Canada may soon have an 11th province, according to a leaked members’ motion that will reportedly be tabled at an upcoming Toronto City Council meeting on May 10, 2023.
The draft of the motion provided to blogTO by a source close to city hall, which has yet to be independently verified, discusses the next steps in a formalized bid for Toronto to break off from Ontario and form its own province.
The councillors’ names supporting the motion have been redacted from the memo by the source, but the body of the document was otherwise provided in full.
The idea of Toronto gaining political autonomy from Ontario has been gradually gaining traction since the 1970s.
The topic was most recently thrust into the spotlight back in 2018 when the then-mayoral candidate and former Toronto Chief Planner, Jennifer Keesmaat, floated the idea of seccession in response to Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s meddling with Toronto city council.
#Toronto might secede from Ontario and become its own province if the city’s newest mayoral candidate @jen_keesmaat has her way https://t.co/EQiHwAIE6I pic.twitter.com/AD4KgiPHjh
— blogTO (@blogTO) July 28, 2018
So what would need to happen for this seccession bid to actually materialize? It turns out that Toronto’s independence would require a whole lot of bickering parties to suddenly align on an issue that might not be in their best interests.
Olive Gordon, a political science professor at UWO, tells blogTO that the memo appears to be “somewhere between a cautious feeler and a bold Hail Mary,” and that locals excited over the prospect of a new province should “temper their expectations.”
Creating a new Canadian province isn’t just something you can do based on demand alone. It would require an amendment to the country’s Constitution that must be approved by the House of Commons, Senate, and a minimum of two-thirds of the provinces representing at least 50 per cent of the country’s population.
Of course, the rest of Canada isn’t exactly well-known for its universal love and support of the country’s largest urban centre. In fact, a lot of them just straight-up hate our guts.
And that isn’t the only hurdle in the path of a province of Toronto.
Even if there is, somehow, enough support for this movement nationwide, Ontario’s provincial government (AKA Uncle Dougie) can just veto the whole damn thing, according to a 2000 report from the city solicitor exploring the issue.
“Losing legislative power over a large share of Ontario’s population is likely not a legacy that Doug Ford wants to be associated with his name,” says Queen’s Park legal analyst Leslie Barnes, adding, “this formal journey towards independence may be dead in the water before it even begins.
April Fool’s! Sorry for tricking you although many of you perhaps caught on what day it was and didn’t take this too seriously. We’re not aware of any leaked document that suggests Toronto will soon secede from Ontario.