Ford says demand exists for smaller Ottawa council

Ford says demand exists for smaller Ottawa council

Ford says demand exists for smaller Ottawa council

Ford also said he'll appeal Belobaba's decision and pass the law as quickly as possible.

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.

But the premier has said he will invoke a rarely used charter provision known as the notwithstanding clause to push ahead with his plan, and is expected to recall the legislature Wednesday to do so. In late July, when he was asked why Ottawa - a city with one-third the population of Toronto - should have just two fewer councillors, Ford said comparing the two cities was illogical. Belobaba called Bill 5 "profoundly unfair" and found that nothing the government's lawyers had presented could reasonably explain why the 47-ward election for a city of almost 3 million people needed to be cancelled by legislative fiat.

"We're suing to remind the Premier that winning an election does not give his government carte blanche to ignore the statutory rights of Ontarians to be consulted on major changes to the laws and regulations that protect them from climate change".

With Ontario Premier Doug Ford saying he will be using the notwithstanding clause to force cuts to Toronto's city council despite a scathing court ruling that said it violated the Charter, and amid Alberta's suggestion that it's an option for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to revive the now stalled Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, here's an explainer on the often-controversial clause.

At his press conference, Ford complained to reporters that a "democratically elected government" is being "shut down by the courts".

Premier Doug Ford, who argued that reducing the size of council would make the city run more efficiently, intends to appeal today's ruling, a source confirmed to CP24.

"I believe the judge's decision is deeply concerning and the result is unacceptable to the people of Ontario", Ford said.

Bill 5 also cancelled planned elections for the head of council position in the regional municipalities of Muskoka, Peel, York and Niagara, turning them into appointed roles.


On Monday morning, Justice Edward Belobaba of the Ontario Superior Court found that the Progressive Conservatives' Bill 5, the Better Local Government Act, violated Section 2 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which guarantees freedom of expression - which itself includes, Belobaba declared, the right to meaningfully participate in municipal elections. The clause can not be used on a number of other sections of the Charter, including those concerning democratic rights, mobility, and language rights.

Toronto Mayor John Tory called the premier's reaction a "gross overreach" of the province's powers and said in a tweet Monday night he had met with Trudeau, who was in the provincial capital for a women's summit, to discuss his concerns.

In an interview with Global News Radio 640 Toronto, Ford was asked if he intends to shrink other city councils in the province in the same way he's cutting Toronto's nearly in half.

"We do not, I repeat, we do not have plans for similar legislation in our near future", he said.

Belobaba ordered an election resume with 47 wards, returning the campaign to a state before the Tories passed Bill 5 at Queen's Park. Advance voting starts on October 10.

Horwath accused Ford of exacting revenge on those who opposed him when he was councillor.

"If the federal government ever starts using the notwithstanding clause, it's very hard to say to a province, 'Oh, you shouldn't use it either.' So the federal government really sets the tone". "It is inexcusable that the Ford government targeted only the city of Toronto for these dramatic changes", Fletcher said.

She added that she is certain the judge would have crafted his ruling to withstand an appeal.

"Let's not even compare Ottawa", Ford said then.

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