本帖由 New Person 于 2018-09-10 发布。版面名称：渥太华华人论坛
Caroline Mulroney, Ontario’s attorney general, leaves in an elevator after scrumming with reporters following question period at the Ontario legislature on Sept. 12, 2018. But instead of distinguishing herself as a defender of law and order, Mulroney is discrediting herself as the enabler of Premier Doug Ford, Martin Regg Cohn writes. (Chris Young / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Until she didn’t.
Eclipsed by Doug Ford in this year’s leadership race, she folded on carbon pricing. Still, she stood her ground on sex-ed.
Until she didn’t.
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When Ford triumphed, he made her attorney general and, thus rewarded, she revised her position on our sex-ed culture wars and the carbon clash with Ottawa. Still, she vowed to defend the rule of law.
Until she didn’t.
Now, instead of distinguishing herself as a judicious defender of law and order, she is discrediting herself as the enabler of an injudicious premier. Instead of comporting herself as chief law officer of the crown, she is conflating her role with that of Ford factotum.
Mulroney is not solely responsible for the Ford fiasco, whereby the premier has invoked the “notwithstanding” clause of the Charter of Rights for the first time ever in Ontario. But by virtue of her unique cabinet position, she bears a higher burden to rein in recklessness, to oppose arbitrariness, to advocate for the rule of law, to remind us of political norms and constitutional conventions (see: U.S. President Donald Trump versus Attorney General Jeff Sessions).
Consider, for example, the primacy of freedom of association, the principle of non-interference in democratic elections, the practice that judges should be respected and not reviled. Where is the attorney general when Ford flouts legal conventions and lashes out at the judiciary?
When the premier demonizes judges as political appointees who dare not judge him, let alone overrule him — claiming that an elected premier reigns supreme until the next vote, free from judicial scrutiny — does the attorney general not caution him, counter him, or contradict him? If this is not what she signed up for last year, why not sign her name to a resignation letter by way of protest?
It is a fair question for Mulroney, not just because of her onerous responsibilities as attorney general, but her legacy as the daughter of a consequential prime minister whose name she has surely profited from (conveniently condensing her full name, Caroline Mulroney Lapham, when she entered politics). She benefited not merely in name recognition, but unrivalled fundraising power whenever Brian Mulroney made an appearance on her behalf.
As Mulroney acknowledged Wednesday, her father has always denigrated the Charter’s notwithstanding clause, and he did so again unequivocally this week, noting that as PM he “had no interest in using it, no matter what.”
No matter what. Assuredly not for a partisan-motivated brawl with Toronto city council (for which Ford forgot to seek an electoral mandate).
“That’s why I opposed it then, and that’s why I oppose it today,” Brian Mulroney said. “And, no, I haven’t discussed this with my daughter.”
Why should he? After all, a daughter cannot be bound by her father’s views, just as a son like Justin Trudeau is not answerable for Pierre Trudeau’s thoughts as prime minister.
But when another party elder speaks out — in the person of Bill Davis — does not our attorney general take note? Davis is not a blood relative, but his DNA is no less Tory than Mulroney’s and he is himself a father of the Charter of Rights.
In a rare intervention, Davis stressed that the notwithstanding clause was conceived as a compromise that assumed politicians would abide by political norms. Any override of the Charter’s protections was intended as an instrument of last resort to resolve difficult contradictions, not as a routine weapon in the premier’s “toolbox” (as Ford described it) that would put judges back in their box.
As Davis told TVO’s Steve Paikin: “That it might now be used regularly to assert the dominance of any government or elected politician over the rule of law or the legitimate jurisdiction of our courts of law was never anticipated or agreed to.”
Caroline Mulroney is not alone in her betrayal of the Charter. Other lawyers in the Progressive Conservative caucus, who should also know better, are displaying similar fealty to Ford instead of loyalty to the Constitution — like, for example, Doug Downey, a former treasurer of the Ontario Bar Association; and Deputy Premier Christine Elliott, who has long had a special interest in human rights law.
“Why on Earth would we want to expose ourselves by plunging recklessly into such a controversial issue?” Elliott once said when condemning a proposal that would weaken human rights in Ontario.
That was in 2009, when Elliott warned the PCs against alienating voters by eliminating the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal. What does Elliott say now?
What about the other ministers and caucus members who were supposed to act as a check on the untrammelled power of Ford? And what do voters think of a premier’s hidden agenda to expend so much political currency and constitutional capital on a sudden showdown with city council over seat size?
