TORONTO — Debate over the Ontario government’s proposal to slash Toronto city council by 22 seats months before a municipal election was derailed today as tensions between the Progressive Conservatives and the Opposition NDP reached a boiling point.
A shouting match broke out between Premier Doug Ford and NDP Leader Andrea Horwath over allegations that one of her caucus members had made inappropriate comments towards a Tory legislator, prompting the Speaker to recess the legislature.
The Tories allege NDP House Leader Gilles Bisson mocked the accent of Tory legislator Kaleed Rasheed, an accusation Bisson vehemently denies.
The Speaker says he did not hear the alleged comments but the Tories have vowed not to answer any questions from the Opposition until Bisson apologizes.
The New Democrats say the move is simply an attempt to change the conversation from the controversial proposed legislation, which the City of Toronto has formally denounced.
The bill was introduced Monday just hours before city council voted to voice its opposition and request that the issue be put to a referendum.
The Canadian Press