Ted Morton: Provinces demanded ‘notwithstanding’ powers for good reason. They should use them

Hysteria in the media and from left-wingers over Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s use of the notwithstanding power would be amusing if it were not so ill informed. Listening to Ford’s howling critics, you would think that our constitutional democracy is on the brink of ruin. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The notwithstanding power is as much a part of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as are voting rights or freedom of expression. Indeed, there would have been no Charter if had not been for the notwithstanding clause. It was a concession then-prime minister Pierre Trudeau had to make in order to secure provincial support for the Charter.