, 09.10.2018 07:16 AM

“Crickets:” Huge news for Toronto and the city-province relationship, across Canada

From the actual judgement from Justice Belobaba.  Read to the last line.  That’s something I’ve never seen before:


  1. Pedant says:

    Between this and Judge Dawson’s axing of the pipeline based on spurious reasoning, it seems that it is now illegal in Canada for elected officials to enact policy that goes against the wishes of the alt-left.

    • Derek Pearce says:

      Or maybe governments should CONSULT with citizens and not just pull stuff out of their ass. What’s hard to understand about that?

    • James Smith says:

      No, it sounds like the person who is presently the premier of Ontario is poised to act like a despot and inflict his whim, that he never informed the voters of Ontario of, on the people of TeaHo by using the Notwithstanding Clause. I think must recall the Legislature & pass his personal animus. Remains to be seen if even this alt right measure will pass the smell test of Democratic Rights provision of the Notwithstanding clause. If he gets away with this Ontario will have more in common with Hungary & Poland that we did just a few months ago.

      • Matt says:

        Politicians of all stripes routinely do things they didn’t campaign on (and don’t do things they did campaign on)

        Wynne never campaigned on selling off Ontario Hydro or instituting cap and trade. Is she a despot too?

        • James Smith says:

          False equivalence and a total canard. This is not just a policy change after years of conversations pro & con this is a random act of personal vengeance right after an election & goes to the heart of Democracy and the rule of law. As you either don’t know, or are just being willfully ignorant of, the Notwithstanding clause is supposed to be a difficult and ugly thing that’s been used sparingly outside of Quebec (a whole other discussion) & has never been used in Ontario. That this is being used in this way by this man proves the point many many people argued why this should never have been added to the charter in the first place.

          • Matt says:

            And if you read the opinion pieces yesterday from various legal scholars, many of whom were critical of Ford’s timing of Bill 5, they suggest the judge overreached in his ruling. Some went so far as to say he essentially created his own new section of the Charter to justify his ruling.

            Seems to me that is exactly why the framers included the Notwithstanding Clause in the Constitution.

          • Jim Keegan says:

            Section 33.

            (1) Parliament or the legislature of a province may expressly declare in an Act of Parliament or of the legislature, as the case may be, that the Act or a provision thereof shall operate notwithstanding a provision included in section 2 or sections 7 to 15.
            (2) An Act or a provision of an Act in respect of which a declaration made under this section is in effect shall have such operation as it would have but for the provision of this Charter referred to in the declaration.
            (3) A declaration made under subsection (1) shall cease to have effect five years after it comes into force or on such earlier date as may be specified in the declaration.
            (4) Parliament or the legislature of a province may re-enact a declaration made under subsection (1).
            (5) Subsection (3) applies in respect of a re-enactment made under subsection (4).

            Please point out where it states that Section 33 is “supposed to be a difficult and ugly thing” and was intended to be used sparingly, if at all. Ford is well within his legal rights to invoke this clause, left wing hysteria notwithstanding.

          • doconnor says:

            It is supposed to be “difficult and ugly thing” based on the fact that it allows the suspension of the human rights considered to be the most fundamental.

        • Derek Pearce says:

          For that, yes. And that’s part of the reason she lost.

    • Art says:

      Typical moronic right wing deduction.

    • Jim says:


      Why not read the ruling? It is extremely measured and gave the government lots of room to enact that policy LEGALLY and PROPERLY. As opposed to doing so by fiat, regardless of the implications.

      And there is no “alt-left”. Alt-right was a self-coined term by people on the far right (White Nationalists, etc.) to “rebrand”. Alt-left is basically a term that people like Trump use to diminish the credibility of anyone who disagrees with them.

      • Pedant says:

        My reading of the alt-right is that it is defiantly libertarian and nationalistic (not WHITE nationalistic), versus the alt-left which is defiantly authoritarian (and yes, they do exist; how would you classify the “no borders” crowd, for starters?). The far-right shares this authoritarian streak with the alt-left.

    • Pedant says:

      with sex ed., crocodile tears that the people must be consulted, but with Toronto Municipal elections, one should opt for last second goal post changing authoritarian rule

      Yes, because the former involved teaching explicit x-rated material to kindergartners whereas the latter was an administrative gesture to cut costs and streamline an ineffective and dysfunctional city council. You don’t see the difference regarding citizen input required?

      I do get a kick out of the leftists arguing that this latest judicial activist ruling is a “victory for democracy”. Apparently more councillors equal more democracy, you see. By that measure city council should have 1,000 elected officials. Actually, every citizen of Toronto should be his or her own city councillor and every motion be put to a citywide vote. Won’t that be grand?

  2. Matt says:

    Notwithstanding clause enacted by Ford in 3…….2…….1…..

    I don’t know if they will enact the notwithstanding clause, but a press conference coming shortly. Was told “You don’t want to miss it.”

