instead of the 12 that were part of the previous decision body. The area the community council covers has also been expanded leaving more issues under the jurisdiction of a smaller number of councillors.
Brad Bradford says that the Toronto-East York council is aware that it needs to re-structure to meet the demands of the community and also to help councillors adapt to the new setup.
On Dec. 5 city council will consider a report from the city manager and the city clerk, on the impacts of the reduction of the size of council on governance structures and processes. These include the committee structure, community council boundaries, members appointments and council procedures.
The date for the first Toronto-East York community council meeting since the municipal elections is yet to be announced.
As for now, Brad Bradford is preparing to officially become the Ward 19 councillor next month. He prefers to keep on looking at the positive side of the new shape of the city and the community council, he said.
“I think the whole process could benefit from more citizen engagement, and we should explore opportunities for more citizen involvement in community councils,” Bradford said.