Trudeau tells Ford use of notwithstanding clause is 'wrong and inappropriate' in call

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is telling Ontario Premier Doug Ford directly that his pre-emptive use of the notwithstanding clause in legislation intended to keep education workers from striking is "wrong and inappropriate."

The Prime Minister's Office says Trudeau told Ford in a call today that the clause should only be used in "the most exceptional of circumstances."

It says Trudeau emphasized the "critical importance" of standing up for the rights and freedoms of Canadians, including workers.

Ford's office, meanwhile, says the premier told the prime minister that allowing education workers to strike would have an "unacceptable" effect on students after two years of disruptions due to the pandemic.

It says Ford reiterated that the province "is determined, if necessary, to pass legislation to keep classrooms open and ensure certainty and stability for parents and students now and in the future."

The union representing the 55,000 affected educational workers in Ontario says it still plans to hold a strike starting Friday and it will continue indefinitely, despite the looming legislation expected to pass Thursday that would make that illegal.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 2, 2022.

The Canadian Press