Who is right - Constitution, judge or Doug Ford?
An editorial published by Toronto's Canadian Punjabi Post says:
Cross-cultural Translation: Superior Court Judge Edward Belobaba has rejected the Doug Ford government's Bill 5, saying that the bill was enacted in the middle of an ongoing election campaign and breached municipal candidates' freedom of expression. On the other hand, Premier Ford, in fighting back against the ruling on Council downsizing, has announced plans to invoke the province’s power to use Section 33 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to trump a Superior Court decision. Section 33 is commonly known as the notwithstanding clause or the override power and allows Parliament or provincial legislatures to override certain portions of the Charter. This is the first time an Ontario government will employ this extraordinary tool in the Charter. However, the question is how Judge Belobaba called the reduction of seats a breach of freedom of expression. With Bill 5, only the number of City Councillors would have been reduced, and no part of the city would have remained without representation. So who is right: the judiciary or Doug Ford? If the Constitution has given the right of decision to the judge, it has also given Ford's majority government the right to reject the judge's decision.
Ethnic media coverage of Toronto's council debate is as varied as council itself. Some have argued that the decrease in councillors will affect diverse representation in government, others side with Ford's decision as a way to cut costs in government. The issue has become a defining one early on in Ford's Provincial leadership.
Leave a Reply.