Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s decision to overrule an Ontario court prompted a noisy protest from opposition members in the legislature in Toronto Wednesday. Ford is using the Canadian constitution’s notwithstanding clause to stop the courts from blocking Conservative legislation that would cut the Toronto city council almost in half.
As the Toronto Sun reported, angry members of the quasi-socialist New Democratic Party (NDP) jeered and shouted at Municipal Affairs Minister Steve Clark. Legislature security quashed the mini-revolt my removing the offenders from the area.
Ontario’s new Conservative government is reintroducing legislation to cut the number of Toronto council members from 47 to 25 after a provincial court ruled it unconstitutional. Bill 31 is replacing Bill 5 — but this time the premier is opting to use the notwithstanding clause to ensure the bill is not blocked again by the court.
“This is about preserving the will of the people, this is about preserving democracy,” said Ford, who remained seated during the outburst but traded words with the NDP member who were forced to leave their seats.
People in the public gallery also yelled at the premier — something guests in the legislature are forbidden to do, and they were removed by security as well.