QUEEN’S PARK — As MPPs debate the government’s Bill 39, legislation that would give Doug Ford permission to bulldoze local decision-making and handpick the heads of regional councils, Ontario NDP Interim Leader Peter Tabuns said that in recent weeks, Ford has trampled democratic freedoms in Ontario multiple times.
“In recent weeks, the Ford government seems to be dead set on flouting democracy at every turn,” Tabuns said. “Ford used the sledgehammer of the notwithstanding clause to override workers’ constitutional right to strike, he limited the usual public consultation at committee hearings and he’s pushing to allow the mayors of Ontario’s largest cities to rule their councils by minority.
“Doug Ford is no stranger to disrespecting democratic principles, with a track record that speaks for itself.”
Tabuns highlighted the following recent examples whereby Doug Ford has attacked democratic principles:
- The Ford government’s Bill 39 will implement minority rule votes on Toronto and Ottawa’s city councils, and allow the government to override local decision-making and handpick regional chairs in Niagara, Peel, and York.
- The Ford government has cancelled or prematurely cut short committee reviews of key ministry spending plans for the following ministries:
- Long-Term Care (cancelled)
- Labour (cancelled)
- Economic Development (cancelled)
- Cabinet Office, Premier’s Office (cancelled)
- Education (cut short)
- Finance (cut short)
- The Ford government cancelled a half-day of committee deputations on Bill 23.
- The Ford government made unprecedented use of the notwithstanding clause to override CUPE education workers’ constitutional collective bargaining rights and right to strike.
- Doug Ford and officials quietly met with far-right Hungarian President Katalin Novák, a close ally of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, known for promoting white nationalist conspiracy theories and stripping the human rights of LGBTQ+ individuals.
“People in Ontario care about democracy, accountability and transparency, and deserve a government that does not seek to undermine these long-held values," Tabuns said. "Doug Ford’s list of affronts to democratic freedoms should be of serious concern to Ontarians.”