Trudeau disappointed with Ford's constitutional override, but won't intervene

Doug Ford

Trudeau disappointed with Ford's constitutional override, but won't intervene

By invoking the nearly never used and highly controversial "notwithstanding clause" (Section 33 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms), Ford and his newly-elected Progressive Conservative government are demonstrating that they will answer any challenge to what Ford calls his "mandate" to govern with repression.

"Canadians expect all orders of government to uphold their rights and freedoms as guaranteed by the charter, and respect the rule of law", he said.

NDP leader Andrea Horwath will hold a news conference after the Premier's. "The people of Ontario are going to hear the results of the inquiry and the line-item-by-line-item audit we're doing and just fasten your seatbelts because it's going to be shocking".

"Second to Toronto, the number one amount of from the Ottawa and Ottawa region talking about that but, for now, we're going to leave well enough alone", he said.

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

Ford's invocation of the "notwithstanding clause" to allow his government to press ahead with the restructuring of Toronto's municipal government, together with his declaration that his government will use "every tool" to enforce its agenda, must therefore be understood as a warning of the dictatorial methods the ruling elite will resort to in the class battles immediately ahead.

Toronto Mayor John Tory has said invoking the notwithstanding clause is a "gross overreach" of the province's powers, adding city staff will advise councillors at a special meeting on Thursday how the municipality can proceed with the upcoming October 22 election.

"It's a black eye for our province", she said.

Federal Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc said the notwithstanding clause is an extraordinary part of the Constitution that should be used only in the most exceptional of cases, after serious and sober consideration.

"He truly is a premier for the people", she enthused.

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"It is wrong for the premier to attack our fundamental charter rights for political gain", he said.

Early reaction to the move has not been good for Ford.

"Your voters are 100 per cent with you Premier Ford", one person tweeted in response to a message from Ford about the reintroduction of the bill.

"Basically, any policy, regulation or legislation that affects the environment has to be go through the EBR consultation process, and they've tried to skip that saying the election campaign constituted equivalent consultation", Keith Stewart, a senior energy strategist with Greenpeace Canada, said in an email.

Wynne's interview came a day after a Superior Court Justice slapped down Ford's Bill 5, the Better Local Government Act.

"That's why I opposed it then, and that's why I oppose it today", said Mulroney about the clause.

In the less than three months since Ford took office, his Progressive Conservatives have adopted a flurry of right-wing measures, including cuts to welfare, a provincial hiring freeze, the appointment of a commission charged with laying the groundwork for billions in spending cuts, and legislation outlawing a strike by graduate teaching and research assistants at York University. "Leadership is not about being a passenger", she said.

Despite the complications, however, Macfarlane said there would be value in revisiting the issue.

Legal experts say lawyers for the city and the candidates could revive their arguments from their court challenge of the legislation that Mr. Ford's bill violated "unwritten constitutional principles" of democracy and rule of law. "The judge reminded him about that".

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