Niagara Falls MPP says NDP protest was 'the right decision'

It was a chaotic session at Queen's Park to say the least.

Yesterday the Opposition NDP staged a protest as the Premier and the PC government pushed ahead with plans to use the notwithstanding clause to circumvent a judge's decision.

On Monday Ontario Superior Court Justice Edward Belobaba ruled that passing a bill to slash the size of Toronto City Council by almost half just weeks before a municipal election violated voters' freedom of expression. Later that day Doug Ford vowed to use the seldom used provision, pointing out his government was democratically elected while the judge was appointed to the position.

Members of the public packed the balcony of the legislature yesterday, their shouts drowning out the words of the MPPs. Eventually, the Speaker called for a recess while the protesters were escorted out.

Later on, as the Progressive Conservative government moved forward with their plans, the NDP at Queen's Park began to shout and bang on the desks.

Soon after, they too were escorted out one by one.

Niagara Falls NDP MPP Wayne Gates says this is the second time he's been tossed out - the first time Gates was ousted was during the sell off of Hydro One. 

"I'll be honest when I saw them handcuffing seniors and seeing people lined up around Queen's Park yesterday, I think it's the right decision in the situation that we've been put in by this government."

While he was being led out, Gates says he had words with Niagara West's PC MPP Sam Oosterhoff.

"You're the one who's going to have to defend what your Premier is doing and explain it to the residents of Niagara because it was your Premier that stopped the election of a regional chair in Niagara."

The new bill, dubbed the Efficient Local Government Act, says the nomination deadline for candidates seeking to run in the Oct. 22 election would be set for two days after the legislation passes.

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