Premier Doug Ford‘s surprise announcement to reduce the size of Toronto city council has a number of conservative pundits clamouring for Ford to do the same thing with other city councils across the province.
It’s not surprising really, because politicians are like lawyers and cops; everyone seems to loathe them until of course, they need their help.
This is not to suggest that municipal government reform isn’t needed, but when the provincial government imposes changes in an arbitrary fashion, as Ford has done, it doesn’t go well.
Mike Harris imposed amalgamation on a number of cities, including Hamilton, telling us that it would save taxpayers millions of dollars.
WATCH: Doug Ford brushes off calls for consultation over plan to shrink Toronto council
In reality, amalgamation was a financial disaster in all of the affected cities and the Harris government abandoned the idea and left those cities to clean up the financial quagmire.
Councils that were reduced in size gave themselves significant pay increases and hired more city staff to share the workload and municipal taxes continue to increase.
Case in point; Hamilton city councillors make significantly more money since amalgamation and have consistently increased their office budgets and who do you think foots the bill for that?
Just like his knee-jerk decision to kill cap and trade and tear up energy contracts, Ford’s short-sighted attempt to reform municipal government could end up costing taxpayers a lot more money.