Judge strikes down bill to reduce Toronto council size

Council Chambers at city hall in Toronto Ont. on Monday

Council Chambers at city hall in Toronto Ont. on Monday

"It appears that Bill 5 was hurriedly enacted to take effect in the middle of the City's election without much thought at all, more out of pique than principle", Belobaba said in his written decision.

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath called Ford's latest move an "abuse of power".

This has always been evident from what details we know of Premier Ford's personal life before and after he entered politics, not to mention his conduct and that of his late little brother Rob when the latter was the out-of-control mayor of Toronto.

"I believe the judge's decision is deeply, deeply concerning", he said at a press conference on Monday.

"It allows a government to pass a law that does something that the courts have said violates rights and is not justified", said University of Ottawa associate law professor Michael Pal on CTV News Channel.

"If the provincial government wishes to enact another Bill 5-type law at some future date to affect future City elections, it may certainly attempt to do so".

"I was elected, the judge was appointed", Ford said, implying the courts have no legitimacy to strike down unconstitutional laws. "These councillors worry about themselves and holding on to power".

ICC undeterred by John Bolton's threats
The court's aim is to bring to justice individuals accused of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. Bolton said the USA remained committed to negotiating a peace accord between Israel and the Palestinians.

Ford says he will bring back legislature this week to debate Bill 5 and add the notwithstanding clause to it.

"It is the people who will be the ultimate judges of our performance".

Premier Doug Ford had argued the move would improve decision-making and save $25 million.

Ford spoke with 640 Toronto hours after he vowed to invoke the rarely used notwithstanding clause of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms to bypass an Ontario Superior Court ruling against the Better Local Government Act - legislation passed earlier this summer that would cut the number of Toronto council seats from 47 to 25.

You'd have to be living under a rock to have missed the beginning of what has turned into an all-out brawl between Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Toronto's city council.

"It breached the municipal voter's right to cast a ballot in effective representation", said Belobaba.

"To use an oversized hammer to abridge the Charter of Rights and Freedoms of our country, as if the matter of how many councillors we have for this election is some sort of national emergency involving the overriding of fundamental rights, is a mistake", he said. "Bill 5 is dead".

Track Hurricane Florence as it heads for the East Coast
Other impacts, like potential rain, depend upon what Florence does after it makes landfall, the meteorologist said. Panovich forecasts the storm will reach close to Category 4 status with the potential of 140 miles per hour winds.

Ford said he'll hold an open vote but noted his caucus and cabinet ministers are "1,000%" in favour of his plan.

"The province has clearly crossed the line".

If the drama around Bill 5 were related to the voting rights laid out in Section 3, Ford and the Tories would've been unable to use the notwithstanding clause.

"The notwithstanding clause was put there for very extraordinary circumstances and very extraordinary instances and you'd have to ask yourself why does this change, this particular change at this time, qualify as one of those", Tory said.

"There has been limited use of the notwithstanding clause across Canada. and usually on significant issues", he said.

Speaking at the Mayor's Breakfast Tuesday morning, MacLeod told reporters there's no "for now" when it comes to a possible cut to Ottawa's city council chambers.

Horwath accused Ford of exacting revenge on those who opposed him when he was councillor.

Truth of hike: BJP talks about percentage increase in petrol, diesel prices
Offices were opened on time and official work was not affected at the Delhi Secretariat due to Bharat bandh , an official said. Unlike the previous governments, the BJP has also failed to cut excise duty whenever worldwide oil prices shoot up.

While Ford and some local MPPs have previously said there is no plan to reduce the size of Ottawa's city council, that doesn't mean there is no demand for it. But his ruling was very almost the best-case scenario for Toronto's advocates - and thanks to the notwithstanding clause, it still wasn't enough. It was used as a way to compromise in case provinces needed to overrule such rights to push forward certain elements of their agenda, as well as entice other provinces to join the Charter who were skeptical at the time.

Latest News