Toronto Mayor Rob Ford
Credits: ERNEST DOROSZUK/QMI AGENCY
Kelly Baker, a spokesman for Municipal Affairs Minister Kathleen Wynne, said the city is obligated under the City of Toronto Act to establish integrity and accountability oversight, which includes a lobbyist registry, integrity commissioner, auditor general and ombudsman.
"Our government brought in the City of Toronto Act to create strong accountability and transparency measures that meet the needs of Torontonians," Baker said in an e-mail Friday.
The 2006 act gave Toronto council special taxing and tolling powers that are not available to other municipalities but also demanded accountability measures.
The city currently collects municipal land-transfer taxes using the authority of the act -- $5,725 on a residence valued at $500,000.
Ford, who's tangled with both the integrity commissioner and the ombudsman, said all these jobs might be done through one lawyer on retainer.
"You don't need a lobbyist registrar, an ombudsman and an integrity commissioner," Ford said to reporters. "They're tripping over themselves and they are trying to make themselves look busy."
The mayor suggested that the oversight officials were pursuing frivolous complaints.
But the province says it's not up to the mayor.
"This would require changes to the City of Toronto Act, and our government is not currently considering any changes to the Act."