OTTAWA — The 25 Liberal MPs from Toronto say Doug Ford is being heavy-handed and disrespectful in using the Constitution’s notwithstanding clause to push ahead with plans to slash the size of the provincial capital’s city council.
In a statement made public today, the MPs urge Ontario legislators from all parties to defeat a bill tabled by Ford’s Progressive Conservative government to cut the number of seats on council.
Ford is moving the legislation to override a court decision which said his plan was unconstitutional by invoking the rarely used notwithstanding clause in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
In the statement, the Liberal MPs — including several cabinet ministers — say members of the Ontario legislature from Toronto have a responsibility to defend the city, its democratic institutions, and the rights of citizens to a free and fair municipal election this fall.
They say the issue is not partisan and that the correct response to a court decision is to file an appeal.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has made it clear he won’t try to block Ford’s move even though he is disappointed with the premier’s decision.