Standing United against the Notwithstanding Clause
As Liberal MPs who represent the City of Toronto, we stand united in our opposition to Premier Ford’s willingness to override the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
We are calling on all MPPs to defeat Ford’s legislation, tabled yesterday at Queen’s Park, and the Bill’s unprecedented use of the notwithstanding clause in Ontario. In particular, we believe MPPs elected in Toronto have a responsibility to defend the city, its democratic institutions, and the rights of citizens to a free and fair municipal election. The people of Toronto deserve nothing less.
As Prime Minister Trudeau has said, we must and we will always stand up for and defend the Charter. But this is not a partisan issue. Former Prime Ministers, Premiers and municipal leaders of all political stripes have denounced Ford’s triggering of the notwithstanding clause. The correct response to a court decision one disagrees with is to appeal. Ford’s response is heavy-handed and disrespectful. Bill Davis, a prominent Conservative and past premier of Ontario who helped draft of s. 33 of the Charter, said, “The notwithstanding provision has, understandably, rarely been used, because of the primacy of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms for all Canadians.”
As elected representatives of the City, we want to assure the people of Toronto that we understand and respect the critical role that City Hall and local democracy play in building the communities in which we live.
As Toronto MPs, we have worked hard to build a strong and effective relationship between our government and the City. This partnership has, and will continue to, deliver concrete results for communities across the city.
A strong Canada needs a strong Toronto.
The Toronto Liberal MPs
The Office of Julie Dabrusin, M.P.