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What Is The Voice?

The Voice (formerly known as The Bluffs Voice), published by Bluffs Community News, is  the Only Local Paper  covering the entire length of Toronto's Kingston Road!

First publishyed in December 2017 asSouth Scarborough’s newest community newspaper,  founded on the principles of solutions journalism and community engagement for positive impact. Published 12 times a year, distributed for free by volunteers  and  paid for by our advertisers.

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Toronto's Kingston Road - End to EndToronto's Kingston Road - End to End

No Matter how You Slice it,It's a Big City

Posted 8/21/2018

Toronto's Scrapped 47 WardsToronto's Scrapped 47 Wardsby Matthew Medland
    A last-minute-replacement-piece about the upcoming City of Toronto Municipal election. Like so many Torontonians, we were slowly ramping up, a fall election on the horizon simply meant it was time to start taking notes. The Voice’s readership, as we’d understood it, was to be spread across seven city wards. On your behalf, it was time for us to start to get to know the players, the new wards, the incumbents, the newcomers and learn who was moving from one ward to another.
    Sometimes this digital-smart-world is wonderful. No need to ‘keep the line free’ or wait around for a return call – just let the emails, tweets and texts fly. Voice mail happily ping-pongs between our smart-devices, while we’re occupied with the sprinklings of text and instant messages. We were busy making our introductions, proposing our questions, reserving advertising space, and creating the connections that we would be relying on to serve you on City Council. The October 22nd Municipal election is only two issue dates away!
    Always expect the unexpected? Indeed! Nonetheless, Premier Doug Ford delivered us all quite a surprise. It was July 26th when he and his Progressive Conservative team, introduced legislation to reduce the number of electoral wards in The City of Toronto. Not only a reduction from the proposed new council of 47, but from the existing 44 to a slight 25.

Ontario's Electoral Districts Ontario's Electoral Districts  The debating in legislature saw MPP’s who were clearly taking sides on party lines. Scarborough-Southwest’s Doly Begum, also commented on the bill during its second reading, expressing concern that cutting city hall in half would affect representation. She spoke of having entered politics to give people a voice and of her reservations about fewer politicians doing this better. She was critical of the new government, saying “What I think this government should do is to actually apologize for demonizing our politicians, because about 70 of them who’ve made this Premier the Premier are demonizing politicians, and it’s really important to recognize that.”
    Bill 5, Better Local Government Act, 2018 (An Act to amend the City of Toronto Act, 2006, the Municipal Act, 2001 and the Municipal Elections Act, 1996) passed the provincial legislature, and was given Royal Assent on August 14th. The upcoming City Council, formed after the October election, will see just these 25 wards represented.
    The boundaries of which will match both the Federal and Provincial electoral districts. Perhaps Scarborough will benefit from a fairer, more balanced voice on council, as it will soon have a slightly more impactful representation. Of the new 47 wards, Scarborough would have encompassed ten (10/47 = 21.3%). Under these new changes, Scarborough will be represented by six wards (6/25 = 24%). 
    As of press day, no information has become available from either the City of Toronto or the province of Ontario, as to the naming or numbering of the 25 new wards. For now, upon the coming election, The Voice will cover an area comprised of the following four wards/ridings: Beaches-East York, Scarborough Southwest, Scarborough Guildwood, and Scarborough Rouge Park. 
    Nomination day is now September 14, 2018, yet is deemed to have run continuously from May 1, 2018. All of the early registered, eager candidates (those persons who had already filed a nomination for an office on the council) must now, if they still wish to continue as a candidate in the election, notify the clerk in writing before two p.m. on September 14, 2018.
    Considering the Bill’s title as “The Better Local Government Act”, I can’t help but wonder why the province has set the City of Toronto up with this inefficient redundancy. Well, let the games begin!