Doug Ford, in a breathtaking abuse of power, plans to use the notwithstanding clause to circumvent a judicial ruling thwarting his plan to slash the size of Toronto city council.
The dramatic step would make Ford the first Ontario premier to ever use the clause, which allows government to create laws that operate in spite of certain charter rights that the laws appear to violate. He also threatened to use the clause again in the future, but didn't provide any specifics.
In an unprecedented and scathing decision, Justice Edward Belobaba ruled Monday that Ford's Progressive Conservative government "clearly crossed the line" with its Better Local Government Act, which aligns municipal ward boundaries with provincial ridings, cutting the potential number of councillors from 47 to 25 after the Oct. 22 election.
"We're taking a stand," Ford said of the court decision. "The result is unacceptable."
Now, Ford says he will recall the Ontario legislature on Wednesday to reintroduce the Better Local Government Act and will invoke the notwithstanding clause — here's a CBC News backgrounder on what that means — at that point.My two cents: if you people of Ontario let this thug get away with this, even this once, he will use it freely thereafter. The Charter means little to Doug Ford. To invoke the notwithstanding clause over something this minor is the act of a man never to be trusted.