Decision on challenge to legislation cutting Toronto council expected Monday

A ruling on Toronto's legal challenge of the province's decision to cut the size of city council from 47 to 25 members is expected on Monday.  

City of Toronto spokeswoman Beth Waldman says the city has been notified that Ontario Superior Court Justice Edward Belobaba will send his decision to legal counsel on Monday morning.

The legislation, which passed last month, aligns the city's ward map with federal ridings in time for the Oct. 22 municipal election, a move Premier Doug Ford has argued will improve decision-making and save $25 million.

It also cancels planned elections for the head of council position in the regional municipalities of Muskoka, Peel, York and Niagara, turning them into appointed roles.  

Lawyers for the City of Toronto argued that reducing the number of councillors in the middle of an election is ``discriminatory and arbitrary,'' and violates the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.   

Belobaba had said he planned to rule on the case by the second week of September because of the looming municipal election, and acknowledged he expected the losing party would likely appeal.