Mayor Rob Ford was in Winnipeg this week, and commented that “The thing I liked about it, they only had 16 councillors down there and a little, small council chamber,”
Well, that might be because Winnipeg is roughly a quarter of the size of Toronto.
Ford talks a lot about “customer service” and how important it is for politicians to be available and accessible to their constituents. In that context, Winnipeg actually has a larger City Council than we do – per capita:
Winnipeg: 663,617 residents with “only” 16 City Councillors
Councillors per 100,000 residents: 2.3
Toronto: 2.6 million residents with 44 City Councillors
Councillors per 100,000 residents: 1.7
So in order for Toronto Council to reach Winnipeg’s level of customer service and representation, we would need sixty Councillors.
While I don’t tend to agree with the mayor on many policy issues, I’m with him 100% on this one. Toronto’s residents are under-represented and that has a terrible impact on customer service. Let’s at least try and catch up to Winnipeg’s standards.
(For more information about Councillor/Resident ratios and how we can improve political representation, check out the “Break it Down” section in the Fourth Wall booklet.)