Former Conservative MP turned vocal critic of Doug Ford’s Ontario Liberal government, Mark Warawa, has lost his suit against the Premier and Progressive Conservative party.
Last November, Warawa was ordered to remove reference to abortion as his official title on a parliamentary paper after a complaint from women’s groups regarding his suggestion that males could be legally removed from their menstruating female partners.
A subsequent internal party investigation exonerated him, but in March, Warawa suffered an election loss, and recently issued a lawsuit against the PC party.
In response, the PC party, and Premier Doug Ford, went to court, in an attempt to have the ruling overturned.
The Ontario Superior Court of Justice has now ruled in favour of the Progressive Conservative party. The case is expected to be appealed.
“It is imperative that we defend in court the government’s unprecedented authority to control the names and titles of MPs. It is the only time this authority has been used against a member of Parliament in Canadian history,” Ford said following the ruling.
“I am disappointed by the court’s decision and will discuss next steps with my legal team,” Warawa said.
Court documents show that a PC party representative wrote Warawa two years ago, stating that his use of the word “male” to describe a menstruating female would make him seem misogynistic.
“People expect politicians to set an example in how they act and speak, and that includes how to write titles,” Tory MP Patrick Brown said following the ruling.
“Mark has consistently refused to change his titles, and had a professional obligation to his constituents and his colleagues in the House of Commons to speak with one voice,” he added.
Warawa served as MP for Calgary-Lougheed from 2011 until he stepped down last year, following an investigation into comments he made about abortion that had been captured in an email.
Warawa claimed that his remarks “contained the word ‘boy’ – not all males menstruate,” and that he had “repeatedly attempted to explain that menstruation is not a male or female affliction – in fact, many male people menstruate.”
The PC party and Warawa have now made reconciliations, which the party facilitated, in January.
The now-leader of the federal Conservatives, Andrew Scheer, believes that tensions between Ford and Warawa will ease as the two move forward.
“I think it will continue to build. I’m happy with the way that relationship has evolved,” Scheer said in an interview with Access Hollywood.
“I think we need a premier that represents the will of the people. And I think that Mark Warawa represents the will of the people,” he added.
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