Federal Tories say Ford’s move to override judge’s decision is ‘within the law’


OTTAWA — The federal Conservatives say Ontario Premier Doug Ford has the legal right to use of the Constitution’s notwithstanding clause to move ahead with plans to cut the size of Toronto city council.

Brock Harrison, a spokesman for Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer says the constitution places municipal administration under provincial authority.

Harrison says that Ford made a decision that he is well within the law to make.

The notwithstanding clause gives provincial legislatures and Parliament the ability to usher in legislation that overrides charter provisions, but only for a five-year period.

Ford took the rarely used step Monday after a judge said it was unconstitutional to slash the number of city council seats in the middle of a municipal election without consultation, as it interfered with the right to freedom of expression of candidates and voters.

While Conservative pundits were quick to defend Ford, members of the Conservative party have been largely quiet on the topic until now.

The Canadian Press