    • Matt says:

      And there it is.

      Ford government to launch immediate appeal, will reall the legislature this week, re-introduce Bill 5 and envoke the notwithstanding clause

  3. Eastern Rebellion says:

    It has always been my opinion that Doug’s decision to arbitrarily bring in this piece of legislation was at best short-sighted; at worst a harebrained scheme that was bound to create an unnecessary headache for his government. Notwithstanding the argument that the province had the legislative authority to make the change, once it was decided to challenge the province’s position in court, the province had everything to lose, and the city and Ford’s political opponents had nothing to lose. If the city and its supporters lost, then it becomes a rallying cry. If they won, then it becomes the foundation of the opposition to Ford’s government. Now Doug has egg on his face, and he has given his political opposition encouragement to continue to attack his government, and him personally. IMHO, he should cut his losses and chalk this one up to experience.

  4. KmmF says:

    Good point, Pedant.

    It’s certainly a good snookering against Doug Ford’s cost-efficiency ethos. I am certain other groups will feel the wrath, and with such a weak economy with very few cool jobs to transition into; ,any of the fallen will join so-called Alt Left campaigns at the Federal level…coming soon?

  5. Derek Pearce says:

    So now the Notwithstanding Clause? That is some petty petty bullshit. Fuck this guy forever.

    • pierre lawayne says:

      Ah C’mon people. Ford is six hammers short of a hardware store; so who’s behind all this chaos on purpose BS. Methinks this is the same old Harper/Harris gang pulling strings from their feathered nests. Le plus ca change.

  6. Tim says:

    Now that it appears Doug Ford is using the Not-Withstanding clause, I can’t help but think he’s living up to those Donald Trump comparisons.

  7. Doug Brown says:

    Ford took the nuclear option and invoked Section 33.

    I don’t think the size of Toronto’s City Council is sufficiently important to go nuclear, but support pushback against ever more activist courts and any action that creates challenges for the Gerald Butts Liberals.

  8. James Smith says:

    Where is the Tory outrage on the issue of using the the not withstanding clause over this issue? As is said Crickets. To all my Tory friends who will ever offer a critical word of the Republicans for not standing up to their President I shall point and shout hypocrite !

    • Fred from BC says:

      The notwithstanding clause was designed for and intended to used for situations exactly like this. Unelected judges should think long and hard before deliberately frustrating the will of the politicians we elect….this particular one should be disciplined for wasting taxpayer money on a frivolous decision that he *knew* would never be allowed to stand. Grandstanding, nothing more.

      • James Smith says:

        Please let me know how agreeing that an arbitrary act changing the law governing how people elect their city council, mid way through an election campaign is is grandstanding? Notwithstanding was stuffed into the charter because too many vested interests wanted to protect their vested interest and PET relented viewing it as better to get the Charter than not. It should be removed from the Charter. BTW “unelected judges” rule on law not on their lingering hate of others, so yeah I guess you’re right, that the morons who demanded Notwithstanding be added to the Charter got exactly what they wanted.

        • Fred from BC says:

          “Please let me know how agreeing that an arbitrary act changing the law governing how people elect their city council, mid way through an election campaign is is grandstanding? ”

          I did. What part of “…that he *knew* would never be allowed to stand” was confusing to you?

          ” PET relented viewing it as better to get the Charter than not.”

          He was wrong.

          “It should be removed from the Charter. ”

          Impossible. It should never have been added, but it can’t be changed now.

          “BTW “unelected judges” rule on law not on their lingering hate of others, ”

          Right…because judges, not being human beings like the rest of us, never ever let their personal political biases influence their decisions. Thanks for clearing that up, James.

  9. Léo Bourdon says:

    Ford wants to invoke notwithstanding clause? This saga will never ends…

  10. Léo Bourdon says:

    Ford invoking the notwithstanding clause? This saga will never end!

    • Gord Tulk says:

      Invoking the NC ends it.

      If the judge really did write “crickets” in his judgement he should be removed. Shocking conduct.

  11. Des says:

    A lot of people I follow on social media are saying this reeked of judicial activism. I didn’t know much about the ruling and then I read point #77. I think I now agree with them.

    • Matt says:

      Don’t know if I’d go so far as to call it judicial activism, but it certainly seems unprofessional.

      • Des says:

        Indeed. I then heard that this was the judge that kept Speer’s wife (widow of Omar Khadr’s victim) from obtaining any of the funds that could have been awarded to her. Again, I don’t know the specifics of that ruling because I’m not a geneticist and not a lawyer (for good reason) but it seems to me that you probably shouldn’t write that in a “higher profile” ruling. Would make it easier to appeal or gives the government a greater ability to invoke the notwithstanding clause, no?

    • J.H. says:

      Editorializing with the ‘crickets’ remark just killed any trust in his ability to be fair. And will be reflected in the upcoming appeal.

