本帖由 New Person 于 2018-09-10 发布。版面名称：渥太华华人论坛
法官认为 “ it doubled the population of city wards and therefore limited residents' access to fair representation in city government. ” 这个属于无理取闹。不管代表5万，10万，代表人数总是有限的。人数多少合适，要取决于实际效果。市议会高效运转，才是对纳税人最大的fair。 不能说代表5万就 fair ，代表10万就 unfair。是不是纽约市议员代表15万就3倍的unfair，那样的化，干脆把多伦多议员人数加倍，那不就加倍 fair。
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau applauded the actions of 25 Liberal MPs from Toronto who signed a letter calling on all members of the provincial legislature to step up and defeat Premier Doug Ford's legislation slashing the size of the city's municipal council.
"Quite frankly, it is something that I expect of all our MPs, to be strong voices for their communities in Ottawa," Trudeau told reporters in Saskatchewan Thursday.
Trudeau said earlier this week that while he is "disappointed" the Ford government decided to use the notwithstanding clause to force the legislation through the provincial legislature, he will not step into the debate over the size of Toronto city council.
"We are calling on all MPPs to defeat Ford's legislation, tabled yesterday at Queen's Park, and the Bill's unprecedented use of the notwithstanding clause in Ontario," said the letter, first obtained by the Toronto Star.
"In particular, we believe MPPs elected in Toronto have a responsibility to defend the city, its democratic institutions, and the rights of citizens to a free and fair municipal election. The people of Toronto deserve nothing less."
Ford announced Monday that he would take the rare step of invoking Section 33 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms after an Ontario Superior Court judge ruled that his provincial government's legislation to cut the number of Toronto city councillors was unconstitutional.
Section 33 — known as the notwithstanding clause — allows premiers or prime ministers to override for a five-year period rulings on legislation that judges have determined would violate sections of the Charter.
Pierre Trudeau opposed the clause, but reluctantly agreed to its inclusion in order to get a deal on the Constitution Act of 1982, which wrested control of Canada's Constitution from Britain.
Ontario has never used the clause before. Political leaders generally have been reluctant to use the notwithstanding clause, which is viewed by many as politically toxic.
"The correct response to a court decision one disagrees with is to appeal. Ford's response is heavy-handed and disrespectful," the MPs' letter said.
"As elected representatives of the City, we want to assure the people of Toronto that we understand and respect the critical role that city hall and local democracy play in building the communities in which we live."
The letter is signed by all 25 Liberal MPs from Toronto, including several members of the federal cabinet, including:
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations Carolyn Bennett,
Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction Bill Blair
Minister of Science and Sport Kirsty Duncan
Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Ahmed Hussen
Minister of Finance Bill Morneau
Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau joined 23 other Toronto-area Liberal MPs who urged Ontario MPPs to reject Premier Doug Ford’s use of the “notwithstanding” clause. (Chris Young / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
“We believe MPPs elected in Toronto have a responsibility to defend the city, its democratic institutions, and the rights of citizens to a free and fair municipal election. The people of Toronto deserve nothing less.”
They quoted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s declaration that the Liberal party will always “defend the Charter” and said “but this is not a partisan issue” noting former prime minister Brian Mulroney, premiers and municipal leaders “of all political stripes have denounced Ford’s triggering of the notwithstanding clause. The correct response to a court decision one disagrees with is to appeal.”
The statement — the first of its kind — is signed “The Toronto Liberal MPs” and it includes several high-profile cabinet ministers such as Finance Minister Bill Morneau, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Science and Sport Kirsty Duncan, and Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Ahmed Hussen.
It says that the elected representatives of the city “want to assure the people of Toronto that we understand and respect the critical role that city hall and local democracy play in building the communities in which we live.”
However Trudeau has already ruled out intervening in the dispute.
Julie Dabrusin, MP for Toronto-Danforth and a spokesperson for the caucus, told the Star that the caucus statement by “25 federal Liberal MPs saying that a strong Toronto is part of a strong Canada, when you have all of us imploring our MPPs in Queen’s Park to do what’s right,” that is a strong signal. She said the Toronto caucus is satisfied with Trudeau’s decision not to intervene.
“What we have right now is a constitutional process with people sitting in Queen’s Park with the ability to vote this down, and that is the proper process for showing how our democratic institutions work,” Dabrusin said in an interview. “And in addition, the provincial government is free to appeal that decision. They have the tools that they need to go forward without having to invoke this clause.”
