OMG—Christy Clark endorses Doug Ford's use of notwithstanding clause in middle of Toronto civic election

    1 of 1 2 of 1

      The central Canadian media have long had a love affair with former B.C. premier Christy Clark.

      This is despite her propensity for putting politics ahead of public policy, whether that relates to education, climate change, or the stunningly expensive Site C hydroelectric dam in northeastern B.C. It's now pegged at $10.7 billion.

      Broadcast journalists and national newspaper writers based in Toronto have consistently given Clark a free ride on these and other issues over the years.

      But perhaps they'll re-evaluate their opinion after an interview she gave yesterday to the CBC's Power & Politics show.

      In it, the former B.C. premier heartily endorsed Ontario premier Doug Ford's decision to invoke the "notwithstanding" clause of the constitution to override a court ruling.

      Ford is using section 33 of the Constitution Act, 1982 to do an end run around the decision after the judge ruled that his government infringed on voters and candidates' constitutional right to freedom of expression.

      This came in response to Ford's decision to cut the number of wards from 47 to 25 in the midst of a City of Toronto election campaign.

      His attorney general, Caroline Mulroney, subsequently introduced legislation cancelling voters and candidates' charter right, marking the first time this has occurred in Ontario history.

      "I actually think it's a good thing for Canada because we are in a moment when Canadians are looking around and saying, 'Hey, why can't anything get done?' " Clark said on CBC. "Well, Premier Ford has shown there is a way to find a way to get things done in spectacular fashion and I think he did the right thing."

      Her cringeworthy comments offered British Columbians another reminder why she was thrown out of office last year.

      Ford invoked the notwithstanding clause before the judge's ruling had even gone through any appeals.

      That drew criticism from well-known Conservatives, including Mulroney's father, former prime minister Brian Mulroney, and former Ontario premier Bill Davis.

      More than two dozen Toronto-area Liberal MPs, as well as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, also condemned Ford for relying on the notwithstanding clause to quash voters and candidates' constitutional rights.

      They called it "heavy-handed and disrespectful".

      But hey, Clark thinks it's okay, which will only encourage other premiers to do the same in the future.

      Meanwhile, another former B.C. Liberal premier, Gordon Campbell, has been retained by the Ford government to lead an inquiry into spending by the former Ontario Liberal regime.

      Perhaps Ford will see fit to offer another consulting contract to Clark.

      That's because if she can say that invoking the notwithstanding clause under these circumstances is a good thing for Canada, she can be relied on to tell the premier what he wants to hear on other issues in the future.