Politics of Toronto

Politics of Toronto

Residents of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, elect representatives to the federal, provincial, and municipal levels of government. A total of 23 Members of Parliament (MPs) representing Toronto sit in the House of Commons in Ottawa (the federal capital), and another 22 Members of Ontario's Provincial Parliament (MPPs) sit in the Legislative Assembly at Queen's Park, in Toronto. Being Ontario's capital, many provincial offices are located in the city.

In terms of electoral politics, Toronto has recently been an important source of support for the Liberal Party both federally and provincially, except in the downtown area which tends to support the NDP provincially. The federal Conservative Party and the provincial Progressive Conservative Party have no Toronto members in either the federal or provincial legislatures, although many of the more right-leaning members of the Liberal Party are from Toronto. However, Toronto has often supported the Progressive Conservative party in the past. More recently, large parts of Toronto supported the right wing government of Mike Harris during the 1995 and 1999 Ontario elections, and a right wing Mayor, Mel Lastman during the 1997 and 2000 Toronto elections.

In the 2006 federal election, the Conservative Party was completely shut out of Toronto and was largely unsuccessful in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). At the same time, the NDP increased their seats in Toronto proper from one to three.

Recently, prominent federal politicians including Paul Martin and later Jack Layton (NDP leader and for 20 years a Toronto City Councillor) began promising a "new deal for cities", and large banks began issuing papers on it. As of July 2005, signs point to some degree of awareness towards the problems facing the city by the two senior levels of governments, although willingness to address them remains uncertain. In the January 2006 federal election, the federal government was formed by Stephen Harper's Conservative Party, which won no seats in the three large urban centres, and appeared to have a very limited interest in big-city issues. This has thrown the "new deal" into even greater uncertainty.

On December 14, 2005, new legislation regarding the governance of Toronto was introduced in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. The new "Stronger City of Toronto for a Stronger Ontario Act, 2005", is expected to grant broad powers, including the ability to switch to a strong mayor system, to the local government when approved [http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&call_pageid=971358637177&c=Article&cid=1134515413553] [http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/userfiles/HTML/nts_1_25869_1.html] .

ee also

*List of Toronto MPs and MPPs
*Common Sense Revolution - see entry on Bill 103
*Metro Toronto

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