Published: Fri, September 14, 2018
Science | By

Ford will appeal court bid to "shut down" elected gov't

Ford will appeal court bid to

Ontario's legislature plunged into chaos Wednesday as protesters and most of the Opposition were ejected for disrupting the government's efforts to revive a bill slashing Toronto's city council almost in half just days after a judge found the legislation unconstitutional. But Tory is also vowing to work with Ford. "I will trust that Ontarians will reflect on whether or not the provincial government made the right decision on overriding the Charter of Rights and Freedoms on this issue".

On Monday morning, an Ontario Superior Court judge struck down Mr. Ford's first attempt at the Better Local Government Act, which is known as Bill 5 and was passed on August 14 with the campaign well under way.

Shouts erupted from the public gallery as Ford argued he was protecting democracy by invoking a constitutional provision to override the court decision, which found his plan to cut the size of the city's council in the middle of an election violated candidates' and voters' freedom of expression rights.

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.

Asked whether he believed in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the premier said a democratically elected government should not be derailed by a "politically appointed" judge. It came into force as an amendment to the Constitution in 1982. The clause can not be used on a number of other sections of the Charter, including those concerning democratic rights, mobility, and language rights. "We're following the constitution, because if it wasn't in the constitution, we wouldn't be doing it".

Former Ontario premier Bob Rae has compared that to living in an "elected dictatorship". "We're taking a stand". 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.

"I have a court of law I can go to".

Horwath accused the premier of trampling people's rights to pursue a personal vendetta against Toronto, where Ford served one term as a city councillor and unsuccessfully ran for mayor.

Ford's readiness to violate constitutional rights to overcome opposition within the bourgeoisie underscores that he leads a hard-right government that is viciously hostile to the working class.

Ford hinted to a radio station on Monday evening that he's been getting pressure to cut Ottawa city council similar to the way his government wants to cut Toronto, but that he had no plans to do so for now.

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.

Ford knows full well that he has no mandate for this deeply unpopular agenda and is therefore mobilizing all the tools of state power at his disposal to put down an emerging working-class movement.

The federal government has never invoked the notwithstanding clause.

"The government's made a decision on the notwithstanding clause with respect to Bill 5, and that's what we'll go back to the legislature for tomorrow", she said after being asked about the sex-ed policy and the Constitution. The Trudeau government responded to Trump's imposition of import tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum by adopting $16 billion in retaliatory tariffs-tariffs which were endorsed by Ford and all of Canada's parliamentary parties. "Right now, as you're going to hear over the next few weeks, we're in a financial disaster the previous government left us in". "But I think it's outrageous, frankly, that the first time Ontario uses the notwithstanding in an anti-democratic move that I don't think was well thought out and that certainly, from a process point of view, was quite horrific".

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