Protesters handcuffed at Queen's Park after yelling at Doug Ford
Legislative proceedings at Queen's Park devolved into complete and utter chaos this morning as protesters in the public gallery scream such things as "Shame!" "This is not democracy!" and "No means no!" at members of Ontario's ruling PC party.
As woman is led away in handcuffs from public gallery, former premier @Kathleen_Wynne shouts: "Come on, really?" Some Tory MPPs visibly uncomfortable. #onpoli pic.twitter.com/iQSyfnZIbF— Robert Benzie (@robertbenzie) September 12, 2018
Premier Doug Ford was expected to invoke the rare and controversial "notwithstanding clause" clause on Wednesday, effectively overturning a Super Court Judge's recent ruling against his bill to slash 22 seats from Toronto city council.
Ford announced on Monday that he would be using the clause for the first time in Ontario's history after Superior Court Justice Edward Belobaba ruled that his Better Local Government Act (aka Bill 5) violates Canada's charter of rights and freedoms.
"The matter before me is unprecedented," read Belobaba's 21-page ruling in favour of the City of Toronto. "The Province has clearly crossed the line."
The people are arriving at their Legislature on this historic day. #onpoli pic.twitter.com/mL9etC3jDa— Robert Benzie (@robertbenzie) September 12, 2018
News of Ford's plan to overturn the ruling (and do it again, as many times as he wants to, in the future) has shocked the citizens of Toronto.
Many are now accusing the Premier of acting like a dictator and say that they are gravely concerned about the state of democracy in this province.
. @fordnation has cleared the gallery at the Ontario legislature. Protestors against #Bill5 are chanting "let us in!" pic.twitter.com/W3Slch8YPW— Pouyan Tabasinejad (@PTabasinejad) September 12, 2018
A long line of protesters were seen waiting outside Queen's Park this morning in anticipation of the legislature meeting, dozens of which made their way indoors to watch the proceedings.
Until they got kicked out, at least.
Queen’s Park public gallery has just been cleared, protesters being handcuffed &cleared out of building, legislature in recess. People are angry at the unprecedented use of the #NotwithstandingClause ...& @fordnation calls Toronto city council dysfunctional?#onpoli #TOpoli #bill5 pic.twitter.com/R5kT5CiBz8— Michael Coteau (@coteau) September 12, 2018
Members of the public started jeering, coughing and yelling over Ford and members of his party as they spoke almost immediately after the meeting started.
Public gallery members shouting “Stand up to your bully!” “We are the people!!” #onpoli pic.twitter.com/3yuFm4DWKg— Travis Dhanraj (@Travisdhanraj) September 12, 2018
The legislature was forced to take a 10 minute recess amidst the commotion, at which point Ford left the room to cries of "Shame on you!"
Out of control. Premier leaves legislature as people yell “shame” at him. Ten minute recess. NDP are applauding protestors #onpoli pic.twitter.com/XZG5jmzzya— Cynthia Mulligan (@CityCynthia) September 12, 2018
Some protestors were reportedly asked to leave, but refused. At least two of them were arrested by security and escorted out of the legislature.
A member of the public walked out in handcuffs just now. Legislature is breaking as the public galleries are cleared. Its very chaotic here. #onpoli pic.twitter.com/QUlXf9Df2h— Fatima Syed (@fatimabsyed) September 12, 2018
One woman stood up to shout a statement before peacefully walking away with security guards.
"I'm 77 and a half years old!" she cried. "And I hate the destruction of democracy!"
She continued to speak but cheers and applause overwhelmed the sound of her words.
OPP officer had been trying so hard to get this woman to leave. She stands up and yells “I’m 77 years old...” as she is escorted out #onpoli pic.twitter.com/iB0snWQbmD— Cynthia Mulligan (@CityCynthia) September 12, 2018
A recess was called in Parliament around noon, but legislative proceedings are expected to resume around 3 p.m.
You can watch the drama unfold live via webcam on the Legislative Assembly of Ontario's website.
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