Toronto·Recap

Queen's Park 'pleased,' others furious after bill slashing size of Toronto city council wins court stay

Recap the reaction in our live blog after a three-judge panel of the Ontario Court of Appeal stayed a lower court's ruling that struck down a bill cutting the size of Toronto city council to 25 from 47.

3-judge panel of Ontario Court of Appeal calls lower court's ruling on Bill 5 'dubious'

Television news cameras are set up outside Osgoode Hall on Tuesday, Sept. 18, as the Ontario government seeks a stay of a decision blocking its initial legislation to cut the size of Toronto city council nearly in half. (Jon Castell/CBC)

A three-judge panel of the Ontario Court of Appeal has stayed a lower court's ruling that struck down a bill cutting the size of Toronto city council down to 25 from 47 on Wednesday.

The decision, released at 10 a.m. Wednesday, prompted a starkly divided response.

In the ruling, the Appeal Court judges disagreed with Superior Court Justice Edward Belobaba's decision that the legislation was unconstitutional because it violated the freedom of expression rights of candidates and voters.

Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark said the government is "pleased" with the decision, which means a 25-ward civic election can go ahead on Oct. 22.

"This is a very positive result for the people of Toronto. It is time to put the political games behind us," Clark said in a statement.

But some current councillors and council hopefuls are upset by the decision.

Chris Moise, an applicant in the case who will no longer run for council, says he feels like the province has trampled on his rights. "I feel pretty disappointed," he told reporters Wednesday.

Get caught up on all the reaction to today's court decision, from Queen's Park to city council and beyond, in the recap of our live blog below. If you're on mobile, catch up here.

now