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What is the “Notwithstanding Clause”?

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Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced he would be invoking the “Notwithstanding Clause” to override a recent decision passed by a judge in regards to cutting the size of the City of Toronto council. This move is highly controversial, but many people are wondering what exactly this clause is.


The notwithstanding clause is part of Section 33 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This clause is also referred to as a protection for Parliamentary sovereignty. It’s a powerful yet temporary “opt-out” clause that allows a province to nullify any judicial review for five years.


Essentially, it means that Ford can go through with cutting the size of the City of Toronto’s council even though a judge ruled it was unconstitutional.


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