Professor Anneke Smit argues emergency measures to address COVID-19 threaten cities’ democratic decision-making

Windsor Law Professor & Centre for Cities Director Anneke Smit and Allard Law Professor Alexandra Flynn published an opinion piece in the Toronto Star Monday making the argument that local governments are “bleeding democracy” in their rush to address COVID-19.

“In communities across Canada, meaningful, participatory governance has been thrust aside,” the two write, under states of emergency declared in 56 of 65 of the country’s largest municipalities. “This must change.”

They note that many of these cities have cancelled city council, committee, and public consultation meetings during these states of emergency, resulting in a lack of participatory governance while decisions with long-reaching impacts are being made.

Read the entire column, entitled “Use of municipal emergency powers has gone too far,” on the newspaper’s website.