Ford's constitutional override to slash city council 'disappointing': LeBlanc

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But Tory is also vowing to work with Ford.

In a written decision issued Monday, the justice ruled that the bill violated Toronto candidates' and voters' charter right to freedom of expression because it almost halved the size of council and was executed in the middle of a campaign. He ordered that the municipal elections, scheduled for October 22, proceed as planned when the campaign officially began earlier this summer, with 47 constituencies rather than 25.

While she said a certain amount of tension between governments and courts is expected, the premier's comments raise the troubling spectre of the notwithstanding clause being used to routinely ignore court rulings.

Trudeau said he and his government are staunch supporters and defenders of Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms because it provides a set of guarantees that Canadians value and identify with as fundamental safeguards.

To date it has been used in Quebec on issues of language, and invoked to varying levels in Saskatchewan, Alberta, and the Yukon.

So is the suggestion Ford is behaving like a dictator. "We are the people".

The premier stressed that judges are appointed, while he was elected.


"Every day that goes by, it's tougher and tougher".

Ontario's use of the clause in relation to freedom of political expression is worrisome because it could open the door to "some bad places" such as limiting criticism of the government or the right to protest, Pal said. So, Ford accused the courts of being undemocratic for upholding the constitution. Neither can be successfully opposed by the working class by appealing to, or aligning with, any section of the bourgeois establishment and their institutions, be they the courts, the Liberal and NDP opposition parties, or the pro-capitalist trade unions.

The courts ruled Ford's law, which gerrymandered political districts in a transparent bid to rig Toronto's election, is undemocratic.

The notwithstanding clause gives provincial legislatures or Parliament the ability to usher in legislation that effectively overrides provisions of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, but only for a five-year period. It came into force as an amendment to the Constitution in 1982.

Many Toronto city councillors loudly condemned Ford's move to override the constitution and interfere with the city's upcoming election.

The promise to scrap cap-and-trade helped Ford and his Progressive-Conservative party win a majority in the Ontario legislature in June.

If Mr. Ford's new legislation does not change the deadline, some at city hall fear that could leave those councillors off the October 22 ballot. His declaration that he is ready to resort to the "notwithstanding clause" in the future is aimed precisely at such an eventuality.


If the government moves to invoke the constitutional override, it would throw another wrinkle into a Toronto election campaign less than six weeks away from voting day, October 22.

"Shame on you, this is not democracy", one man shouted at the premier. From the Trump administration in the United States to Emmanuel Macron's government, which has "normalized" emergency provisions in France, and the German government's embrace of the anti-immigrant chauvinism of the Alternative for Germany, ruling elites the world over are dispensing with traditional bourgeois-democratic norms to enforce the interests of the corporate elite and super-rich in the face of mounting working-class opposition.

"We're gonna turn this province around", Ford said.

Ontario's social services minister on Tuesday defended the Ford government's intent to suspend constitutional rights, following a speech where she discussed the welfare of citizens.

An environmental advocacy group is turning to the courts in an effort to halt the Ontario government's plan to scrap the province's cap-and-trade system, alleging the lack of consultation on the issue violated rights entrenched in law. "That's the only thing that stands in between me and my government or anyone else who is trying to do me wrong", Sharon Howarth said while standing in line.

She said the Ford government was elected "overwhelmingly by the people, for the people" and assured the crowd that "I am Ottawa's voice at Queen's Park, not the other way around".

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