Judge rules against Ford


It allows the government to override certain portions of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

This will be the first time that the clause will be used in Ontario's history.

This is a breaking news update.

The move comes after a judge ruled earlier on Monday not to allow the province to cut Toronto city council by almost half because it would have "substantially interfered with both the candidate's and the voter's right to freedom of expression as guaranteed under section 2 (b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms".

Bill 5 would have cut council from 47 seats to 25 seats.

Justice Belobaba found the Better Local Government Act, also known as Bill 5, infringed freedom of expression in two respects.

Ford said he will take immediate action to ensure Bill 5 remains in effect. Ford also said he'll appeal Belobaba's decision and pass the law as quickly as possible. "Waiting an additional four years to reduce the size of city council is a missed opportunity to save taxpayers money".

In the interview on Monday evening, Ford said the administration's various legal battles are a sign of its success so far.

Belobaba said he could not make a ruling in regards to the selection process for the regional chair positions in York Region, Muskoka, Niagara, and Peel Region. The legislation had passed last month and aligned the city's ward map with federal ridings, a move Premier Doug Ford has argued would improve decision-making and save $25 million.

The spokesperson said advance voting will begin on October 10 and nominations for candidates under the 47-ward model were closed on July 27 and certified.

An Ontario judge has struck down the provincial government's efforts to slash the size of Toronto city council in the middle of an election, saying the move violated constitutional rights. "I tell you, I don't know what's going on out in Ottawa", Ford told guest host Anthony Furey, who normally hosts National Post Radio on SiriusXM Canada.

"You can't change the rules in the middle of a game".

"That is not fair to anyone and this is not a game". For instance, the 2010 Citizens United decision gutted laws meant to control campaign financing by declaring corporate election spending a form of constitutionally protected free speech.

He also said that using the clause was not "undemocratic".

"This is an extraordinary power that should be used in the most extraordinary of circumstances".

Speaking to CP24 at city hall, Coun.

But the Canadian Union of Public Employees, which provided funding to one of the groups challenging the province, called Belobaba's decision a victory for democracy.

"This is an unprecedented move, literally suspending the Charter rights of Ontario people in order to plow ahead with his revenge plot against his political enemies", she said.

"His government needs to put him in check..." He is invoking the notwithstanding clause.

In late July, when he was asked why Ottawa - a city with one-third the population of Toronto - should have just two fewer councillors, Ford said comparing the two cities was illogical.

"I was elected, the judge was appointed", Ford said, implying the courts have no legitimacy to strike down unconstitutional laws.

Likewise, observers outside Toronto City Hall expressed alarm and concern over Ford's "authoritarian streak", flashes of "despotism" and petty "personal beefs".

Coun. Mike Layton said he hopes the ruling serves as a "lesson" to Doug Ford and his government.

At his press conference, Ford complained to reporters that a "democratically elected government" is being "shut down by the courts".

Some premiers, most notably Saskatchewan New Democrat Allan Blakeney and Alberta Progressive Conservative Peter Lougheed, anxious that a constitutionally entrenched Charter could, as in the US, prevent legislators from enacting socially useful legislation. "And we won", he tweeted. First, candidates who had already made a decision to run under the old system were deeply impacted.

Um, "Crickets"? Really? That's now a valid argument by a judge in Ontario? Belobaba has noted that he was certain the losing party would appeal.