The Ford government received another court setback with a ruling that shot down the government’s third-party election advertising law. The Ontario Court of Appeal has ruled that it was unconstitutional for the government to change the third-party advertising rules to water down the impact of campaigns by citizen organizations.
During the last year of the Wynne government, as the 2018 election approached, the legislature imposed a $600,000 spending limit on political advertising by third parties. The limit applied to the 6-month period prior to an election being called.
The Ford government was elected in 2018 and a year before the 2022 election it amended the bill to double the period for third party to a full year but did not allow any increase in the $600,000 spending limit. A coalition of groups, including the Working Families Coalition and a number of teacher unions appealed the law, and were successful.
At that point the Ford government invoked the notwithstanding clause in the constitution which allows the province to overrule the courts.
In the ruling released this week the Court of Appeal ruled that the use of the notwithstanding clause was ok, but said the government was wrong to extend the third party advertising period to a year without increasing the dollar amount that could be spent “to permit a modest informational campaign.” The court has given the Ford Government a year to change the law to make it “charter-compliant.”
So far the government has not indicated if it will appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.
It looks like Doug Ford likes everything going his way.He,s losing respect quickly flip flopping and stunts like this.