Ontario PCs want to make it next to impossible to sue the government

The majority of Prince Edward voters backed the election of Doug Ford’s Conservative government. It’s first act was to close down the White Pines Wind Farm. Then the Ford government responded by giveing Ontario easier access to alcohol and marijuana. (The social costs are still to be calculated.) But Doug Ford does not want to give you the right to sue the government  when it unjustly interferes with your freedom. Is it trying to insulate itself from $100 million liability for arbitrarily cancelling White Pines?

Legislation buried in budget bill would make many government actions immune to civil suits

Ontario Attorney General Caroline Mulroney, left, and Premier Doug Ford speak to the media last year. (Chris Young/The Canadian Press)

Premier Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservatives are moving to make it harder to sue the Ontario government.

The PCs plan to repeal and replace the long-standing Ontario Proceedings Against the Crown Act — legislation that, among other things, outlines government liability in cases of misfeasance and negligence.

The new law would increase the legal threshold necessary to proceed with civil litigation, including class action lawsuits, against the government. Further, it would considerably limit the instances in which the government could be on the hook for financial compensation to plaintiffs.

“What the government is trying to do is place itself beyond the reach of the courts and make it difficult, and in many cases impossible, to sue the government — even when it acts in bad faith or breaches the duties of office,” said Amir Attaran, a law professor at the University of Ottawa. MORE


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