Dear Friends and Neighbours,
Today has been a rollercoaster in the world of Toronto politics revolving around the future of our election and the state of our local democracy.
First, we received a historic decision from the Ontario Superior Court which struck down Bill 5, the provincial legislation that sought to cut Council in half. Justice Belobaba declared the law to be unconstitutional because it violates freedom of expression (Charter S.2(b)). Then, just hours later, Premier Ford announced his plans to call the Ontario Legislature back into session this week in order to reintroduce the same bill – this time, invoking the ‘notwithstanding clause’ (Charter S.33).
Ford is “going nuclear” to get what he wants.
He and his government are saying that their desire to win this fight is more important than our rights and freedoms. The ‘notwithstanding’ clause has never been used in Ontario before and it should be used with great care, as its purpose is to override our constitutional freedoms. It should not be used to pass legislation on a whim. Bowling over the constitution is no way to govern – a province, or the City of Toronto.
The Path Ahead
There is more uncertainty ahead. At present, the law of the land states 47 wards, although the Premier is hellbent on getting this law passed. If the provincial government invokes the ‘notwithstanding’ clause, there is no recourse for any challenges for at least 5 years.
We always knew these next 4 years would be tough. The Premier is intent on steamrolling over Toronto, and he has shown the lengths he is willing to go. There has never been a situation like this in Toronto politics.
This is a critical time for Toronto. There is an election before us. That’s why we need to come together, right now, and demonstrate our strength as a community from the ground up.
Join me this Saturday, September 15 for my campaign launch.
Let’s take this opportunity to come together in solidarity and in comfort. I’ll bring the party, you bring the passion, and together we’ll put democracy into action.
Saturday, September 15
661 St. Clair Ave. W. (click here for Google Map)
11 am – 2 pm: Campaign Launch
2 – 5 pm: Group Canvass
Light refreshments will be provided. If you’ve never canvassed before, I encourage you to stick around for a brief training and head out to knock on doors with new friends!
Shana Tova to my friends who are celebrating Rosh Hashana. May the new year bring sweetness and justice to us all.