Toronto mayor urges Ford to allow 'referendum campaign' on plan to slash council

TORONTO - The mayor of Toronto has formally asked Doug Ford to pause a plan to slash the size of city council so that a referendum can be held on the issue this fall.

In a letter to the premier, John Tory says members of the public should be able to have their say on Ontario's decision to cut Toronto's city council from 47 to 25 seats.

Tory says the plan, abruptly announced earlier this month, is unacceptable and unfair since it comes as the city is in the middle of a municipal election campaign.

He asked the province to conduct a binding referendum on the number and boundaries of wards before proceeding with its plan.

Tory said the province could also allow a question about the proposed council reduction to appear on ballots in the October municipal election. He says other reforms such as term limits could also be considered at the same time.

Ford has said the council-cutting plan would contribute to more efficient decision-making at city council and save money.