The Shotgun Blog
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
As critics continue fretting about "politicization" with respect to the planned review, by an ad hoc parliamentary committee, of Stephen Harper's pending choice to fill the Supreme Court of Canada vacancy, Real Women of Canada has issued an insightful news release reminding Canadians of the overt politicization of court appointments under the previous Liberal government.
This timely news release does not appear on the the group's Web site yet, so I'll reproduce it here in its entirety:
P R E S S R E L E A S E
For immediate release February 22, 2006
Public Hearings of Judicial Appointments
When Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin warned against public hearings of Supreme Court of Canada candidates because she feared they would “politicize” the judiciary, she perhaps was not aware of the reality of the current system. For example, in the two-year period that former Prime Minister Paul Martin and his Minister of Justice, Irwin Cotler, were in power, the following individuals were given judicial appointments:
- Michael Brown, Mr. Cotler’s executive assistant and policy advisor;
- Yves de Montigny, Mr. Cotler’s Chief of Staff;
- Randall Echlin, the Legal Counsel to the Ontario Liberal Party;
- Rosalie Abella, (appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada), wife of Mr. Cotler’s close friend, Irving Abella;
- Marsha Erb, Alberta Liberal fundraiser, a close personal friend of Cotler’s former Cabinet colleague, Anne McLellan;
- John J. Gill, Co-chair of the 2004 Alberta federal Liberal campaign;
- Vital Ouellette, an unsuccessful Alberta provincial Liberal candidate in 1997 and 2000 elections;
- Bryan Mahoney, federal Liberal candidate who lost twice to federal Conservative MP Myron Thompson; and
- Edmond Blanchard, former Liberal New Brunswick Minister of Finance.
When recently retired Chief Justice of Nova Scotia’s Court of Appeal, The Hon. Madam Justice Constance Glube appeared as a witness on November 15, 2005 before the House of Commons Justice Committee which was reviewing the judicial appointments system, she acknowledged in her testimony that the judicial appointment system must be changed because the appointments were based not on merit, but rather on political considerations. This marked the first time that a chief justice in Canada has publicly challenged the appointment system of judges.
On December 1, 2005, Chief Justice McLachlin stated in a speech given to the law students at the University of Wellington, New Zealand that judges may render their opinions based on ‘unwritten’ Constitutional norms, even in the face of clearly enacted laws or hostile public opinion. She defined unwritten norms as those ‘essential to a nation’s history, identity, values and legal systems.’ Such norms, according to Judge McLachlin, could be properly understood and interpreted by appointed judges.
Under these circumstances, the introduction of public hearings of proposed Supreme Court of Canada judges is not only a reasonable procedure, but a necessary one in view of the authority and power now assumed by the Supreme Court of Canada over the lives of ordinary Canadians.
TrackBack URL for this entry:
Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Supreme hypocrisy:
If she doesn't like it...TOO BAD! This is the will of the people, and they will accept responsibility for the consequences.
Posted by: Scott | 2006-02-22 1:32:19 PM
Wow. Thanks so much for this information. Cronyism at its height.
Posted by: ET | 2006-02-22 1:32:28 PM
Good for ‘Real Women’. The critics of public parliamentary reviews know full well that the appointments process is already highly politicized. What they fear is public awareness of the degree to which the courts have been stacked with Liberal Party insiders and supporters.
Let’s hope the upcoming review can expose this - that the committee isn’t too timid in trying to be ‘respectful’ ( ie. to avoid an ‘American-style’ hearing.)
It's impossible to avoid political considerations in making court appointments. Everyone involved, particularly people like Chief Justice McLachlin, should at least be honest enough to admit it. And a transparent process can only improve things.
Posted by: JR | 2006-02-22 1:44:05 PM
I NOW DO happen to RIGHTFULLY TO think now that S HARPER is another one of those turncoats who once in power does not keep his promises but PROSTITUTES himself to try to win again, to be a PM still at any costs. His own actions prove it.
