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'Partisan tendencies and bias' of Lewis, Downey shocking, says former law partner

Letter writer says it's distressing no PC stood on principle against the scheme
Ontario premier Doug Ford's decision to invoke the notwithstanding clause has polarized voters.

OrilliaMatters received the following letter from Don Crawford in response to recent stories about Doug Ford’s decision to invoke the notwithstanding clause to slash the size of Toronto City Council


I am a longstanding supporter of the PC party. I have been a lawyer for more than 60 years. I have known Doug Lewis and Doug Downey since they were both former law partners of mine.

I was shocked but not entirely surprised to see these two lawyers let their partisan tendencies and biases overrule their commitment as lawyers to the established rule of law as determined by the courts.

This is not about the size of the Toronto city council. Let us be clear: the use of the notwithstanding clause implies that the body using it (the Ford government) has decided that its cause is sufficiently important that they are prepared to ignore a court which has stated that their actions are illegal.  

There simply is no room to argue that this bill contains subject matter and embodies a principle so important to the citizens of Ontario that it warrants the government to ignore the court decision. They have other remedies.

Free and democratic societies are separated from totalitarian regimes because they have a free press and a functioning independent court system. Members of the government have said they may use the clause again.

It is indeed distressing that no other members of the Ford cabinet have stood on principle.

Perhaps the word “progressive” should be removed from the party name.

Don Crawford