Debate on Bill 31 (which overrides the charter and downsizes Toronto city council) is now underway, starting with Municipal Affairs Minister @SteveClarkPC. There are more government MPPS here than opposition MPPs #onpoli #topoli
@SteveClarkPC Clark says things like Toronto council's 15 hour debate on the city's budget are reasons why Toronto needs a smaller council. #onpoli #topoli
@SteveClarkPC Clark notes that the Ford government got support for triggering the notwithstanding clause from former premiers @christyclarkbc, @BradWall306 and Jean Charest #topoli #cdnpoli #onpoli
@SteveClarkPC @christyclarkbc @BradWall306 Clark says voters can't afford to wait until the next election before changing the size of Toronto's council. Says the time for action is "long overdue" #onpoli #topoli
@SteveClarkPC @christyclarkbc @BradWall306 Clark says allowing Toronto city council to grow to the size of 47 councillors would make council "even worse." Says council's indecision on the Gardiner Expressway is the perfect example for why a smaller council is needed #onpoli #topoli
@SteveClarkPC @christyclarkbc @BradWall306 Clark is taking issue with debate at city hall that "go on and on and on." He also singles out the fact that each councillor is independent with their own agenda #onpoli #topoli
@SteveClarkPC @christyclarkbc @BradWall306 Clark says there's not enough parity among the current ward boundaries in Toronto. Adds "we believe smaller councils work better" #topoli #onpoli
@SteveClarkPC @christyclarkbc @BradWall306 Clark says that taxpayers will save $15 million over four years with the change in council size. Previously the government said downsizing from 47 to 25 councillors would save $25 million over four years #onpoli #topoli
@SteveClarkPC @christyclarkbc @BradWall306 Clark says "we're just using the tools in our toolbox." #onpoli #topoli
@SteveClarkPC @christyclarkbc @BradWall306 Clark says currently people at council talk out of turn and over each other (note: that happens A LOT in the legislature) #onpoli #topoli
Clark’s speech is done. Now over to Attorney General @C_Mulroney for her speech on Bill 31. She says there are “major, ongoing issues” at Toronto city council. Says residents are being failed by council #onpoli #topoli
Person in the gallery is escorted out after yelling “this is F***ing bull****” another person yells “it’s not your government it’s ours” #onpoli #topoli
Liberal MPP @ndesrosiers rises on a point of order, says because this is before the courts Attorney General @C_Mulroney shouldn't be speaking to the issue #onpoli #topoli
@ndesrosiers @C_Mulroney Speaker dismisses that point of order and Mulroney keeps talking. "Says this legislature holds the sole right and responsibility to pass legislation" #onpoli topoli
@ndesrosiers @C_Mulroney More members of the public are escorted out as one yells a several curse words at @fordnation #onpoli #topoli
People who came to see the proceedings aren’t being let in because one side of the gallery is full. They’re chanting “our house” and “let us in.” One person in security says the speaker only allowed for the opening of one gallery and not both #onpoli #topolo
Two rows of police officers block people who are now protesting at the public entrance for the legislature #onpoli #Topoli
More police officers stand in front of the door. People chanting “Doug you suck”
I count 21 police officers now blocking the door to the legislature, two NDP MPPs come out to explain to the crowd what’s happening. They also give them some shout outs, sat MPPs can hear protesters inside #topoli #onpoli
Councillor @kristynwongtam and @Janet_Davis explain to protestors that everyone has been kicked out of the public galleries and encourages people outside to keep making noise so MPPs still hear them #onpoli #topoli
Protestors now banging on construction scaffolding to make more noise as others chant “let us in.” The speaker has completely cleared the public galleries #onpoli #topoli
NDP Leader @AndreaHorwath comes outside, tells people here that she is supposed to be giving her speech inside but she thought it was more important to be here. Says even children know you don’t change the rules of the game in the middle of the game #topoli #onpoli
I’m heading back inside to cover more of the debate. This is the scene outside #onpoli #topoli
Inside the legislature NDP MPP @Peter_Tabuns is quoting last week’s ruling when the judge said the government’s action were out of picque more than principle #onpoli #topoli
@Peter_Tabuns Tabuns: "the province clearly crossed the line." #onpoli #topoli
@Peter_Tabuns PC MPP @RobinMartinPC is heckling Tabuns' speech. #onpoli #topoli
@Peter_Tabuns @RobinMartinPC Tabuns: should the government be able to do whatever they want or is there a constraint #onpoli #topoli
@Peter_Tabuns @RobinMartinPC In a delaying tactic, Tabuns moved a motion to adjourn the debate. It's going to a recorded vote which forces a 30 minute break and ringing of the bells. So we will be back here at 2:45 a.m. #onpoli #topoli
The MPPs are back. Premier @fordnation is no longer here. The motion to adjourn debate was defeated and now @AndreaHorwath is giving her speech #topoli #onpoli
@fordnation @AndreaHorwath Horwath says Ford is throwing traditions of the legislature in the "trash." Says government has a with us or against us mentality. #onpoli #topoli
@fordnation @AndreaHorwath Horwath accuses Ford of "abuse of office" to settle "petty" political scores #onpoli #topoli
@fordnation @AndreaHorwath We can still hear protesters shouting outside the legislature as MPPs debate Bill 31 inside #onpoli #topoli
@fordnation @AndreaHorwath Horwath says: the premier's actions set a "very very dangerous precedent," she asks when will the premier again trigger Section 33.
