Trustees with the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) have voted to formally proceed with supporting the City of Toronto in a legal challenge of Bill 5, the Better Local Government Act.
Earlier this week, the TDSB was granted intervenor status in the City’s legal challenge that aims to overturn the legislation, which reduces the number of Toronto City Councillors from 47 to 25 and requires all ward boundaries to be adjusted to match that of provincial and federal riding boundaries. This evening’s vote was to formally proceed through that legal process.
In submitting its Motion to Intervene, the TDSB stated that should the Better Local Government Act be struck down, the TDSB can return to the previous ward boundaries that aligned with the original 47 city ward model.
The Board also raised a potential argument under s.58.1(3) and (4) of the Education Act which states that a regulation affecting school board ward boundaries applies “to permit the next regular election after the regulation is made…to be held in a way that takes account of the provisions of the regulation.” As a result, the TDSB believes changes to the Education Act regulation that supports realignment of Trustee ward boundaries with a 25 city ward model under Bill 5 do not apply to the 2018 municipal election, but to the next municipal election.
- All three legal challenges to Bill 5, of which the TDSB and City of Toronto are one, will be heard on August 31, 2018 at the Superior Court of Justice in Toronto. It is anticipated that a ruling will be issued shortly thereafter.
- TDSB is being represented by its in-house legal counsel.
“We are opposed to Bill 5 as it requires the electoral boundaries to be changed in the middle of an election and without any opportunity for public notification and consultation which is not reflective of reasonable public expectations for consultation, transparency, accountability and the proper administration of government.”
- Robin Pilkey, Chair, TDSB
Intervention Motion of Toronto District School Board:
Question and Answers