Premier Doug Ford Overrules Judge With Notwithstanding Clause And Makes History

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A provision of the Constitution technically permits the federal government to disallow provincial legislation, but it was last used 75 years ago, raising legal questions about whether it has become obsolete and therefore unworkable.

The city challenged the legislation in court and a Toronto judge agreed earlier this week that passing the bill in the middle of municipal election campaign violated the freedom of expression rights of both candidates and voters.

While Conservative pundits were quick to defend Ford, members of the Conservative party have been largely quiet on the topic until now.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has made it clear he won't try to block Ford's move even though he is disappointed with the premier's decision - a position he reiterated Thursday at the end of a Liberal caucus retreat in Saskatoon.

But Ford quickly announced he'd use the notwithstanding clause to override the ruling.

"We're working on our platform right now and we're confident we'll be able to implement the types of proposals that we're working on right now through the normal legislative process", said Scheer.

"He wants to get away from this issue as fast as he can", said Powers.

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The dual Nigerian and British national did not initially comment on the claims, leading to criticism from her opponents. However in a statement, she said she felt bound to resign after the investigation result became known.


The comments came as Toronto politicians held an emergency meeting to discuss their next steps a day after Ford's Progressive Conservatives reintroduced the council-cutting legislation with the notwithstanding clause.

Conservative justice critic Tony Clement said Conservatives believe that Parliament and legislatures are the "ultimate" law making bodies.

"We've used the notwithstanding clause in this province in the not too distant past", Moe said.

The clause allows a government to have a law operate in spite of a right found in Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The chair of the Big City Mayors' Caucus at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities said Ford's moves have now placed Canadians in a constitutional debate when the limits of how governments can work together within the document have not been tested.

Saskatchewan MP Brad Trost, who is not running in the next election, praised Ford on Twitter "for standing up for what he believes in and for taking action on behalf of the people who elected him in invoking the notwithstanding clause".

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