Distressing day for democracy in Ontario as Premier Ford threatens to invoke the Notwithstanding Clause

TORONTO (September 10, 2018) – All Ontarians should be very concerned by Premier Ford’s threat to invoke the Notwithstanding Clause in response to today’s ruling that his Bill to interfere in municipal election is unconstitutional, says CUPE Ontario President Fred Hahn.

“Our constitution was created for a reason – to protect all Canadians and our fundamental democracy. Invoking the Notwithstanding Clause to override local democracy, when those actions violate our constitution, is a terrifying precedent for a government to set,” says Hahn. “We need a moment of sober second thought here. We need to ask all our MPPs to set partisanship aside and stop this from going ahead.”

In response to today’s ruling that Bill 5 unequivocally violates the constitution, Premier Ford announced his intent to recall the legislature Wednesday, to bring in legislation that would allow him to enact the Notwithstanding Clause to override the decision. If the Premier were to be successful, this would be the first time the Notwithstanding Clause is used in the history of Ontario.

“This is much bigger than a Toronto issue,” says Candace Rennick, Secretary-Treasurer for CUPE Ontario “If this is allowed to go ahead we can be sure that municipalities all across the province will experience similar interference. Our municipal governments are the level of government that most directly impacts our lives. We should not be allowing one Premier to take that power away from us.”

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