GOOD FOR THE REAL WOMEN
Posted by: All Canadian | 2006-02-22 1:56:42 PM
Glube was appointed by then Premier GA Regan QC
Nova Scotia at the specific request of PM PE Trudeau QC who wanted more women appointed to Superior Courts. All Judges in Canada are, and have been appointed by the process of political patronage, including all SCC Judges. PM Harper is
taking the first steps to elminate the patronage
element. Legislation to code same sex marriage
was designed by lesbian lawyers in the Federal Justice Ministry, sent up to Cotler, who lobbied
Martin to pass the legislation. Abella and her
associates were needed on the SSC to ensure no
problems with the senior superior court. SSM cost
Martin dearly, because it created a major rift in
the old line Liberal Party, who are not noted for
forgivness or making amends.
Posted by: Jack Macleod | 2006-02-22 3:04:45 PM
Premier Gerald A.Regan QC appointed Ms Constance
Glube QC to a Superior Nova Scotia Court, the
Court of Appeal. Hon.L.J Pace QC, long time
Liberal lawyer was also appointed by Premier GA
Regan QC. All appointments were vetted by the PMO
- a well known Conservative lawyer in Halifax lobbied PM Brian Mulroney QC and Premier John M
Buchanan QC - he in fact sits on the Superior NS
Court of Appeal today. A well known NDP MLA and
first class shit disturber was appointed to a
Provincial Court judgeship by Premier GA Regan QC
to remove him from the NDP Caucus - he is still
a sitting Judge. I happen to know a little bit about the NS Liberal Party and by definition the
Liberal Party of Canada, with two Federal MPs and a Senator in our history. My mother's family
from Ulster and Ireland were among the founders
of the Liberal Party in 1835 Nova Scotia. I know
exactly how the Liberal Party works.
Posted by: Jack Macleod | 2006-02-22 3:49:52 PM
JUST WHAT WE ALL NEEDED EVEN ANOTHER IMMORAL LIBERAL REPORTER BILL AT THE CALGARY SUN
Posted by: MERRIAN | 2006-02-22 6:35:45 PM
Here is the undeniable truth, his boss Conservative S Harper had sent him, embarrassingly too, out of the country to Europe, to hopefully silence all the bad criticism, as a result of the FLACK liberal Peter MacKay was getting ,for his one sided Muslim support fiasco. Likley he Peter will put his foot in his mouth there too next. Bad habits are hard to break.
HE LIKELY WILL SUPPORT POLYGAMY TOO
Posted by: MERRIAN | 2006-02-22 6:36:54 PM
Brian Tabor of the Canadian Bar Association of Canada is a lawyer idiot to say that the previous Liberal appointed court was not political, as he did in a recent CTV interview. Here are some comments I got from the American Jewish Committee newsletter(Sept 13 2004) about Rosie Abella, the last Supreme Court Judge appointed by Irwin Cotler.
"Rosie, as she is widely known, has a high profile not only as a liberal jurist who paves the way for gay and women's rights, is also a public intellectual who gives outspoken lectures on Canada's Charter of Rights, Anti-Semitism, and other issues of concern to her."
"During her tenure, she also sat on the Ontario Human Rights Commission and led a one-person federal commission that created the concept of 'employment equity', Canada's version of affirmative action, to advance ....women, racial minorities, the disabled and native Canadians. ............In 2001 she wrote the majority opinion in the Miglin appeal that allowed ex-wives who find themselves in financial difficulty while their former husbands prosper to go back to divorce court and seek increased support. (The Supreme Court of Canada later overturned that ruling)"..........
"ABELLA HAS PUBLICLY SCORNED OPPONENTS OF JUDICIAL ACTIVISM FOR TRYING TO PREVENT THE COURT FROM EXPANDING MINORITY RIGHTS IN CANADA."
Rosie's appointment is a blatant, bloody insult to all Canadians because she, in fact, has a better political resume than a lot of the candidates who run for Parliament. For the Canadian Bar Association to defend the indefensible is the height of lunacy. Shame on Mr Tabor for essentially saying all Canadians are morons and that we are not smart enough to figure these injustices to our system out.
