I was delighted this morning to hear the news that democratic rights including the right to effective representation, as well as freedom of expression, should mean something in Ontario. Justice Belobaba's ruling was a fantastic read, laying out clearly how the Ford government overstepped its bounds and violated those Charter of Rights and Freedoms when it hastily passed Bill 5 this summer, slashing Toronto's wards from 47 to 25 mid-campaign. The original 47-ward map would be returned for the Oct 22 election, the judge ruled.
Sadly, by this afternoon, those sacred Charter Rights seemed to vanish as Ontario Dictator Doug Ford announced he was going to trounce those basic human rights using the Charter's notwithstanding clause for the first time ever in Ontario history simply because he's an asshole and doesn't like it when anybody tries to limit his power, which clearly he assumes is absolute.
Now it's clear: if the democratic and freedom of expression rights of all Torontonians can be swept away by a dictator like Ford, none of our rights are safe (at least while Ford and others like him are in power.)
When asked today if he'd use the notwithstanding clause to destroy other peoples' Charter rights too, Ford responded, “I won’t be shy.”
In addition to being a dangerous violator of human rights, Ford's also a hypocrite.
In previous weeks, Doug Ford has threatened to cut funding to any post-secondary institutions that don't "respect freedom of expression". Today, he is now promising to run roughshod over those very same freedoms and use the notwithstanding clause to do it.
If universities can be de-funded because they don't respect freedom of expression, does this mean that Doug Ford will also de-fund his own government? That would be a worthwhile cost-saving measure!
The facts are clear: Ford's willing to go to bat for the rights of far-right radicals intent on promoting hate speech on university campuses.
But ordinary citizens who are participating in our local democracy? Ford doesn't give a shit about them and he's willing to go to unprecedented lengths to undermine their freedom of expression, as well as the democratic rights of all Ontarians.
Ford is a monster who must be stopped.