Speaking in Winnipeg Tuesday, Trudeau said: “We’re disappointed by the provincial government in Ontario’s choice to invoke the notwithstanding clause, but I won’t be weighing in on the debate on how big Toronto municipal council should be,” he said.
“I will trust that Ontarians will reflect whether or not the provincial government made the right decision on overriding the Charter of Rights and Freedoms on this issue,” said Trudeau, who met with Toronto Mayor John Tory on the topic Monday.
Doug Ford, no power grab is worth undermining Canada’s solid foundation
Contributed to The Globe and Mail
Published September 13, 2018Updated 3 hours ago
Marie Henein is a lawyer and senior partner with Henein Hutchison.
It’s time for a lesson on law and government 101. I doubt that Ontario Premier Doug Ford will take me up on the offer of a one-on-one lesson, and since it appears that none of those advising our Premier have thought to take on this task, here it goes.
Yes, Premier Ford, the job of the conservative majority is to represent the interests of all Ontarians. The public’s legitimate expectation is that the elected government will act in accordance with its avowed agenda and policies. The government, however, does not have the authority to do whatever it wishes because it was elected. The thing about a law-and-order society, which I know you as Premier are all for, is that the laws apply to everyone – even to the government. So here is your first, very important, lesson: Governments are required to act in accordance with the law and, in particular, our Constitution. Even when you don’t agree with the law.
Here is lesson number two: Politicians are not any more legitimate in our democracy than judges. The judiciary acts as an independent check on government authority because it is unelected, not in spite of it. That is how we, as a democratic country, have decided to govern ourselves. It has worked out pretty well so far.
Moreover, the judiciary has a particular function in protecting the minority from the majority that elected representatives cannot, by nature, be counted on to carry out. To be sure, there are countries where – as you have recently lamented – the problem of judicial meddling does not exist. Those countries are places like Russia and North Korea. There, the supreme leader can do as he wishes unencumbered by the judiciary. You are not a supreme leader, and the courts are a legitimate, necessary check on government. The various arms of our democracy – the courts, the elected representatives, the executive – all serve very important, but different, functions in protecting citizens. That is the layered complexity of a constitutional democracy. In short, you don’t always get to do what you want, no matter how frustrating that is.
And now for your most important lesson: Disagreeing with a legal decision is entirely appropriate. In fact, there is an appellate process that allows you to lawfully challenge the judgment, if you disagree with it. You may not know this yet, but there are people in your government, lawyers at the Ministry of the Attorney-General, who do just that each and every day. We, the public, pay for them, and you have full access. You are welcome. They are very good at their job. You should go and speak to them. They could provide assistance in the form of an articulate critique of Justice Edward Belobaba’s judgment striking down your original bill to cut the size of Toronto city council. “I’m elected and you’re not” does not fall into that category.
Undermining the judiciary and, more importantly, the role that the courts play in our society, even when we disagree with them, is ill-informed bullying. It is a profound public disservice designed to solidify your authority and your base. It disregards norms of forbearance (which means refraining from exercising a power that you have where it is inappropriate to do so) that makes our system function properly. That sort of behaviour incites the public and may grab a few votes along the way, but it is not designed to genuinely lead – which is the job that you were elected to do.
Your comments reminded me of another person who has taken a dim view of the judiciary and done his level best to undermine that institution. A while back, when he received a judgment he disagreed with, he tweeted: “The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!" This was followed up by, “Just cannot believe a judge would put our country in such peril. If something happens blame him and court system. …” That was U.S. President Donald Trump.
So here is your final lesson: Mr. Trump is not a good example to follow. Do not forget, Premier Ford, we are Canadian and inherently decent to a fault. The rough-and-tumble populist appeal to which you, apparently, aspire has long-term, negative consequences for the country. No power grab is worth undermining the solid foundations of this country. You owe it to all of us to keep that in mind. Just look to our neighbours to the south.
Bullies never last. Leaders do. Engaging in informed debate and demonstrating respect for the very democratic system that got you elected is a good starting point. I can say it no better than former prime minister Brian Mulroney: “For me, the backbone of our democracy, the strength of our democracy, is the independence and competence of the court system in Canada.”
Any time you want that one-on-one lesson, or a bit of a crash course on the Charter – including section 33, the notwithstanding clause – I’m here for you.