Monday, 27 May, 2019

Greenpeace sues Ontario to maintain cap-and-trade rules

PressProgress Ford says demand exists for smaller Ottawa council
Sandy Nunez | 14 September, 2018, 21:07

The group said the Environmental Bill of Rights, legislation unique to Ontario, states that the province's residents have the right to a 30-day consultation process on environmentally significant regulations and legislation.

The notwithstanding clause is contained in Section 33 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, approved by Parliament in 1982, so its use can hardly be described as unconstitutional. He said he'll "stand up and speak out for Toronto", but added that if Ford calls on Tuesday, he'll take the call, despite the strained relationship with Queen's Park.

Far from being the result of Ford's personal proclivities, as is largely being claimed in the bourgeois press, the Ontario premier's embrace of anti-democratic methods of rule is part of an worldwide process rooted in the deepening global capitalist crisis.

At Monday's press conference the premier acted in a manner reminiscent of US President Donald Trump, casting himself as the voice of the people and sole legitimate constitutional authority against an unelected and unaccountable judiciary.

The provision, known as the notwithstanding clause, has never been used in the province before and critics have condemned the move, saying the clause was not created to deal with this kind of issue. "Right now, as you're going to hear over the next few weeks, we're in a financial disaster the previous government left us in".

Toronto Mayor John Tory has said invoking the notwithstanding clause is a "gross overreach" of the province's powers, adding city staff will advise councillors at a special meeting on Thursday how the municipality can proceed with the upcoming October 22 election.

Ford's invocation of the "notwithstanding clause" to allow his government to press ahead with the restructuring of Toronto's municipal government, together with his declaration that his government will use "every tool" to enforce its agenda, must therefore be understood as a warning of the dictatorial methods the ruling elite will resort to in the class battles immediately ahead.

"It's a black eye for our province", she said.

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"The government's made a decision on the notwithstanding clause with respect to Bill 5, and that's what we'll go back to the legislature for tomorrow", she said after being asked about the sex-ed policy and the Constitution.

"There was chaos inside here today", he said.

"He truly is a premier for the people", she enthused. "He is bringing a risky view of democracy to Queen's Park, predicated on his belief that he can rule by decree". "And that is just what you are doing". "That court said what he is trying to do goes against me". But he said Canadians consistently rank the charter as one their most prized institutions and some may conclude the premier is against it.

MacDonnell said Ford's willingness to launch such broad salvos at the court system mere months into his four-year mandate signals a stronger value for his own political agenda over constitutional rights, adding that repeated use of the notwithstanding clause would "inevitably" erode those rights over time.

The promise to scrap cap-and-trade helped Ford and his Progressive-Conservative party win a majority in the Ontario legislature in June. "Leadership is not about being a passenger", she said.

But it's unlikely any will break ranks on this issue, said Genevieve Tellier, a political science professor at the University of Ottawa.

The premier, meanwhile, has also vowed to appeal the judgment, alleging the court was interfering with a democratically elected government.

"An elected official doesn't have full power to do whatever he wants, she wants - there are some rules to follow, those of the constitution", she said.