Following Premier Ford’s announcement that the Ontario government will invoke Section 33 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (commonly known as the notwithstanding clause), MLI Munk Senior Fellow Sean Speer joined a CBC panel to break down the decision.
According to Speer, Premier Ford’s decision is just the latest in a long story of frustration on the part of many elected officials in Canada over the past three decades.
“What you heard yesterday from the Premier was an exasperation,” said Speer. “Elected officials in this country are fed up.”
“It’s not just this decision – although there is a lot of a room to criticize it”
Speer argued that anger towards perceived judicial overreach dates back to the enactment of the Charter in 1982. “We’ve seen courts choose to read into the Charter, expand definitions… which is ultimately about policy making.”
Back in August of 2018, Speer wrote about Premier Ford’s initial move to limit the size of Toronto’s City Council, and how such a move may not be the right place to start when it comes to making the bureaucracy more lean and efficient.
Regardless of how one feels about Ford’s use of the clause to in effect cut Toronto’s City Council, “the broader point holds: we need to have a much larger conversation in this country about the growing overreach of our judicial branch.”