Ford Trampling Rights


The last 24 hours have been a rollercoaster! Yesterday morning we found out that we won the historic court case on Doug Ford’s Bill 5  — the bill that gerrymandered our wards and slashed Toronto City Council in half, right in the middle of our elections. 

The judge ruled that Ford’s actions were unconstitutional and violated our charter rights. Justice Belobaba said “The Province has clearly crossed the line.” 

Hours later, Ford called a press conference saying that he’ll trample over these rights. He has called MPPs back to Queen’s Park to vote on a new bill that will override our rights and ignore the court ruling. 

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We all have fundamental rights enshrined in Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, including fundamental freedoms and democratic rights. The court decision made it clear that Ford’s election meddling through Bill 5 violated the Charter. Ford doesn’t care and is trying to bypass our rights. He says he'll continue to do this for other parts of his agenda as well. This is a very slippery, and frankly scary, slope.

To do this Ford will use what’s called “the notwithstanding clause” — never before used in Ontario and rarely used in Canadian history. And he says he will continue to use it to override our fundamental rights and freedoms as he sees fit. 

Doug Ford doesn’t think Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms applies to him. He is acting as though he is above the law and our rights.

But we can stop this unprecedented attack on our rights and our elections. Send an email to your MPP and Ford's Attorney General now.

Ford has said the vote will be a free vote, meaning even his conservative MPPs can vote however they want.

Conservatives have even been publicly opposed to his actions — speaking out in newspapers and at townhalls. We know members of his conservative caucus can be persuaded to do the same and vote against trampling people’s rights. Ford has gone too far for his own conservative MPPS.

This means that, with enough pressure, conservative MPPs can reject Doug Ford's assault on our rights.

It's up to us to apply that pressure and we have to move fast - decisions will be made quickly and this is our chance to convince MPPs to vote against the trampling of our charter rights. 

Over the summer we mobilized to stop Ford. In only a few weeks 30,000 people signed petitions, 2,000 phoned conservative MPPs, 6,500 sent messages directly to Toronto PC MPPs, and thousands rallied at townhalls, at Queen’s Park, and at City Hall. 

Because we mobilized, because you took action the City of Toronto took a strong position opposed to Ford, City Council voted to take Ford to court - and then we won the court decision! 

We need to act now to apply pressure on MPPs and make sure they know that Ford has gone too far, even for conservatives. That the Charter of Rights and Freedoms should apply to people in Ontario and that Ford is not above the law and our rights.

Email your MPP, and Attorney General Caroline Mulroney, and tell them to respect the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms  and oppose the use of the notwithstanding clause. 

Send your email here: 

If you’re available, join us at Queen’s Park tomorrow at 9:30am. You can find details and RSVP here: 

Thank you from all of us at Progress Toronto

Chip in $10 today to help Progress Toronto continue our work defending Toronto from Ford and building a more progressive city:

The Province has made it clear they will be appealing the court decision released yesterday. That means the appeals court will likely be deciding on it soon. In the meantime, we are back to a 47 ward election and the candidates registered for City Council are posted on our website here.

You can read the full court decision on our website here

Press Progress made a list of the 10 best quotes from the court decision. You can see them here.

The Toronto Star has a helpful article on the notwithstanding clause  and a helpful round up of everything happening.