The Notwithstanding Clause in Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms was supposed to be used sparingly such as in cases where human safety could be endangered if governments didn’t act in response to possible court rulings.
One example could be to protect children were child pornography somehow legalized by a court in favour of freedom of expression.
But of course courts have been quite reasonable balancing rights while protecting vulnerable Canadians and the greater good going back decades.
It was Quebec that enjoyed using the Notwithstanding Clause the most to override language rights to bolster its vulnerable Quebec culture. I’ve said it before and I’ll repeat: if the only way your language and culture can survive is to systemically oppress all other cultures and languages, then maybe your language and culture isn’t really worth saving.
Quebec recently oppressed religious and expression rights again by banning any outward religious expression in the public service, a law that has negatively impacted mostly on Muslim women who now can’t work in certain public sector jobs.
But Doug Ford in Ontario wins the prize for worst excuses to use the Notwithstanding Clause. He first tried to do it in 2018 when a court tried to stop his vindictive, purely political attack on local democracy in Toronto in the middle of a municipal campaign. Ford was motivated solely my malice and revenge against former enemies running municipally whose races Ford simply squashed. It certainly wasn’t about helping Toronto.
Ford's first instinct was to use the sledge hammer approach of the Notwithstanding Clause to resolve the issue to his liking. However an appeal court ruling set aside his need to use the notwithstanding clause that year. This case is still before the Supreme Court now. But the incident illustrated clearly how eager Ford is to override basic human rights when they conflict with his agenda.
But this week’s move by Ford to again invoke the Notwithstanding Clause to greatly limit the ability of unions and other groups from running ads critical of the government 12 months ahead of the election proves the first attempt wasn’t some one off.
No, Ford is showing his true self again. When other reasonable options like appealing this ruling still exist, Ford instead jumps to override the Charter.
The first 2018 attempt was merely gratuitous and disturbing. The second time now proves Doug Ford has some kind of fucked up fetish when it comes to stripping you of your rights.
The bullying and disrespect so ingrained in this flawed imbecile’s psyche is now on full display. We saw it too when he tried to ramp up police arrests of citizens out for a drive in the second wave of Covid-19 and wanted to close provincial borders with police barricades.
His instincts are cruel and nasty. He’s dangerous and his hands on the levers of power resemble those of a dangerous, spoiled child’s hands.
The sooner this buffoon is removed from those levers of power, the safer and healthier all Ontarians will be.