Notwithstanding the Notwithstanding Clause

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms has an odd clause. I know, I know you guessed it because of the title of this post. The notwithstanding clause allows the provincial government to override the Charter. I think it was at least partially put in to appease Quebec. When the charter was drawn up in 1981 Quebec was worried about protecting the French language and culture in that province. I think they wished to limit the rights of other languages and cultures to keep French majority in Quebec preserved forevermore. Quebec was so serious at the time that they had a couple referendums to leave Canada.

Doug Ford, Ontario’s new premier, got the house’s backing to use the notwithstanding clause. To force the city of Toronto to cut back to 25 councilors from the current 47. Of course there is no acrimony about this just because Ford was a long time city of Toronto councilor. Of course.

Anyway the scaredy cat appeal court of Ontario just stayed the ruling that this act goes against the Charter. Still, Ford has said he will keep the notwithstanding clause vote in his back pocket in case he needs it in the future.

This is the first time ever, that an Ontario government has used the notwithstanding clause. It’s weird. It’s almost like all our other premiers didn’t want to overrule the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

But I am no such sissy. When I get elected premier of Ontario, I will immediately invoke the notwithstanding clause to waterboard Doug Ford. The waterboarding will continue until he confesses to smoking crack from as far back as his now deceased brother did.

I know, he might not have actually done it but that is the beauty of torture. It can make you confess things that you never did. Once I have this confession, I will use it to put Doug Ford in jail for possession of crack and all other charges that can be brought against him.

I will say that this all is democracy because the people voted me in. So what if I only had 40% of the vote? It’s still democracy. First past the post democracy.

I’ll only have 5 years in which a judicial review will be voided. But a lot can happen in 5 years. I could die. Doug Ford could die. Or maybe, just maybe the notwithstanding clause may disappear. Or the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

About Larry Russwurm

Just another ranter on the Internet
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2 Responses to Notwithstanding the Notwithstanding Clause

  1. I retweeted this before reading it, and on reading it I duscovered it is pretty extreme. It made me uncomfortable.

    However I did laugh out loud at,

    “I know, he might not actually have done it but that is the beauty of torture.” But it was an uncomfortable laugh.

    But we are living in extreme times, with an extreme government doing extreme things to our Charter rights. So maybe extreme humour is called for. Mr Ford’s cavalier employment of the Notwithstanding Clause is pretty extreme.

  2. Yes it was extreme. I made sure one of my tags said, “Why the notwithstanding clause should never be used,” for those that might doubt my intentions.

    I also used Mr. Ford as my whipping boy to bring it home to partisans of his who aren’t batting an eyelash at his use of the notwithstanding clause. It’s not a good idea to override the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. There’s a reason no previous premier of Ontario has used it.

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