Good to Know Letters & Opinion

Letter: Ford’s Strong Mayors Powers Radically Alters Our Democratic Traditions

Word Democracy written on paper in typewriter
Submitted to Just Sayin' Caledon

The following letter, written by former Caledon Mayor Carol Seglins to Ontario Premier Doug Ford, was submitted to JSC for publication:

Dear Premier Ford,

I am writing this open letter to you as a former mayor of the municipality of Caledon and as a concerned resident.

Your government’s decision to grant “strong mayor powers” to 48 municipalities across Ontario has thrown local governments into disarray. More specifically, the move has left local voters like myself both in the dark and disenfranchised.

Can you please explain to voters – many of them your traditional supporters – what you are doing to Ontario’s democracy?

What do “Strong Mayor powers” really mean?

How many Mayors are using it?

How do elected councils know what their “strong mayors” are doing when the councils are not part of the decision makers’ consideration?

If councils are not included in decisions how does that achieve the electoral process that are presently understood to be “the way Councils operate?”

What is the value of one-person decision making in our democracy?

What was the threshold for choosing municipalities that would cease operating by elected councils – to become managed by “Strong Mayors”?

Will this process be used in all municipalities in Ontario?

Why have you, as the Premier of Ontario, decided to give certain municipalities the power of “ Management by one?“  This seems to meet the definition of dictatorship.

In Caledon, most of the staff managers have been fired (or let go.)  Often the Mayor and her self-chosen CAO meet with individuals or groups without advising the elected members of council for the areas.

That does not appear to meet the standard of electoral process for municipalities in Ontario.

As well, landowners / electors are not being advised on how the municipal matters are being handled.

Was this your intent Mr. Premier?

Are you prepared to accept responsibility for the decisions made by your chosen “strong mayors” who might act contrary to the will of voters?

Premier Ford, as a long time ‘consensus builder’ who worked closely with your allies such as the late Hazel McCallion, I implore you to ‘press pause.’  You are radically altering Ontario’s fabric and democratic traditions with little or no consultation with the people who elected you to serve.

I look forward to your open reply.


Carol Seglins

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Just Sayin' Caledon

Just Sayin’ Caledon brings you stories about Caledon people, places and events.

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1 Comment

  • Right On Carol Seglins! You’ve said it all. It’s totally incomprehensible, particularly in view of the fact that our area regularly sends Conservative representatives to both Queens Park and Ottawa. And while we’re at it, Mr. Ford would you kindly explain your rationale behind the Region of Peel split? Is that part of the chess game between you and Bonnie Crombie with Caledon as the pawn?