09.14.2018 04:16 PM

Chretien, McMurtry and Romanow break their silence


  1. Matt says:

    Former Premiers Christy Clark, Brad Wall and Jean Charest were on CBC yesterday supporting Ford for using it. I was actually suprised how enthusiastically Clark supported it.

    The Ontario government is in court Tuesday seeking a stay of Belobaba’s ruling. If successful Belobaba’s ruling would be nullified and Bill 5 would again be law so Bill 31 would no longer be needed.

  2. Pedro says:

    Oh for heavens’ sake! Can we stop the hyperbolic caterwauling and take some advice from Roxy Music “Nein – das ist nicht das ende der welt” Judge’s judgement was wrong – he shoulda ruled, “Yeah, it sucks but it IS the provincial gov’t’s prerogative and doesn’t impinge on ACTUAL ALL CANADIANS’ rights and freedoms, just the ones wanting to get elected to a forum that pays and yammer on and on.” Intentions or not, it is NOT up to the framers of the clause to decide what it is used for. We had better municipal politicians then too. What do they have to say about the mess that is Toronto?

    • Kenal says:

      “and doesn’t impinge on ACTUAL ALL CANADIANS’ rights and freedoms”

      It’s only against the charter if it hurts all Canadians? Doe that mean racial minorities are fair game, too?

  3. Robert White says:

    Now how do I reconcile the difference in terms of the position former Prime Minister Chretien, McMurtry, & Romanow are taking in contradistinction to you, Warren?

    Legislators and legal experts abound in this conundrum. As a lay person in terms of Jurisprudence in CANADA who am I to listen to on this particular case of the notwithstanding clause?

    You say Feudal Lord Ford politically trumps the legislators like appointed judges, but what about top legislators like your old boss PM Chretien, Barrister Kinsella?


    • Angel Martin says:

      So you are asking, which group of discredited elites should we defer to ?

      My answer.

      The entire “Trudeau” Constitution and Charter of Rights should be done away with.

      Not just the Notwithstanding Clause.

  4. whyshouldIsellyourwheat says:

    The notwithstanding clause should be used with (extreme) caution if one is using it to overturn a Supreme Court decision.

    But if one is using it to overturn a clearly hyper-activist poorly reasoned lower court decision where the clear intent of the proponents and the judge is to obstruct and nullify an election, when then caution is not really required. In this case, it is it really only one person’s opinion vs. the decision of a democratically elected government, and one is using it more as a temporary injunction to prevent intention obstruction.

    • RKJ says:

      Well said. Agree with Pedro as well. Judge “crickets” began his comments by saying Province has the right, then went off on a meandering tangent. The notwithstanding clause provides a useful means for mitigating the effects of sloppy logic from judges who take themselves too seriously.

  5. doconnor says:

    The opposition should negotiate to have a committee hearing on the bill and invite them to testify. In the US they are always trying to guess the framers of the constitution. In Canada we have the opportunity to ask them in person.

    • Peter says:

      That’s actually quite funny. “Originalism” is associated with today’s cons complaining about judicial activism. “Stick with the original intent”, they cry. It seems the theory works best when the founders are long dead and unavailable to tell us what they meant.

      • Gord Tulk says:

        And the NC is being used to stop an egregious case of judicial activism.

        The nattering left wing nabobs who have always believed that the provinces should be much weaker than the BNA act made them – all of them believers in progressive centralized command and control (something demonstratively proven to be disastrous countless times) – are upset that things aren’t going their way.

        Thank goodness we now see pushback – maybe just maybe we can reverse things and save this confederation.

  6. John W. says:

    Well that just about settles that.
    Listen up Mulroney and Elliot.

  7. doconnor says:

    What’s interesting is that these three people aren’t just 3 random officials who happened to be at the constitutional conference. They are the Kitchen Cabinet that settled on the notwithstanding clause that salvaged the talks and made repatriation and the Charter of Rights possible.

    • whyshouldIsellyourwheat says:

      Alan Blakeney, the guy who proposed and insisted upon the charter, and was at the heart of the gang of eight, disagrees:


      • Fred from BC says:

        A former editor of the Globe and Mail also disagrees:

        “We believed that the Charter by itself was a serious threat to the ‘sovereignty of the Parliament,’ ” says William Thorsell, a former editor-in-chief of The Globe and Mail. In 1981, when the great Charter bargain was being brokered, Mr. Thorsell was associate editor of the Edmonton Journal. The notwithstanding clause, he recalls in an e-mail to me, was designed to keep the sovereignty of Parliament alive, and to stave off American-style judicial activism. What it meant was that judges could not strike down democratically enacted laws with impunity. It was a necessary check against judicial overreach.

  8. Michael says:

    The Ford boys showed distain for criminal law and the police. Why would Doug respect constitutional law?

  9. Mike Jeffries says:

    “Condemn”! Wow, how grandiose.
    And Roy at least should know better. When he became premier of a bankrupt province what did he do? Closed 50+ hospitals! Surely there was a Charter challenge there and if mayors of those communities had risen up and launched a Charter challenge to stop this and surely it would tie things up for years would Roy not have considered the NWC? Sure he would for obvious economic reasons. The right for the province to survive was at stake!
    Now is Ontario bankrupt? Has the judge seen the books like Ford has? And is this the beginning for Ford to right the province of largesse and deal with the unions who love Charter challenges? If it is, Roy at least should surely understand. Maybe he would if he saw Ontario’s books!

    • Fred from BC says:

      “… would Roy not have considered the NWC? Sure he would for obvious economic reasons. The right for the province to survive was at stake!”

      Pierre Trudeau came right out and said that he himself would use the NWC over the issue of abortion rights.

  10. Derek Pearce says:

    The funny and super-hypocritical thing is that Ford is taking the federal government TO COURT to try to stop the carbon tax. The DULY ELECTED MAJORITY GOVERNMENT of our country to court. He wants *a judge* to stop the elected government from implementing it’s legislation. So, ahem, what is this? Some courts are more equal others or some elected governments are more equal than others?

    I’m sure Ford doesn’t know the meaning of the term “cognitive dissonance” but maybe Caroline does.

    • Ronald O'Dowd says:


      That sound you hear is Ford graduating to the astronomical heights of a true politician.

      My position on this is simple: in constitutional law, are the cities, towns and villages still mere creatures of the province? If so, no question that Ford has the upper hand. Not unexpectedly, I’m with Warren.

    • J.H. says:

      22 people who’ve been sucking on the public teat to the tune of $144,000 plus expenses allowances etc. They’ve been doing for years and I’m finding it hard to believe the average citizen of Toronto is upset about this. Not many torches & pitchforks in the streets yet or thousands marching in opposition, so I suspect it’s just all sound and fury from the usual suspects.

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