The dial-up-a-protester group put on the best show in town at the provincial legislature early Monday.
First the ragtag demonstrators — consisting from the looks of it of mostly activist students on the eight-year university plan and assorted aging hippie types — got thrown out of the public galleries for heckling Tory politicians during a midnight sitting on Bill 31.
Ryan and Noah, both 15, seeking $15K in damages each for harm caused by curriculum change.
City Hall’s penchant for imposing strict rules and regulations on most things doesn’t apply to the world of addiction and drugs.
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Rare midnight meeting at Queen’s Park to debate Toronto city council cuts
TORONTO — Hordes of protesters shouted to be allowed inside the Ontario legislature as provincial politicians held a rare midnight sitting to speed up the passage of a controversial bill to cut Toronto’s city council nearly in half.
The Toronto Police Service’s eight-week effort to reduce gun violence by putting hundreds of extra cops on the street during peak hours has wrapped up.
And many Sun sources concluded the effort, which did not involve proactive policing, was an abject failure with an expensive and deadly price tag.
Whether one agrees with Premier Doug Ford on his use of the Charter’s notwithstanding clause to immediately downsize Toronto council for the Oct. 22 election — I disagree because I think it’s wrong to change the rules in the middle of the game — there is a much broader issue at stake here.
That is that the Charter — ironically enough created by politicians — has enormously increased the power of our judiciary not only to judge laws passed by Parliament and legislatures, but to remake them in their own image, as well as use the Charter inappropriately to strike down laws they disagree with.
It’s good to see that here in the centre of our Confederation, the issue of our time is supplying the country with such explosive debate. The question of how many people should sit on Toronto’s city council has long lain dormant, even unacknowledged, as a — or even the — pivot of Canada’s constitutional health. But in the past week or so, Premier Doug Ford’s idea, so to speak, of trimming the number of simians approaching the typewriter has engaged more press attention than the NAFTA talks and Trans Mountain combined. Who knew that cutting the number of councillors that get to decide which downtown Toronto street next gets a bike path and a licence to open a hen farm could so threaten the Confederation?
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.
The imposition of the notwithstanding clause of the Canadian Constitution by Ontario Premier Doug Ford is the best thing that has occurred in Canadian politics since the defeat of the Parti Québécois in the provincial election in Quebec four years ago. The significance of the decision to vacate a judicial decision to prevent the premier’s shrinkage of the Toronto city council from 47 to 25 councillors vastly transcends the technical issue: 25 councillors is quite enough. It is with great reluctance that I take issue with Justice Edward Belobaba of the Ontario Superior Court (who once sustained me very generously in a libel case and his judgment was almost textually replicated by the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada). He is a fine and learned judge but I do not agree that a modest reduction of the number of city councillors by the provincial government, which has constitutional authority to organize municipal governments within each province, infringes, as the justice found, freedom of expression of voters or councillors.
Radical leftist Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam called new Conservative Premier Doug Ford’s unwavering efforts to rightsize council a “brazen attack on the residents of Toronto” and a “declaration of war.”
Councillor Gord Perks shouted angrily: “The dysfunction isn’t here (in council)… The dysfunction is Doug Ford!”
Note the following are allegations.
Toronto is heading back to court to fight Premier Doug Ford and his unprecedented use of the “notwithstanding” clause to cut the size of city council in the midst of an election campaign.
Council voted 26-10 Thursday afternoon to instruct the city lawyer to exhaust all legal avenues to defeat Bill 31, which was introduced by Ford’s government on Wednesday to cut the number of wards from 47 to 25, and the use of the notwithstanding clause, which was added after Ford’s previous council-cutting legislation was ruled unconstitutional.
Commies against Ford? Boy am I surprised! Pic courtesy Joe Warmington.
So this is what the outrage of an Ontario premier vowing to use the notwithstanding clause to pass his city council reduction law looks like.
There’s about 450 people out of a population of 13.6-million, who really seem to care about this.
Plans for a revolution may be on hold.
You don’t need to spend much time at city hall before realizing that Toronto’s government is completely dysfunctional.
The city is paralyzed by a bloated and inefficient council where debates can go on for days but no decisions ever get made.
“If you begin to use [the clause] whenever you feel something’s in your road, it will really hurt, in my judgment, the way in which Canada goes about its democratic world,” said Crombie.