On July 26th 2018, I registered as a candidate for City Council for the new Ward 24 in the 47 Ward Model. I was looking forward to campaigning on issues that are meaningful to the people of Toronto: protecting the cultural heritage of Kensington Market, developing laneway housing in the city, supporting a downtown relief line, dealing with the drug epidemic in the city core with mobile units, finding new ways of fighting noise pollution. Within the first few weeks of August, I met with BIA members, spoke to leaders of various faiths and religious denominations in our ward, effectively starting my campaign.
Unfortunately, the same day I registered, ominous clouds were forming on the horizon: the Premier of Ontario promised legislation that would reduce the number of Council seats by imposing a Mega-Ward model designed to wreak havoc and for all intents and purposes meddle and interfere with an ongoing electoral campaign.
Whilst I disagreed profoundly with the intent of the Bill 5, I dutifully filed a change of Ward notice under the new model. I was now planning on running for City Council in Ward 11, that was until the bill was struck down by a Superior Court Justice on September 10th 2018.
The Government of Ontario will once again introduce legislation to impose the 25 Mega-Ward and has invoked the notwithstanding clause to override the provincial court’s ruling.
I am deeply disappointed by the Premier of Ontario, profoundly dismayed by his abuse of the notwithstanding clause, saddened by the state of this municipal election and worried by the deepening chasm in our political discourse.
Despite this, I shall remain standing.
This is Your City, Your Choice.
Marc Albert Cormier