Chrétien, Romanow, McMurtry condemn Ford's use of notwithstanding clause

Posted: September 14, 2018
Last Updated: September 14, 2018

Former prime minister Jean Chretien participates in an interview Tuesday, March 7, 2017 in Ottawa. He and two other former Canadian politicians have signed a letter condemning Ontario Premier Doug Ford's vow to invoke the notwithstanding clause to push through a law cutting the size of Toronto's city council. (Justin Tang/Canadian Press)

Three prominent former politicians who negotiated the inclusion of the notwithstanding clause in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms are condemning the Ontario government's use of the rare provision to push through legislation that was deemed unconstitutional by the courts.

Former prime minister Jean Chrétien, former Saskatchewan premier Roy Romanow and former Ontario attorney general Roy McMurtry have issued a statement saying the clause wasn't meant to be used to circumvent proper process.


The three men say they are calling on Ontario's Progressive Conservative legislators to stand up to Premier Doug Ford, who announced Monday he would invoke the notwithstanding clause to override a judge's ruling.

The judge had struck down legislation to reduce the size of Toronto city council in the middle of an election, saying it infringed on voters' and candidates' right to free expression.

Ford justified using the clause by saying that "politically appointed" judges shouldn't interfere with democratically elected governments.

The premier also touted Chrétien as a supporter of the clause when pressed on the issue during question period Thursday.