Doug Ford makes it known that he will not be stopped

Judge rules against Ford - Canada News

Judge rules against Ford - Canada News

"It is only when a democratically elected government has clearly crossed the line that the "judicial umpire" should intervene", he said. "Upon closer examination of the surrounding circumstances, however, one discovers at least two constitutional deficiencies that can not be justified in a free and democratic society".

"You can't change the rules in the middle of a game".

The judge found that the bill "substantially interfered with both the candidate's and the voter's right to freedom of expression".

In an interview with Global News Radio 640 Toronto, Ford was asked if he intends to shrink other city councils in the province in the same way he's cutting Toronto's nearly in half.

"Local government is the level of government that is closest to its residents".

"The evidence before this court supports the conclusion that if the 25 FEDs option was adopted, City councillors would not have the capacity to respond in a timely fashion to the "grievances and concerns" of their constituents".

Conceivably, the Trudeau government could also use Ottawa's constitutional power of "disallowance" to stop Ford, but it's hard to believe it would do so on an issue involving the size of Toronto council. Why impose a solution (increasing all ward sizes to 111,000) that is far worse, in terms of achieving effective representation, than the original problem? "And, again, why do so in the middle of the city's election?" he writes.

Toronto deputy mayor Stephen Holyday, who supported the council cut, said he thinks the court decision could lead some council candidates to challenge the legitimacy of the October 22 vote.

"While the timing of the bill was not ideal. this bill was introduced almost three months before the election date, which is still longer than federal and provincial writ periods", CTF's federal director Aaron Wudrick said in a statement.

The judge argued, surprisingly to many legal experts, that the Ford government had "clearly crossed the line" with Bill 5 "more out of pique than principle", despite the fact Section 92 of the Constitution Act of 1867, regarding "subjects of exclusive provincial jurisdiction", clearly states that: "In each province the legislature may exclusively make laws in relation to ... municipal institutions in the province".

In the court documents, Judge Belobaba said Ford's plans would be "radically redrawing" the city's electoral districts, in the middle of the election. The province's move, which aligned ward boundaries with federal and provincial ridings, drew outrage from many Toronto residents and councillors. If the provincial government wishes to enact another Bill 5-type law at some future date to affect future City elections, it may certainly attempt to do so.

That means Toronto's municipal election will go ahead as originally planned - unless Doug Ford did something extreme and invoked the notwithstanding clause to run roughshod over the court's ruling.

"We've made a lot of decisions over the years politically", Ford said, "and I've never made a decision that was so popular than this decision".

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