We are pleased to announce that Gavin Magrath has been appointed co-counsel for the Applicant Rocco Achampong in his Application against Doug Ford and the Government of Ontario seeking to delay the coming into force of Bill 5, the Better Local Government Act (BLGA).
Mr. Achampong is a lawyer and candidate for City Council in the (existing) ward of Eglinton Lawrence. His Application alleges, inter alia, that the changing of ward boundaries during an election breaches his free speech rights under s.2, democratic rights under s.3, and equality rights under s.15 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Neither candidates nor electors will have an adequate opportunity to engage in political debate, explore positions, and ultimately cast their vote, which is the sine qua non of political expression.
While it is undisputed that the Province has jurisdiction over Municipal affairs and the proposed legislation is intra vires the provinces constitutional authority under ss.91-92 of the Constitution, these sections divide authority between Federal and Provincial legislatures and do not offer unlimited authority to pass unconstitutional legislation in those spheres of authority.
In addition to the Charter breaches, the government’s surprise legislation tabled urgently more than 1/2 way into the campaign (which officially began on May 2nd) has thrown the election into chaos, leaving the City Clerk’s preparations in limbo. If this situation persists, the integrity of the election itself will be thrown into doubt.
Mr. Achampong seeks an Order delaying the coming into force of Bill 5 until after the October 22nd Municipal election, and an injunction preventing the coming into force of Bill-5 until the application can be heard.