’This is about preserving democracy’: Ford defends council-cutting plan

Rowdy protesters were led out of the public galleries of the Ontario legislature Wednesday — some of them in restraints.

Speaker Ted Arnott left the chair as the protesters continued to heckle and shout at Premier Doug Ford while he defended his plan to use the notwithstanding clause, Section 33 in the Charter.

“This is about preserving the will of the people, this is about preserving democracy,” Ford said during question period, citing his Progressive Conservatives’ victory in the spring election.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford at Queen’s Park on Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018. (Ernest Doroszuk/Toronto Sun/Postmedia Network)

Asked whether he believed in the Charter of Rights, the premier said a democratically elected government should not be derailed by a “politically appointed” judge.

The Tories plan to cut Toronto council in half despite a judge ruling the mid-campaign move violated Charter rights.

The premier maintains cutting Toronto city council to 25 seats from 47 is necessary to streamline decision-making and save taxpayer money.

( function() { pnLoadVideo( “videos”, “afTpm5hiOlQ”, “pn_video_890932”, “”, “”, {“is_mobile”:””} ); } )();

The commotion from protesters opposed to Ford’s plan drew repeated reprimands from the Speaker, who eventually recessed the legislature and cleared the public gallery.

People sitting in the public galleries are not allowed to shout out or wave political slogans.

Protesters were removed from the legislature when they refused to stop heckling Ontario Premier Doug Ford at Queen’s Park on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2018. (Ernest Doroszuk/Toronto Sun/Postmedia Network)

The constitutional provision Ford plans to invoke, known as the notwithstanding clause, has never been used in the province before and critics have condemned the move, saying the clause was not designed to deal with this kind of issue.

Toronto Mayor John Tory has said invoking the clause is a “gross overreach” of the province’s powers, adding city staff will advise councillors at a special meeting on Thursday how the municipality can proceed with the upcoming Oct. 22 election.

Protesters were removed from the legislature when they refused to stop heckling Ontario Premier Doug Ford at Queen’s Park on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2018. (Ernest Doroszuk/Toronto Sun/Postmedia Network)

Green party leader Mike Schreiner said Wednesday the premier appears to be believe that winning a majority means he is above the law.

“It is wrong for the premier to attack our fundamental charter rights for political gain,” he said in a statement. “He is bringing a dangerous view of democracy to Queen’s Park, predicated on his belief that he can rule by decree.”

The government is also seeking a stay of the court’s ruling as it appeals the judge’s decision.

— With files from The Canadian Press

[email protected]

( function() { pnLoadVideo( “videos”, “93R2CGZEzOc”, “pn_video_564821”, “”, “”, {“is_mobile”:””} ); } )();

Source:: Toronto Sun – Movies