Is threatening to use the notwithstanding clause becoming the norm?


TORONTO, Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018 – On the heels of Ontario’s threat to use the notwithstanding clause, Quebec’s premier-designate François Legault is contemplating invoking it to ban the wearing of religious symbols by people in authority.  Are governments in Canada beginning to ride the wave of populism we have seen in the U.S. and around the world?  Is the notwithstanding clause at risk of becoming a common way for governments to override fundamental rights and freedoms to push through their agendas?

Osgoode Hall Law School Professor Benjamin Berger, an expert in law and religion, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, criminal and constitution law and theory, as well as the law of evidence, can speak to the matter.

Berger can comment on:

  • Freedom of religion, secularism and state neutrality, as they relate to this issue
  • The history of the debate about the wearing of religious symbols in Quebec
  • Use of the notwithstanding clause and recent events in Canada

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