The federal Conservatives are supporting Doug Ford in his use of the notwithstanding clause to shrink the size of Toronto city council from 47 to 25 members. Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer's spokesman, Brock Harrison, said Ford is well within the law to use the notwithstanding clause because the constitution puts muncipalities under provincial authority. Several Conservative spokemen have said that Ford's use of the notwithstanding clause is popular with voters.
Scheer responded to a question of whether Doug Ford's use of the notwithstanding clause was a good idea with “Ultimately it’s up to the people of Ontario,” Scheer said in his first direct comment on Ford’s measure. “The Charter grants the people of Ontario the final say, it doesn’t matter what academics or pundits or politicians at other levels have opinions; ultimately it’s the people of Ontario that will have the final say on this.” (https://ipolitics.ca/2018/09/12/scheer-wont-say-if-fords-use-of-notwiths...)
The subtext of Scheer's statement is that there are no charter rights because if the people ultimately have the final say on the use of the notwithstanding clause by voting a government out of office, no right exists in defiance of a government's legislation and its willingness to use of the notwithstanding clause when checked by the courts. This means that any right can be overturned by invocation of the notwithstanding clause and this can only be overturned by the defeat of the government in an election. While this was, in reality, the situation before Ford's use of the notwithstanding clause and his proclamation that he intends to use it again when his decisions are overturned in the courts, the general belief was that the notwithstanding clause would rarely be used because voters would punish most if not all governments that used it with defeat in the next election due to the popularity of the Charter.
I do not believe Scheer's statement is simply a case of not opposing an ally in public, but a signal that the federal and other provincial Conservative parties are ready to use the notwithstanding clause whenever they can profit from doing so. Minority groups and issues would be the obvious targets, but this could be used even when a majority of the population voted against the Conservatives in an election or opposed them on an issue. After all, the former is what happened in Ontario where Ford only got 40% of the vote and he invoked the notwithstanding clause anyway because the opposition vote was split between two parties.
This approach can also be used to spike Conservative support and monetary contributions among the Conservative base by saying a Conservative government will support and implement their supporters' issues even when defied by the courts and a majority of voters, if they win the election.