      • Des says:

        Exactly what I was thinking. Should be easier to appeal or give rationalization to invoke the notwithstanding clause. Would I be right on that?

  12. Mike Jeffries says:

    Is there such a thing as judicial activism or is it like the tooth fairy? Of course there is not the tooth fairy and some think it anathema to even think that judges could be power hungry, BUT with the Law described as a living tree and to be constantly re-interpreted at the whims of the supremes there’s room for activism. Like with Transmountain constantly moving the goal posts or like yes religious rights but only if they pass the smell test which is also constantly changing! I think Jordan Peterson has balls and now so too Ford. Canada is waking up to want leaders with balls methinks to stand up to something. It is rather obvious to the old boy on the street that To. has too many city councilors and it is becoming too expensive!

    • Des says:

      I think there is indeed such a thing as judicial activism. Again, not a lawyer, but I see that everything the Trump administration puts forward down south gets appealed by courts from very Left-leaning states like New York, California, and Hawaii. I don’t think you would see a Texas court do such a thing. The law seems like something to me that can be heavily swayed to personal interpretation unlike the physical and applied sciences to which I’m quite trained in. Unless you’re talking about abortion. Then there are lots of differing opinions. I’m not going to give you mine, as a geneticist, though ;l

  13. Robert White says:

    Back when I took Legal Studies/Law in university I encountered the notwithstanding clause and decided that it was literally anathema to the rule of law and our constitution.
    I complained about it to my law professor and the Law Library Staff, but I never did figure out why it was utilized as an adjunct to our legal system that is contained in our law books.

    Please articulate what you know about the notwithstanding clause and the historical significance of including it in our law books, Warren. You are a highly skilled lawyer now and if you can educate me on the notwithstanding history of inclusion in our legal nomenclature I, for one, would be a happy camper.

    In brief, to this day I still don’t get how we could have included the notwithstanding clause in our Constitutional discourse. Bottom line is that it makes NO sense to moi whatsoever????????????


  14. Jim Keegan says:

    So, a judge makes a decision and the legislature moves to enact its constitutional powers to effectively overturn said decision. What’s wrong with that? Why do you think the notwithstanding clause provision is in the constitution, if not to provide our elected legislators with a check and balance against the power of the courts? Our judges are far from infallible and it’s surprising there have been so few instances over the years of the notwithstanding clause being invoked. Perhaps this decision by Ford will change that.

    • Robert White says:

      The Kitchen Accord is interesting after I took a look on Wikipedia for the notwithstanding clause.

      Hatched in the kitchen of the National Conference Center in Ottawa by the Federal Justice Minister Jean Cretien, Roy McMurtry, & Roy Romanow in the 80s.

      1992 Pierre Trudeau blamed Cretien for the notwithstanding clause stating “you gave them that.” Cretien replied, “Sorry Pierre. I recommended it. You gave it.”

      As a legislative & judicial override enacted primarily for the provinces that wanted override it is necessary I guess, but I still think it makes a mockery federal jurisdiction.

      Trudeau would not have signed on if he did not have to.


  15. Jim Keegan says:

    The above was meant as a reply to Leo Bourdon, not as a response to WK’s post.

  16. Matt says:

    Emmett Macfarlane opinion piece on why Justice Edward Belobaba made the wrong decision.


  17. Doug Brown says:

    Could this be phase 1aaaaaa of an austerity program? Ford might be trying to set the tone that nothing will get in the way, i. e. if he is willing to go nuclear on this relatively small issue, who knows what he’ll do to public sector unions that get in the way of balancing the budget.

  18. Pedant says:

    Does anyone recall a study done about 10-15 years ago on political donations from Canadian judges and lawyers that revealed 80%+ goes to the Liberals, federally and provincially? I’ve been trying to find it without success. I was reminded of it by this recent wave of activism from the alt-left’s representatives on the bench.

  19. Steve says:

    Crickets ? I think not. All I hear is the bleating shrieks of left wing hysteria. Looks good on them. Game set & match to Ford.

    • Matt says:

      Gotta admit I do get a chuckle out of the NDP councillors in Toronto.

      They scream at Ford to keep his big provincial nose out of Ontario’s business. They vote to join the legal action.

      Judge rules in their favour.

      They cheer “the court has spoken! 47 councillors for Toronto!!!”

      Two hours later Ford says he’ll use the Notwithstanding Clause to force the changes through.

      NDP councillors in Toronto run to Justin Trudeau demanding he stick his big federal nose into Ontario’s business and disallow Ford’s use of the Notwithstanding Clause

  20. RKJ says:

    Justice Belobada’s decision contains a certain smug and condescending tone. Might this provide a hint as to why so many Ontario voters elected Doug Ford?

    Judicial over-reach is an issue. Using the “notwithstanding” clause sends a very clear message regarding this concern.

    I was not a Doug Ford supporter but…this guy may well have a deeper support base than “downtown Traaanta” voters wish to imagine.

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