Toronto Liberal MPs slam Ford's 'heavy-handed' use of notwithstanding clause

Ford orders Legislature to sit Saturday to speed up passage of bill to slash Toronto council

Ontario legislature to hold rare Saturday session to expedite Bill 31 passage

Ontario Premier Doug Ford attends Question Period at the Ontario Legislature in Toronto, on Wednesday, September 12, 2018.

Ford took the rarely used step Monday after a judge said it was unconstitutional to slash the number of city council seats in the middle of a municipal election without consultation, as it interfered with the right to freedom of expression of candidates and voters. The provincial government has appealed the ruling and reintroduced its changes this week in a new bill, compounding the chaos facing the clerk as she oversees preparation for the election.

"Rather than pausing and appealing, the province is pushing ahead now, including the extraordinary and unacceptable act of invoking the notwithstanding clause, overriding the Charter of Rights and Freedoms for the first time in the history of Ontario", said Tory.

The province's council-cutting legislation would reduce the number of Toronto's wards to 25 from 47, with the city's election set to take place October 22.

Oil has steepest drop in a month as economic concerns threaten demand
Meanwhile, Hurricane Florence is set to park above the Carolinas coastline, threatening fuel markets along the US East Coast. Brent rude prices fell in August however extra fair lately rose to 2-month highs round $eighty a barrel.

And since there is no longer a question of whether or not Premier Doug Ford will invoke the clause, the next question is whether or not he will use it again and again if he's not satisfied with a result.

He would only say that the decision is ultimately in the hands of the Ontario provincial government and that is up to Ford to explain his decision. "Every hour that goes by, every day that goes by creates greater uncertainty and raises in me a huge concern over the proper conduct of this election", Ms. Watkiss said.

"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".

Clark would not say whether the province has a backup plan should the clerk find that the city can not be ready in time, despite repeated questions on the issue.

Florence pours rain on the Carolinas; death toll at 7
In Jacksonville, a relentless band of heavy rain gutted buildings, drenched streets and left wildlife to battle the rising waters. At 5 p.m., Florence had been downgraded to a tropical storm , with sustained winds of 70 miles per hour .

"On behalf of FCM's Big City Mayors' Caucus, I am offering full support to the City of Toronto's efforts to protect local democracy".

The opposition parties have vowed to use procedural tools to delay the bill as much as possible.

"If it wasn't there to be used, it would not be there", he said.

The PCs and the New Democrats have been battling over how quickly the bill should be passed, with the NDP attempting to slow the process down.

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The original death toll was put in double digits, but recently a new study placed the "official" count at just short of 3,000. "3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico ", Trump tweeted early Thursday.

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