Sep 14, 2018

By Michael Kramer

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Three prominent former politicians who negotiated the inclusion of the notwithstanding clause in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms – are condemning the Ontario government’s use of the rare provision – to push through legislation that was deemed unconstitutional by the courts.

Former prime minister Jean Chretien, former Saskatchewan premier Roy Romanow and former Ontario attorney general Roy McMurtry have issued a statement – saying the clause wasn’t meant to be used to circumvent proper process.

The trio says they are calling on Ontario’s Progressive Conservative legislators to stand up to Premier Doug Ford – who announced Monday he would invoke the notwithstanding clause to override a judge’s ruling.

The judge had struck down legislation to reduce the size of Toronto city council in the middle of an election- saying it infringed on voters’ and candidates’ right to free expression.

Ford justified using the clause by saying that “politically appointed” judges shouldn’t interfere with democratically elected governments.

The premier also touted Chretien as a supporter of the clause – when pressed on the issue during question period Thursday.

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