@MacLeodLisa heckles: "oh good lord." #onpoli #topoli
@fordnation @AndreaHorwath @MacLeodLisa Horwath calls Ford's MPPs "seals clapping behind him." #onpoli #topoli
@fordnation @AndreaHorwath @MacLeodLisa PC MPP @RobinMartinPC rises on a point of order to accuse Horwath of using language that's "abusive and insulting." #onpoli #topoli
@fordnation @AndreaHorwath @MacLeodLisa @RobinMartinPC The speaker cautions Horwath on her choice of words, allows her to continue her speech #onpoli #topoli
The premier is back in the house #onpoli #topoli
Horwath is now reading letters that the NDP have received from Ontarians who are upset about Bill 31 #onpoli #topoli
PC MPP @samoosterhoff is playing the role of a legislative page because none are here at this hour. They usually bring MPPs water and pass around documents etc #onpoli #topoli
@samoosterhoff PC MPP @PaulCalandra rises to speak to Bill 31, starts by saying @AndreaHorwath doesn't meet the standard of a leader of the official opposition, says people like Jack Layton and Tom Mulcair did #onpoli #cdnpoli #topoli
@samoosterhoff @PaulCalandra @AndreaHorwath House Leader @ToddSmithPC says the judge's ruling last week violated the privileges of this house, and that's why the government needs to invoke the notwithstanding clause. "The rights of this house has been infringed," Smith says #onpoli #topoli
The public galleries remain empty after the speaker of the legislature cleared the one gallery that he opened just after 1 a.m. Meantime, protesters can still be heard outside #onpoli #topoli
Leaders @AndreaHorwath and @fordnation are both gone, interim liberal leader @JohnFraserOS hasn’t been here. #onpoli #topoli
@AndreaHorwath @fordnation @JohnFraserOS Smith says the opposition MPPs "should be defending the rights of this place" because they were "infringed on" by the judge's ruling last week #onpoli #topoli
@AndreaHorwath @fordnation @JohnFraserOS Smith: "Section 33 is a rare response and it should remain a rare response"
NOTE: Ford has previously said he won't be "shy" about using Section 33... so this is important to note, I believe its the first time the government has said it should be used rarely #onpoli #topoli
@AndreaHorwath @fordnation @JohnFraserOS Note that @JohnFraserOS is away because his mum suffered a stroke. Thanks to @prchristie for flagging #onpoli #topoli
@AndreaHorwath @fordnation @JohnFraserOS @prchristie Protesters chants of "let us in" are easier to hear inside the legislature than the low key debate from the MPPs #onpoli #topoli
I’m leaving the legislature so I can drink some coffee. Finance Minister @VictorFedeli is giving a speech and @fordnation is back. Fedeli calls out heckles from the NDP says finally there’s a government bring “real relief” for Ontarians #onpoli #topoli
@VictorFedeli @fordnation Premier @fordnation will speak to Bill 31 at 6:15 a.m. He's been inside the legislature for much of the night. Latest on the debate inside and the protests outside, here: ipolitics.ca/2018/09/17/pro… #onpoli #topoli
Crowd outside Queen’s Park has thinned out substantially, and the police have left. They’re chanting “let us in” and “we’re still here, we won’t go.” #onpoli #topoli ipolitics.ca/2018/09/17/pro…
UPDATE: the legislature now smells like breakfast sandwiches #onpoli #topoli
Premier @fordnation stands to speak to Bill 31. The government benches are full, opposition benches are mostly empty and @AndreaHorwath isn’t here. #onpoli #topoli
Ford says his party is the only one standing up for the people, says protesters are “professional activists” #onpoli #topoli
Ford says NDP is delaying but won’t stop the PCs from delivering “better” municipal government #onpoli #topoli
Ford accuses NDP of “grandstanding and political games” #onpoli #topoli
Ford says “dysfunction and political gridlock have crippled” city council for “decades” #onpoli #topoli
Ford says he has lots of all stars on his team but the real all stars are the people working outside Queen’s Park, to them he says “help is here” #onpoli #topoli
Skipped out on Queen’s Park to debrief on the last 7 hours in #onpoli with the @CP24Breakfast crew. Tune in for the latest on Bill 31 #onpoli #topoli
Second reading debate on Bill 31 is done, government is going to take a break tomorrow for the international plowing match. House leader @ToddSmithPC says the next debate on the bill will be Wednesday and the bill will likely pass on Thursday #onpoli #topoli
Smith says he thinks the speaker made the right decision by clearing the public galleries. Some people in the galleries were heckling and yelling profanities at the premier #onpoli #TOPoli
Smith says govt thought it was on “safe footing” when it passed Bill 5, government wasn’t expecting it to be overturned last week #onpoli #topoli
NDP MPP @maritstiles says she’s never seen anything like the overnight protests at the legislature #onpoli #topoli
Opposition MPPs struggle to respond to Qs that ask about the support former premiers have given @fordnation and his choice to trigger the notwithstanding clause. #onpoli #topoli
.@ndesrosiers says she’s not sure @christyclarkbc understood the context of this use of section 33 #onpoli #topoli

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More from @MariekeWalsh

Sep 13, 2018
.@cafreeland arrives to say a lot of work was done today, she had two meetings w PM and also a phone call with US Trade Rep Lighthizer. Canadian Amb to US and top Canadian negotiator are both returning to Washington tonight #cdnpoli
Freeland will not be returning to Washington at this point says she will keep in touch w negotiators and they are in a “continuous” negotiation at this point #cdnpoli
Asked if why she isn’t going to DC is because talks are at a stale mate, Freeland says “absolutely not” saying currently negotiators need to tackle some technical issues #cdnpoli
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