Judge was sid­ing with ‘the Re­sis­tance’


The Hamilton Spectator - - Comment -

The need of the Ford gov­ern­ment to in­voke the notwith­stand­ing clause is the direct con­se­quence of the in­com­pe­tence and ir­re­spon­si­bil­ity of the ju­di­ciary.

The fun­da­men­tal right of a cit­i­zen of Toronto to free­dom of ex­pres­sion is in no way changed by the fact that the num­ber of city coun­cil­lors is 25 or 47. It is ab­surd to hold oth­er­wise.

In taking up a le­gal case of this na­ture, there first arises the ques­tion of stand­ing. Is the per­son bring­ing the suit ac­tu­ally harmed? On the face it, the fun­da­men­tal right to free­dom of ex­pres­sion by an in­di­vid­ual is not changed by chang­ing the num­ber of rep­re­sen­ta­tives on city coun­cil.

An in­di­vid­ual is still free to say what­ever he or she wants. But there was no battle for stand­ing to bring suit, and by ac­cept­ing the suit, the judge was more than half way along to sid­ing with “the Re­sis­tance.”

The Con­sti­tu­tion Act un­am­bigu­ously places re­spon­si­bil­ity for mu­nic­i­pal af­fairs in the hands of the pro­vin­cial leg­is­la­tures. If there is mis­gov­er­nance at the city level, it is the re­spon­si­bil­ity of the pro­vin­cial leg­is­la­ture to fix it. In po­lit­i­cal mat­ters such as these, it is not the place of the ju­di­ciary to sec­ond-guess the pro­vin­cial leg­is­la­ture and its ac­count­able gov­ern­ment. That is how democ­racy works — through elected rep­re­sen­ta­tion.

Vin­cent J. Cur­tis, Hamil­ton

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