The Canadian Taxpayers Federation, which was one of several intervenors in the legal challenge in support of Bill 5, called the judge's ruling a disappointment and encouraged the Ford government to appeal.
The sections of the Charter that can be overwritten by the implementation of the notwithstanding clause are Section 2, regarding fundamental freedoms such as expression, conscience, association, and assembly; and Sections 7 to 15 regarding the right to life, liberty, and security.
This is the first time in provincial history that the notwithstanding clause would be used.
"Invoking the notwithstanding clause in a case like this is an unprecedented move, literally suspending the Charter rights of Ontario people in order to plow ahead with his revenge plot against his political enemies at Toronto City Hall", said Horwath. Belobaba called Bill 5 "profoundly unfair" and found that nothing the government's lawyers had presented could reasonably explain why the 47-ward election for a city of almost 3 million people needed to be cancelled by legislative fiat. "Right now, as you're going to hear over the next few weeks, we're in a financial disaster the previous government left us in".
He was asked by an audience member about Ontario Premier Doug Ford's decision Monday to invoke the notwithstanding clause after the Ontario Superior Court shut down his administration's effort to slash the size of Toronto's City Council.
The premier said the province would also appeal the court decision, which said the legislation - called the Better Local Government Act - was hurriedly enacted in the middle of a municipal election and interfered with the right to freedom of expression for both candidates and voters.
The emotional meltdown the usual suspects are having about Premier Doug Ford's use of the Constitution's notwithstanding clause to downsize Toronto council is absurd.
"We've made a lot of decisions over the years politically", Ford said, "and I've never made a decision that was so popular than this decision".
Bill 5 cut the size of Toronto's city council from 47 seats to 25, aligning them with federal ridings, despite the fact that the campaign for the October 22 election was already underway.
A judge has struck down provincial legislation that would have cut the size of Toronto city council almost in half in the middle of an election.
Bill 5 also cancelled planned elections for the head of council position in the regional municipalities of Muskoka, Peel, York and Niagara, turning them into appointed roles.
Tory likened Ford's use of the notwithstanding clause to resurrect Bill 5 to "wielding a sledgehammer to crush a fly". "I know, having spoken with the premier's office last night, there's zero intention to reduce the size of city council here".
Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc warns that Ontarians "will ultimately judge the actions of their provincial government".
And if the courts keep striking down his bad laws as unconstitutional, Ford says he's ready to invoke the notwithstanding clause to override the constitution "again in the future" too.
Ford had argued it would improve decision-making on the council.
The court ruling set the stage for a dramatic press conference Monday afternoon, where Ford floated conspiracy theories about the judge and casually shrugged off core principles of civilized society, namely the rule of law.
"My concern is democracy", the premier said.
Mayor John Tory said the judge agreed with the city that it is not fair to "change the rules in the middle of the game".
Ford vowed to eliminate the system and fight Ottawa's carbon pricing plan during the spring election campaign. Joe Mihevic, who is running for re-election, wrote on Twitter.
Green party Leader Mike Schreiner said the decision confirms that not even Ford is "above the law".
Coun. Kristyn Wong-Tam tweeted that an appeal for the province would be a "steep uphill climb".