Justin Mathews 🏠 Profile picture
Sep 10, 2018 13 tweets 3 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
What you need to know about s.33 - the Notwithstanding Clause. A thread -
Municipalities are creatures of the province. This move was well within Premier Ford's legal authority to basically Thanos-snap half of the TO wards out of existence. #onpoli
And Doug Ford's move to use the Notwithstanding Clause in response to the judge's decision (ruling it unconstitutional) this morning, is also within his legal right as Premier of Ontario.
However, the Notwithstanding Clause is like using a shake weight on your morning commute using public transportation. Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.
It should only be used in extraordinary circumstances. And let's be clear here: the Notwithstanding Clause is the "Kiss My Ass" clause. It was written specifically as a condition to get provinces to sign the Constitution and provide legal cover to override constitutional rights.
In other words:
*Provinces passes a law.*
*Court deems said law unconstitutional*
*Provinces invokes s.33* and tells the court: "Kiss My Ass"
In fact, it's so grotesquely corrosive (and dare-I-say, anti-democratic in spirit), provinces have only sparingly used the #NotwithstandingClause, for fear of reprisal and political cost (and rightly so!). Consider the few times it's been tried:
Quebec, 1988: Quebec makes it illegal to post commercial signs in languages other than in French.
Supreme Court: "That's unconstitutional"
Quebec:*invokes s.33* "va te faire foutre"
Aftermath: Criticized by UN Human Rights Committee in '93, law amended to permit other languages.
Alberta, 1998: For decades Alberta practiced eugenics. In 1995, Alberta was sued. 100s of lawsuits followed. Alberta attempted to invoke s.33 to impose a $150k cap on lawsuits. Outrage. 24-hr later they withdrew bc you can't cut your losses when you sterilize ppl w/o consent.
Alberta, 2000: Alberta say marriage can only be between the opposite sex and tries to pre-emptively invoke "Kiss My Ass"
Supreme Court: "Nah b, the definition of "marriage" is federal. No #NotwithstandingClause for you. You homophobes are reaching."
So to sum, in #cndpoli, using the #NotwithstandingClause is basically a nuclear option. It's saying "yes, we know this violates the Charter, we don't care, kiss my ass." And if you're going to pull this sh-t you better have good reason. Now, back to Ford.
Ontario, 2018: Ford passes legislation to cut Toronto wards in half from 47 to 25.
Courts this morning: "That's unconstitutional."
Ford: "Kiss my ass. It's #NotwithstandingClause time."
Ford is about to invoke s.33, the first time in Ontario's history, on something he didn't campaign on, providing a solution to a problem no one complained about, and creating a logistical nightmare in the middle of an election just to cut TO wards in half because he petty AF.
Doug Ford hasn't even been premier for 3 months. Grab your beer and popcorn. /endthread.

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