QUEEN’S PARK – Jeff Burch, Ontario NDP Municipal Affairs and Housing critic and Niagara Centre MPP, defended the Canadian Charter or Rights and Freedoms today as Conservative cabinet ministers propped up Doug Ford’s unprecedented abuses of power. After the courts struck down one of Ford’s laws, ruling that it violates people’s Charter rights, Ford tabled a bill Wednesday that includes a notwithstanding clause — taking that Charter right away from people.
“Mr. Ford’s decision to invoke the notwithstanding clause is an unprecedented abuse of power and displays nothing but pure contempt for people,” Burch said. “To add insult to injury, Ford also made it clear that he will not be shy about invoking the clause in the future. Does the minister support trampling the rights and freedoms of Ontarians any time Mr. Ford wants to cancel people’s rights, or will the minister stand up, have a backbone and vote against this undemocratic move?”
Burch accused Conservative cabinet minister Steve Clark of propping up Ford’s backward priorities and abuse of power.
“It is shocking that Mr. Clark is standing here in this house, happily propping up this premier’s dictatorial move to invoke this clause— a clause that we all know has nothing to do with efficiency and everything to do with this premier settling a score,” Burch said, pointing out that while Niagara region’s priorities go unaddressed, Ford stays focused on this challenge — a revenge plot.
“Why does the minister think it’s appropriate for one politician from Toronto — Mr. Ford — to use unprecedented nuclear measures to bulldoze the democratic rights of Ontarians?”