Clause fuels dissension
I heartily stand by and support Premier Doug Ford’s decision to appeal and use the “notwithstanding” clause to pass this legislation.
The ruling smacked of judicial interference and a desire to save politicians’ jobs, not protecting my “freedom of expression.” In fact, for all the fuss and feathers council made about “reduced representation,” it smacks entirely of self-interest, not democracy.
This is the change Ontarians voted for in June. Steps to impede the premier or others in this regard are the real hindrance to democracy and one I hope he is successful in defeating.
Steven Eleftheriadis, Toronto
Now is the time for Lt.-Gov. Elizabeth Dowdeswell to stand up and do her job. She needs to refuse to sign Doug Ford’s so-called “Efficient Local Government Act” into law on the grounds that it is a grossly inappropriate use of the Charter of Rights notwithstanding clause. If she doesn’t do this, then what good is she?
Geoff Fridd, Toronto
I think the electorate of Ontario needs to pull out their dictionaries and look up “notwithstanding.” The definition is “in spite of” or “in defiance of.” The latter meaning applies here.
Look up “integrity” — “the quality or state of being of sound moral principle; uprightness, honesty and sincerity.”
Now look up “sneak” — “to behave in a stealthy, underhanded or cowardly manner.” Consider Ford’s hidden agenda — there was no mention of cutting Toronto council during the election campaign.
John Berrie, Scarborough
Readers who wish they could express their opinion directly to our provincial parliament about the use of the notwithstanding clause by the present government should be aware that they can do precisely that. Every resident of Ontario has the right to submit to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario a petition asking that body to act on or change its position on an issue.
Your petition must be mailed (not emailed or tweeted, etc.) to any member of the legislative assembly. For the cost of a stamp and some stationery, this is your chance to record officially and for history your vote on the matter. Start the process by locating the postal address of your favourite MPP on the web at www.ola.org. Then go to www.ola.org/en/get-involved and go to “Petitions” for detailed instructions.
A bit of bother, yes — but how much do you care about your province and your country? Tell your member of the provincial parliament where you stand — and where she or he should stand — on this vital matter.
Wayne Robbins, Toronto
I feel compelled to join the chorus of those who object to the latest Doug Ford excursion into foolish, irresponsible governance. The current state of affairs is very sad, especially for those who remember Bill Davis and the way the PC party was before extreme right-wingers and so-called populists took over.
All Ontarians, regardless of their political leanings, should reflect on what is happening at Queen’s Park, contact their MPP and urge him or her to rein in our premier before he embarks on more of his irresponsible schemes.
Bill Wensley, Cobourg, Ont.
It really is a shame to see two strong female politicians like Caroline Mulroney and Christine Elliott get in line behind Doug Ford’s delusional agenda. These two women were part of Canadian political cornerstones and now look like weak pawns trying to defend the premier’s unprecedented move!
Brian Lisle, Bowmanville, Ont.
I thank the Toronto Star editorial board for weighing in on this fraught issue in the article, “Doug Ford is trampling on the rights of all Ontarians.” It appears now that Progressive Conservative MPPs agree with Ford: politicians’ whims trump human rights. So where do we go from here?
Well, NDP MPPs set a good precedent when they engaged in civil disobedience until they were thrown out of Queen’s Park. That’s the commitment we need: we must do more than just protest; we must defy this government any way we can.
Danielle Rae, Ottawa
Many of our elected representatives, our trusted leaders, are betraying us. The guiding principles that have been the beacon of hope for our children have dimmed. Trumpism has taken root and is quickly darkening Ontario.
It’s not too late to stop this. Let us pray that soul-searching takes our elected officials to a better place, one in which “true patriot love” would once again see the rise of “the true north, strong and free.”
Carol Mason, Etobicoke
Another ignorant buffoon takes the helm. But, hey, we (well, not me) elected him. As the ads say, “You get what you pay for.” Could there be a hole deep enough in the sand for Mulroney to bury her head?
Peter Lower, Toronto
Our lieutenant-governor has an opportunity to prove our system of government actually works the way our country’s laws say it should. If the lieutenant-governor is more than a ceremonial figurehead, she should exercise her legal power to withhold approval of this “unprecedented” dictatorial legislation Ford is pushing through, and defend our constitutional rights.
Lorie Marangoni, Weston
I have been reading the Toronto Star for years. But I’m thinking of switching papers because of your obvious bias. You are against Doug Ford, who, by the way, I didn’t vote for. How you could put the absolutely childish behaviour of the NDP and others in a good light is beyond me. I read a paper for impartial information.
I hope the Star starts showing a little restraint when it prints its papers with articles that are so one-sided.
Cynthia Harvey, Brampton
Where are the counter-demonstrations supporting Doug Ford’s efforts to curb the bloated, wasteful council?
Mimi Khan, Scarborough
Standing up for democracy? I don’t think so. Doug Ford speaks the hollow words of the propagandist. He delivers only chaos.
Anthony Irwin, Toronto
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