What I wanna know is why did everything the Liberals touched turned to crap?
Posted by: rockyt | 2006-02-22 7:14:31 PM
The patronage method in picking Judges in the
political process starts with a call from the PMO
to a politically friendly Premier, who sounds out
the local politically friendly barristers. The
Premier then, based on consenus, calls the PM, whose office starts the required administrative
process (background,security, financial checks)
etc. All things being equal, the PM, not the PMO
calls the newly appointed Judge to break the news
-the nominee of course has the first right of
refusal (never heard of anyone refusing). The ultimate selection is based upon the Premier's
choice under the long established Patronage process. The real power in a political Party in
Canada is in patronage; the Liberal Party was founded on the concept of patronage, which continues to this day. If PM Harper does not ensure that CCP faithful are not rewarded, his tenure will be short and painful. Ask the formerly Right Honorable Paul (don't call me Paulie) Martin what happens when you piss off the Liberal Party.
Posted by: Jack Macleod | 2006-02-23 1:03:34 AM
Just remember: in most of the USA, judges are politicians who get more votes than their opponents; in Canada, they are politicians who get fewer votes.
Posted by: Roseberry | 2006-02-23 9:53:15 AM
A real good political source has privately stated that the reason the federal Liberals are now having problems supposedly finding a new leader, is cause BILL GRAHAM ANOTHER USELESS LIBERAL HAS CLAIMED IT.
But what about a decent, and a fresh face.
Posted by: Snatch | 2006-02-23 10:49:08 AM
----The patronage method in picking the fderal Judges in the political process starts with a call from the PMO to a politically friendly Premier, who sounds out the local politically friendly barristers. The Premier then, based on consenus, calls the PM, whose office starts the required administrative process (background,security, financial checks) etc.
Provincial, Immigration judges, commissioners tend to be appointed the same way
The more decent persons do not have any chance at getting appointed, and this is why we have so many bad Judges, incompetent commisioners.
YES, CANADA IS KNOWN FOR IT'S PRETENTIOUS POLICE SERVICES AND A PRETENTIOUS JUSTICE SYSTEM ALREADY.
And very desperate to get re-elected the still mostly useless loser Conservative S Harper will immorally likely not change any of this.
How come they always choose the bad leaders.
Posted by: EX LIBERAL | 2006-02-23 10:57:30 AM
Too early for a new Leader of the Liberal Party
of Canada - the huge debt must be resolved, and
the Party reorganized, that is the present Party
executive for the most part replaced. Then, a series of forums on policy, including a firm
committment to support Harper CCP legislation and
a positive presence in the House of Commons. The
Harper government will not be defeated by a confidence vote; the Bloc will ensure that. The
NDP? well the NDP is what one might call, redundent. My opinion is that next time out, Harper will earn and win a majority, so Federal
opposition will be about 7-8 years or more.
Posted by: Jack Macleod | 2006-02-23 1:31:40 PM
Jack: $20.00 says the next Liberal Leader will be Francophone. Another $20.00 says he/she will be from Quebec. Just a friendly wager, I'm not an expert. It will take a while so be sure to remind me if you win.
Posted by: dan | 2006-02-23 2:02:39 PM
Sure lets bet. But the Leadership circus is a long way off. There is no real Francophone in
the running who in fact can win. Cauchon is one
of the architects of SSM, which is one of the major reasons Martin was disposed of. The gay
Toronto media may think SSM is not an issue, but it is in fact a very significant issue in a Party which was founded by Irish Catholics, Baptists, Jews, Adventists etc. Most Liberals want a Leader from Central Canada or the West
- the action is in Edmonton, Vancouver, Calgary
and Toronto. But it is still too early to go forward, because of the Party's debt - Copps wrote a piece in the Sun papers about how serious the money situation. When I heard about
that massive bank robbery in England, I thought,
so thats what Dingwall has been up to - maybe he could give some of his entitlement back! Cheers
Posted by: Jack Macleod | 2006-02-24 3:26:16 PM
The comments to this entry are closed.