September 10, 2018

Suspension of Charter

Keesmaat Condemns Suspension of Charter Rights

TORONTO – September 10, 2018: Toronto mayoral candidate Jennifer Keesmaat today condemned Premier Doug Ford’s decision to suspend the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to impose his cutback to Toronto City Council.

And she said this is, in part, the consequence of the dithering and weak leadership provided by Mayor John Tory.

“It is completely unacceptable to suspend the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in pursuit of old political grudges,” Keesmaat said. “And that is what this is about. Premier Ford did not campaign on this issue. He has no democratic mandate to do this. And it is a disgrace to suspend the Charter on this or any other issue.”

Keesmaat said Premier Ford is doing this in part because he thinks he can get away with it. “Toronto is represented by Mayor John Tory, and the Premier clearly feels he can push John Tory around,” Keesmaat said. “Why does Doug Ford think he can get away with this? It’s time for John Tory to come clean on his discussions with Doug Ford in the months leading up to this shocking day.”

Keesmaat said Toronto now needs to do two things.

“We need to fight this suspension of the Charter vigorously, and with every legal means,” she said. “And every Ontarian needs to understand how egregious and over the line this conduct is.”

She said in the event the province prevails, the City of Toronto needs to use its powers to defeat this attempt to reduce accountability and community engagement.

“If the province prevails, Toronto should defeat this attempt to make our government less accountable and engaged, by creating new Community Councils in these monster wards. We should consult the people about the details, but the key point is this: The province may believe it can take away our local councillors, but we can defy this effort through new governance.”