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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

If the Judicial Review Committe is not Broken Why is Harper "Fixing" It?

This is an excerpt from Question Period February 13, 2007 on the appointment of judges by the Harper Conservatives. It is worth a careful read.

Hon. Marlene Jennings (Notre-Dame-de-GrĂ¢ce—Lachine, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, within months of taking office, the Conservatives began stacking the bench with their friends: the former president of their party in Quebec, the Conservative co-chair from New Brunswick, a Conservative fundraiser from Alberta, and on it goes. These appointments were made by the former justice minister until we caught him with his hand in the cookie jar.

Will the new, moderate justice minister do what his predecessor refused to do and stop appointing Conservative Party hacks to judicial positions?

Hon. Rob Nicholson (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, CPC):
Mr. Speaker, there may be some confusion in the hon. member's mind. I should point out to her that all the appointments that have been made by this government have been recommended by the judicial appointments commission that the Liberals set up. Every one of them were recommended by the members that they put on that board. What is their complaint?

HERE IS THE COMPLAINT!
My question is about the answer by the Hon Rob Nicholson on the source of his government’s partisan appointees to the bench. He says:

I should point out to her that all the appointments that have been
made by this government have been recommended by the judicial appointments commission that the Liberals set up. Every on of them were recommended by the members that they put on that board. What is their complaint?”

Here is the complaint Mr. Minister. If the system was working – and by your own admission in the answer above - then why change it? If you could get your preferred appointees recommended anyway, why change the process and compositoin of the judicial appointments committee?

BECAUSE the changes you made will result in ONLY your preferred candidates getting through the review process. You will not have to deal with ignoring or rejecting any other qualified appointment recommendations that do not fit with your ideological agenda.

You have rigged the system sir to predetermine the answers you want, and to ensure you only to receive recommendations for appointments that meet a partisan ideological political agenda. It is disingenuous to suggest this meddling with judicial appointment reviews is about safe communities sir!

It is simply a reprehensible abuse of political power for its own sake. Nothing more. Nothing less