Vote coming today on Ontario election spending bill that uses notwithstanding clause

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A vote is expected this afternoon on legislation that would limit third-party advertising during Ontario elections.

The Progressive Conservative government is using the notwithstanding clause, which lets legislatures override portions of the charter, to reintroduce part of a law declared unconstitutional by a judge last week.

Government House Leader Paul Calandra argued during debate today that the amendments to the Election Finances Act are necessary to ensure fair elections.

Opposition politicians are accusing the government of prioritizing the election law debate over more important pandemic issues.

That argument was heard repeatedly over the weekend after legislators were recalled from their summer break for a marathon sitting as the government tries to push the legislation through.

Ontario Superior Court Justice Edward Morgan sided with a group of unions last week when he found it was unnecessary for the government to double the restricted pre-election spending period for third-party advertisements.