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Guelph mayor says he will wait and see how strong mayor system will pan out

Cam Guthrie says no matter what changes are being proposed, he will continue to collaborate with anyone on anything that makes the City of Guelph better.
Guelph Mayor Cam Guthrie. City of Guelph

Guelph Mayor Cam Guthrie is being mum to the idea of big city mayors having more power in decision-making.

“I just don’t think it is proper to have a knee-jerk reaction to something without being fully informed,” Guthrie said.

Premier Doug Ford announced last week a so-called strong mayor system which would allow the mayors of Toronto and Ottawa to have executive powers that could overrule or bypass city councils.

Guthrie said that while there is merit in giving a municipal council, and not just the mayor, more autonomy in decision-making, he insisted that he will take a wait-and-see approach.

READ MORE: Toronto, Ottawa mayors could receive veto power, Ford says

“No matter what changes are being proposed, I will continue to collaborate with anyone on anything that makes the City of Guelph better,” Guthrie said.

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Ford told Global News that the mayors of Toronto and Ottawa are accountable for everything but only have the same single vote as any single councillor.

He had said he would release more details on his proposal in the coming weeks but one of them appears to be that city council would be allowed to overturn any veto by the mayor with a two-thirds majority vote.

Ford said the proposed changes would be implemented by the time the municipal election takes place on Oct. 24.

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