In the free vote held at Queen’s Park Wednesday, not a single member of the PC caucus dared to vote against first reading of the premier’s shameful disruption and destabilization of municipal politics in the middle of an election — notwithstanding the devastating judgments of two party elders who found Ford has overstepped by overriding the Charter’s protections.
For Mulroney and her fellow Tories at Queen’s Park, their dreams of power have finally been realized. Just not quite the way they first envisioned their wishes coming true.
PM says Liberals will always defend charter, as Ford prepares to override it
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addresses the Liberal Party National Caucus meeting in Saskatoon on Wednesday, September 12, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Matt Smith
Joan Bryden, The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, September 12, 2018 1:08PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, September 12, 2018 6:28PM EDT
SASKATOON -- Justin Trudeau kicked off a Liberal caucus retreat Wednesday with a distinct election flavour, including a ringing declaration that his party will always stand up for the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The prime minister did not mention Ontario Premier Doug Ford but his assertion came just as the Ford government was reintroducing legislation to reduce the size of Toronto's city council -- using the Constitution's notwithstanding clause to override the charter.
"Our government will always stand up for the rights of Canadians and will always respect the Charter of Rights and Freedoms," Trudeau said in French as he opened the two-day caucus retreat.
"I think that bears repeating. We will always defend and uphold the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the fundamental rights and freedoms of every Canadian," he reiterated in English.
The caucus retreat is aimed at plotting strategy for next week's resumption of Parliament but Trudeau's opening remarks left little doubt Liberals are also preparing for the next federal election just over a year from now.
Trudeau opened the retreat by recounting his government's accomplishments since it came to power in 2015.
He boasted that the Canada Child Benefit has lifted more than 300,000 children out of poverty. And he said his government's middle class tax cut and investments in infrastructure have boosted the economy and resulted in a "historically low" unemployment rate.
"Our focus from the very start has been real progress that makes a real difference in people's lives and delivers results for Canadians," he said.
By contrast, Trudeau accused Andrew Scheer's Conservatives of being "stubbornly" opposed to measures to help the middle class and to fight climate change, "jeopardizing the future of our planet and our kids."
What's more, he said, "they have absolutely no plan to grow our economy.
"After 10 years under Stephen Harper of slow growth, rising income inequality and inaction on the environment, they're offering the same flawed approach. Well, that's completely unacceptable," Trudeau said.
But it's not just federal Conservatives the Liberals are preparing to campaign against. With Trudeau's indirect dig at Ford over the charter and his refusal during a later meeting with Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe to back down from the federal carbon pricing plan, the Liberals signalled their readiness to campaign against provincial conservatives as well.
"I was disappointed, to be honest," Moe said following his tete-a-tete with the prime minister.
"It's no secret that we've had a frosty relationship when it comes to economic files," he added, calling on the federal government to repeal its carbon pricing plan and legislation to beef up environmental impact assessments.
Moe's government is going to court to challenge the constitutionality of the federal plan to impose a tax on carbon emissions in those provinces that don't come up with their own carbon pricing scheme by January. Ford's government has vowed to join that challenge.
Just prior to Moe's meeting with Trudeau, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna made it clear the feds have no intention of budging on the issue.
While provinces are best positioned to develop their own climate change plans, McKenna said: "We've been also clear and the prime minister's been extremely clear that if provinces don't take serious climate action, if they don't recognize the cost of pollution, that we will have to step in and we will return the revenues to individuals directly."
McKenna said Saskatchewan has the highest per capita emissions in the country.
Moe signalled that the federal Liberals will have another fight on their hands if they move to ban handguns and assault weapons in Canada -- as some Liberal MPs and Toronto and Montreal city councils are urging the government to do.
"Here in Saskatchewan, we come from a society where hunting and being outdoors is deeply ingrained. We would not endorse the banning of firearms here in the province," he said.
Police escort a protester away in handcuffs from the public gallery at Queen’s Park Thursday as MPPs debate the Ford government’s plan to use the “notwithstanding” clause to slash the size of Toronto city council. (Richard Lautens / Toronto Star)
As MPPs returned to Queen’s Park Wednesday, the proceedings quickly descended into chaos with two protesters — one a woman in her 70s — handcuffed by security in the public viewing galleries. Despite the chaos, the legislation passed first reading later in the afternoon.
Politicians were back almost two weeks ahead of schedule for an emergency session so Ford’s fledgling Progressive Conservative government could reintroduce legislation that an Ontario Superior Court justice ruled was unconstitutional.
