Advertisement

Bill Kelly: Reducing the size of a city’s council doesn’t save money

Doug Ford calls Toronto council the ‘wild west’
After introducing a bill to reduce the size of council, Premier Doug Ford called Toronto City Council "dysfunctional" and accused councillors of "protecting their fiefdom."

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.

READ MORE: Toronto debating whether to sue province over decision to shrink city council by nearly 50%

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

Doug Ford brushes off calls for consultation over plan to shrink Toronto council
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.

Story continues below advertisement

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.

Bill Kelly is the host of the Bill Kelly Show on Global News Radio 900 CHML