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Politics

Toronto election 2018: 13 incumbents defeated as council shrinks to 25 wards

As the City of Toronto becomes 25 wards in December following a law passed by the Doug Ford government slashing the number of local representatives, 13 current members won’t be returning to city hall.

Of the 25 ward races, only three wards didn’t have any incumbents running. Eleven wards had just one incumbent vying for each seat.

However, 11 wards saw two sitting councillors square off for one position. Here is a list of who came out on top in those races:

Ward 1: Michael Ford defeated Vincent Crisanti
Ward 2: Stephen Holyday defeated John Campbell
Ward 5: Frances Nunziata defeated Frank Di Giorgio
Ward 6: James Pasternak defeated Maria Augimeri
Ward 7: Anthony Perruzza defeated Giorgio Mammoliti
Ward 12: Josh Matlow defeated Joe Mihevc
Ward 13: Kristyn Wong-Tam defeated Lucy Troisi
Ward 14: Paula Fletcher defeated Mary Fragedakis
Ward 15: Jaye Robinson defeated Jon Burnside
Ward 20: Gary Crawford defeated Michelle Holland-Berardinetti
Ward 22: Jim Karygiannis defeated Norm Kelly

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Two incumbents were defeated by newcomers to Toronto municipal politics after the city was amalgamated in 1998. Former Liberal Eglinton–Lawrence MPP Mike Colle defeated Christin Carmichael Greb to become councillor for the same area. Jennifer McKelvie defeated Neethan Shan to win Ward 25 Scarborough–Rouge Park.

How we got here

The changes occurred when the Ontario legislature passed Bill 5, the Better Local Government Act, in August.

Premier Doug Ford announced at the end of July that his government would move to reduce the number of council seats in the city to 25 from 47 while leaving council makeups in other major urban centres untouched.

Ford said trimming council ranks would streamline the decision-making process and save Toronto taxpayers $25 million in councillor and staff salaries over four years.

READ MORE: Ontario’s appeal court sides with Ford government, paves way for 25-ward Toronto election

That legislation prompted legal challenges by candidates, the City of Toronto and others. The challenges were considered by the Superior Court at the end of August. Justice Edward Belobaba set aside Bill 5 in a ruling on Sept. 10. He found the government interfered with the right to freedom of expression for both candidates and voters when the province passed the law last month.

Belobaba found the reduction of wards in the middle of the Toronto election substantially interfered with municipal voters’ freedom of expression and the “right to cast a vote that can result in effective representation.”

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The Doug Ford government made the controversial announcement it would retable the bill and invoke the notwithstanding clause in order to pass the law before Monday’s election.

READ MORE: Doug Ford government set to retable bill to cut Toronto council size by invoking notwithstanding clause

The provincial government filed a stay application to set aside Belobaba’s decision with the Court of Appeal for Ontario in mid-September. A three-judge panel heard submissions for and against the request from lawyers and granted the stay the following day.

“It is not in the public interest to permit the impending election to proceed on the basis of a dubious ruling that invalidates legislation duly passed by the legislature,” the panel wrote, clearing the way for 25 wards.

With the stay granted, the province backed down on retabling the bill.

READ MORE: Toronto staff confident about election day plans after court decision imposing 25 wards

City of Toronto staff said that decision gave them the certainty they needed to carry out the election.

“I’m confident that we have taken all necessary steps to administer the 2018 election to meet the principles and requirements of the Municipal Elections Act,” City clerk Ulli Watkiss said during a news conference in early October, noting the Toronto election is within the time frame of provincial and federal elections.

“We had candidates be able to get out and finally know where they were running. We had voters who now have certainty with respect to where they were placed in wards … once the decision came down, we had the certainty we needed.”

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