Premier Ford Of Ontario Is Acting Within The Law And The Constitution
Premier Doug Ford ‘s Government of Ontario wants to cut the size of the City Council of Toronto . The Legislature passed a bill to do this. The Constitution of the country says under Section 92(8) that the Province has exclusive jurisdiction over Municipal Institutions.
In the Amended Constitution of 1982 , the Charter of Rights and Freedoms was added to the Constitution and could through its provisions with appropriate court ruling override a Province’s jurisdiction . The Superior Court in Ontario has over ruled the Province’s power to pass this bill to reduce the size of the Toronto City Council .
However, another provision of the amended constitution of 1982 , Section 33 , provides to the Provinces or the Federal Government the power ( called the notwithstanding clause) ,under additional legislation , to over ride the court’s ruling and reinstate the original bill . I was there when this was agreed to. Without it , there would have been no Charter or amended Constitution.
Premier Ford says he will call the Legislature back this week to enact such a bill under Section 33.
This is all lawful and Constitutional . If a majority of legislators in the Ontario Legislature support the Bill Premier Ford is proposing , then the court ruling no longer stands or is valid and the original bill will be reinstated. This action is valid for five years and for it to be valid for another five years another like bill would have to be introduced .
From reading two Toronto papers , The Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star one gets the impression that they only read the parts of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms where it is possible through a legal reference for a court to overrule the Legislature but not the part where the Legislature can overrule the Courts.
I attach Premier Ford’s statement on the matter . I also attach the relevant section of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms which validates the Premier’s action.
‘Doug Ford Announces Action to Uphold the Better Local Government Act
Will call back the Legislature and invoke Section 33 of the Constitution to ensure the Better Local Government Act remains in effect as passed by Ontario’s democratically elected Legislature
September 10, 2018 2:25 P.M.
Office of the Premier
Ontario Premier Doug Ford today announced that his government will take immediate action to ensure the Better Local Government Act remains in effect as passed by Ontario’s democratically elected legislature.
Canada’s Constitution makes it clear. The province has exclusive responsibility over municipalities,” said Ford in announcing his government’s action. “The Better Local Government Act will reduce the size and cost of government while reducing dysfunction at City Hall. The people who are most vocal and fighting this move are a small group of left-wing councillors looking to continue their free ride on the taxpayers’ dollar and a network of activist groups who have entrenched their power under the status quo.”
Ford announced that his government will immediately recall Ontario’s Legislature and introduce legislation that, if passed, will invoke Section 33 of the Constitution and ensure the Better Local Government Act is preserved in time for the October 22 Municipal Election.
Ford also announced that his government will immediately appeal Judge Belobaba’s decision to the Ontario Court of Appeal.
I believe this decision is deeply concerning and wrong and the result is unacceptable to the people of Ontario,” concluded Ford. “If you want to make new laws in Ontario – or in Canada – you first must seek a mandate from the people.”
‘Charter of Right and Freedoms
( 1) Parliament or the legislature of a province may expressly declare in an Act of Parliament or of the legislature, as the case may be, that the Act or a provision thereof shall operate notwithstanding a provision included in section 2 or sections 7 to 15 of this Charter.
Operation of exception
(2) An Act or a provision of an Act in respect of which a declaration made under this section is in effect shall have such operation as it would have but for the provision of this Charter referred to in the declaration.
Five year limitation
(3) A declaration made under subsection (1) shall cease to have effect five years after it comes into force or on such earlier date as may be specified in the declaration.
(4) Parliament or the legislature of a province may re-enact a declaration made under subsection (1).
Five year limitation
( 5) Subsection (3) applies in respect of a re-enactment made under subsection (4).’