The Better Local Government Act, struck down Monday by Justice Edward Belobaba for violating the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, reduces the number of Toronto city councillors from 47 to 25.
It was tabled again Wednesday afternoon as the Efficient Local Government Act and Ford, who never mentioned cutting council during the June 7 provincial election campaign, will use the Charter’s “notwithstanding” clause for the first time in Ontario history.
That will ensure the bill can withstand any other Charter challenge. Although the New Democrats launched a raucous protest — as most of them were kicked out of the legislature, one by one, for banging on their desks — the legislation passed first reading 63-17.
No Tories broke ranks, with only the few remaining New Democrats, the Liberals, and the lone Green MPP voting against it.
Thanks to the Tories’ majority, it is expected to pass within two weeks. The deadline for candidates entering the Oct. 22 city election will be two days after it receives royal assent — so likely by Oct. 1.
But there could be a political cost for the new government. Davis, a revered Tory titan and instrumental in the repatriation of the Constitution, jolted the debate by criticizing his party’s use of Section 33 of the Charter.
“The notwithstanding provision has, understandably, rarely been used, because of the primacy of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms for all Canadians,” Davis told TVO’s Steve Paikin.
“That it might now be used regularly to assert the dominance of any government or elected politician over the rule of law or the legitimate jurisdiction of our courts of law was never anticipated or agreed to,” added Davis, who led the province from 1971 to 1985.
The controversial clause gives the provinces and Ottawa the power to overrule Charter rights conflicting with a government legislative agenda.
Ford, a rookie premier, has warned he “won’t be shy” about invoking Section 33 of the Charter again to prevent judges from derailing his plans.
Earlier Wednesday, he boasted that “the people” are with him.
“What Canada needs and Ontario needs and Toronto needs is democracy,” said Ford, noting “2.3 million people voted for the PC party.”
“This is about preserving the will of the people. This is about preserving democracy.”
An unknown woman is taken away in handcuffs on Sept. 12, 2018 ahead of the reintroduction of Premier Doug Ford's Bill 5, which will cut Toronto council to 25 seats from 47. The bill is expected to be passed when Ford invokes the Charter's "notwithstanding" clause.
The premier, who has been accused of acting unilaterally against Toronto council for partisan reasons, did not attempt to disguise his motives under questioning from NDP Leader Andrea Horwath.
“The leader of the NDP is here to protect her crony buddies: Mike Layton, Joe Cressy, Gord Perks,” he said, referring to left-leaning Toronto councillors.
Horwath shook her head and said Ford, who lost the 2014 mayoral race to John Tory, was “obsessed” with city council and “didn’t even have the guts to campaign” on the issue.
When guards handcuffed and removed a woman, from the public gallery, a visibly disgusted former Liberal premier Kathleen Wynne, the MPP for Don Valley West, shouted: “Come on, really?”
Some Tory ministers and MPPs could be seen squirming in their seats as Speaker Ted Arnott cleared the public galleries after people jeered at Ford.
Horwath later told reporters “it was a shocking day — to watch grandmas and grandpas literally be led out of the gallery in handcuffs,” while also calling Ford “an out-of-control premier.”
The NDP leader, herself ejected by Arnott when Municipal Affairs Minister Steve Clark tabled the bill, said Ford attacking city councillors during question period “just shows the pettiness of this premier … he’s not doing this for any other reason but for his own little, petty vendetta.”
Toronto’s contested municipal wards
Under the Tories’ new legislation, Toronto city council would be cut nearly in half, from a planned 47 wards to 25.
“Is that what leadership is all about? Is that what the people of this province from one end to the other want to see their premier do?”
Attorney General Caroline Mulroney defended the decisions to appeal the ruling and invoke the notwithstanding clause.
“We believe that the Better Local Government Act is constitutional. That is why our government is appealing the judge’s ruling and that we are seeking a stay in the decision,” Mulroney told reporters, adding the Constitution “makes it clear that the province has exclusive jurisdiction over municipalities, and Section 33 of the Charter confirms the paramountcy of the legislature.”
Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner said he respects the public and NDP protests, blaming Ford for having “detonated a constitutional bomb, playing politics with people’s Charter rights. Such extraordinary actions will lead to extraordinary responses.”
The province, which is also facing a legal challenge from Greenpeace Canada over its decision to end the cap-and-trade system, has now announced it will hold public consultations on the issue.
With Doug Ford as Boss Hogtown, who needs a mayor?
