Premier Doug Ford and Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark,
On behalf of the Toronto District School Board, I am writing you to express our deep concerns about your government’s decision to amend the Municipal Elections Act to revoke the power to hold ranked ballot votes for municipal elections, including the election of public school board trustees.
As you know, ranked ballots allow voters to rank candidates in order of choice, which offers more choice, voices, engagement and more diversity for the people of our cities. It’s a part of what makes our democracy so strong and ensures that the candidate with the most support wins.
Your government’s argument is that by removing ranked ballots, elections will be consistent across the board. However, we believe, as do many others, that municipalities need flexibility to create a system that works for them and their constituents. As the largest and most diverse school board in Canada, I can tell you that what works for our Board and our city, does not always translate the same for other jurisdictions in our province and country. Municipalities know what is best for their city and the people who reside there. It’s important that this option of choice is not taken away.
I would also like to add that it is somewhat surprising for your government to consider the removal of ranked ballots for municipalities, since political parties across Canada, including your own, use ranked ballots to elect leadership.
In closing, the Toronto District School Board is opposed to the revocation of the Ontario Municipalities’ ability to hold ranked ballot votes for municipal elections. We ask that you reverse this decision so that municipalities can continue to run their elections and cities how they see best.
As always, I am available to continue this conversation at a later date.
Chair of the Board