Photo: Sean Fitz-Gerald

Mega-Mel won’t have mega-power

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By Graeme Smith

Toronto has a new mayor. So what?

“Welcome to the new City of Toronto,” proclaimed Mel Lastman in his acceptance speech Monday night.

Nelson Wiseman, a political scientist at the University of Toronto, agrees with the new mayor that the city is looking very different.

“The power arrangement within Metro Toronto has changed,” said Wiseman. “We now have a mayor who’s popularly elected. That’s never happened before.”

Wiseman said Lastman’s role is strange because he represents many people but has no real power. “He has political clout because no one has ever received this many votes in Canadian history. But if we look at his legal powers, he’s just one vote on the [new megacity] council.”

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