By Edward Keenan Star Columnist
Wed., Sept. 12, 2018
The City of Toronto Act is supposed to be a sort of city charter, defining the powers of the municipal government and how they work. It is still on the books, for now. Officially.
But it would appear obvious, after the past two months and especially the past week, that the act has been effectively replaced. Instead we get the City of Toronto Actor: Premier Doug Ford. He’s gonna say how it’s gonna be. Period.
Doug Ford lost when he ran for mayor of Toronto in 2014, but in just four years he’s found another path to taking control of the city, Edward Keenan writes. (Chris Young / THE CANADIAN PRESS FILE PHOTO)
That’s an obvious enough conclusion after his snap decision to rewrite the rules of city government and election law in the middle of a Toronto election campaign, then haul out the notwithstanding clause to enforce that decision after a judge ruled it unconstitutional.
It’s an obvious enough conclusion from his promise that he won’t be shy about using that power to set aside the Charter of Rights and Freedoms again — and his further comments making it clear he doesn’t believe in constitutional democracy as it exists in Canada, demonizing not just a judge but the entire role of judges in reviewing legislation as illegitimate.
It’s obvious from his rhetoric about the “downtown NDP councillors” and Mayor John Tory, and Ford’s clear focus not on provincial issues but on Toronto — so much so that, when NDP leader Andrea Horwath accused him during Question Period of being “obsessed with his enemies on Toronto council,” he responded, “We were elected on making sure we fix this city.”
This city, huh? Huh.
Ford announced he was running for mayor of Toronto four years ago, on Sept. 12, 2014. He lost in that campaign. But one term of council later, he’s done better: As premier of Ontario, he appears ready to see himself as essentially All Powerful Boss of Toronto. And at this point, nothing in law or politics seems likely to disabuse him of that notion.
Candidates will get 2 more days to register for 25-ward municipal election
By now we’re past observing that his meddling with the size of council has thrown the election itself into chaos.
What’s coming into focus is just how much of the election debate we might otherwise have had — the one we might mostly still have — is now kind of irrelevant.
Not that the issues are irrelevant. Quite the opposite. People in this city cannot afford housing. We have more people trying to get into homeless shelters than we have beds for. People are being shot and killed by criminals. Transit and traffic concerns remain as pressing as ever. This is the stuff of our lives.
Yet how can any mayor or city council plan credibly deal with that with Premier Boss Hogtown up the street ready and apparently eager to just impose his own will? For example, a candidate might want to raise property taxes, or implement a new “revenue tool” from among the menu of those included in the City of Toronto Act. Will Ford allow it? Or will he just fire up the legislature to set Toronto’s local tax rates?
City council might vote to make the King St. transit pilot project permanent, as both leading mayoral candidates seem likely to do. But Ford could — and conceivably would — respond by just making streetcars illegal.
He’s already begun planning to take over the TTC subway system. What else will he take over — either officially, or by legislatively handcuffing Toronto’s government?
I expect a lot of people think this sounds like scaremongering, or overreacting. But I think it’s clear Ford has a keen interest in very local Toronto affairs, that he has shown he isn’t shy about using his provincial powers to get involved and, as my colleague Robert Benzie has reported, that he and his advisers see straight-up power plays like hitting the constitutional override button as political victories that make him look strong.
就怕心不齐啊。所有的竞选人都bow out of 市选，会是啥情形？
Doucette has represented the current Ward 13, Parkdale-High Park, since 2010, but says she's not interested in serving on a 25-ward council.
"It's not, to be honest, a job I want," she told CBC Radio's Metro Morning on Thursday.
Doucette said the change would pile on work to the point where she was no longer directly in touch with community members.
"I came in as a grassroots activist … working in the community," she said.
Doucette would likely square off against Coun. Gord Perks in the municipal election — "Oh I would have beat him," she said, laughing — who she considers a "dear friend."
If Perks wins, Doucette said she expects him and the rest of council to face rocky times in their dealings with Ford's government.
"We know what he wants to do. Now, unfortunately, he's capable of doing these vindictive things he threatened to do when he was a councillor," she said.
Doucette joins a number of incumbent councillors who say they aren't running again (although, nominations aren't expected to close until next week.) Those councillors include:
Coun. Glenn de Baeremaeker.
Coun. Janet Davis.
Coun. Josh Colle.
Coun. Mary-Margaret McMahon
Coun. Justin Di Ciano.
Several other councillors who were appointed this term are also not running again.
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