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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

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Defining the Constitutional Limits to Governing Badly

In 2018, the Ontario legislature passed the Better Local Government Act, reducing the number of electoral wards in the City of Toronto. The change came halfway through the municipal election campaign, leaving voters confused and candidates scrambling to adjust. Although the election ultimately went ahead in compliance with the new legislation, the Supreme Court will hear a challenge to the law’s constitutionality in March 2021. If the Court struck down the Better Local Government Act, would this be a vindication of Canada’s constitutional order or evidence of its decline?

This event was held on Monday, February 22, 2021.

Speaker bio

Thomas McMorrow is an Associate Professor of Legal Studies and Undergraduate Program Director of Liberal Studies in the Faculty of Social Science and Humanities at Ontario Tech University. He has held visiting positions at the École Normale Supérieur in Lyon, France, and the University of Trento Faculty of Law in Italy. He appeared as a witness to the Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs as well as a consultant on the federal ministerial roundtable meeting on medical assistance in dying.

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