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  • September 14, 2018

Statement on the use of the notwithstanding clause by the Ford government

What we learned from Doug Ford’s notwithstanding clause grandstanding

An Ontario Superior Court judge ruled that Doug Ford’s actions to change the rules in the middle of an election were premature, not well-thought out, and contrary to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Ford immediately announced that he would use the notwithstanding clause of the Charter to override that decision of the court.

There will be a debate about whether it is appropriate to use that clause. That is not our debate today.

Our debate today is this: Can Premier Ford not think of any other solutions before he picks up this hammer and bashes the Charter? Why not let the ongoing appeal process play out before he imposes legislation that explicitly denies Charter rights?

Doug Ford won the election, in part, by promising Ontario residents he was going to save them money.

It’s easy for him to claim that cutting the size of a city council will save money, but – and this is important –eventually, there will be a big bill to pay.

Municipal candidates will have to be reimbursed for the costs incurred from the chaos this government has created. Lawyers are being paid to have this fight – a fight he did not campaign on – in court, on both sides.

He’s wasting our money using the resources of the provincial government to have a fight with the City of Toronto – probably because he wasn’t elected mayor four years ago.

This is the same Doug Ford who promised us he was going to spend our money wisely.

Ontario Liberals are going to hold him to that promise. We understand how important it is to spend your money wisely and carefully.

We will fight against the ways this government wastes your money – it is early days and already hundreds of millions have been wasted.

Premier Ford wants to seem decisive and in control – but leadership is about taking the right actions in a responsible way.

The Conservatives around the Premier should remind him that respecting our democratic institutions is fundamental -- settling scores with Toronto city is not.                                                               

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