Wednesday, April 02, 2014

You Royally ....ed up again Harper government ..... Sorry Your Majesty!

Good Day Readers:

You've got to love this Harper government. First, it spent significant taxpayer money to get multiple opinions on the appointment of Marc Nadon - they all got it wrong. Now Justice Minister "Helicopter Pete" MacKay tries to tell you the Supreme Court somehow changed the rules in midstream even though they've been in effect since 1875.

What a guy that "Helicopter Pete!"

Clare L. Pieuk
Marc Nadon ruling creates 'double standard' says Conservative government

The Conservative government said Tuesday that the Supreme Court of Canada's rejection of its appointment of Marc Nadon to the court creates a judicial "double standard"

Tonda MacCharles
Ottawa Bureau Reporter
Tuesday, April 1, 2014.

The Supreme Court of Canada on March 21 ruled 6-1 that Justice Marc Nadon was ineligible to sit on the country's top court. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press).

OTTAWA—The Conservative government signalled frustration Tuesday with the Supreme Court of Canada’s rejection of its appointment of Marc Nadon to the top court, saying it creates a judicial “double standard.”

Justice Minister Peter MacKay said the high court’s conclusion that the Supreme Court of Canada Act bars the government from picking Quebec judges from the Federal Court or Federal Court of Appeal has created a new scheme that “was not there before.”

MacKay said the ruling will have the effect of discouraging any ambitious Quebec lawyers or judges who might consider moving to serve on the Ottawa-based Federal Court, knowing they’d not be eligible for the country’s top court.

“If they have any aspirations of going to the Supreme Court of Canada,” MacKay said, they’ll choose to remain in Quebec.

“It limits the pool of eligible judges from the province of Quebec for the Supreme Court of Canada, which I think is unfortunate. It creates a double standard.”

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, appearing in the Commons for the first time since the March 21 ruling on Nadon, pointed the finger at the high court for coming up with a new regime that creates different rules for different provinces.

“Obviously it’s a big surprise to discover that there is one completely different rule for Quebec than for the rest of Canada,” said Harper.

In fact, the court said it was the Supreme Court of Canada Act itself - a federal statute enacted by Parliament — that set out the limitations on Quebec appointments. The judges in a 6-1 ruling said changes to the court’s composition could now be made only with a constitutional amendment and unanimous consent of the provinces.

But Harper said “all experts” had agreed with his government’s interpretation. Harper said “the Supreme Court of Canada has now made the decision otherwise.”

Harper scolded the opposition, saying that during consultations on Nadon’s candidacy to replace retired Justice Morris Fish “all parties” agreed with the elevation of a Quebecer on the Federal Court to the Supreme Court.

He accused both the NDP and Liberals of “changing positions.”

The prime minister’s reference to the confidential consultations appeared to violate the non-disclosure agreement imposed on the multi-party judicial selection committee. As for the public parliamentary committee that questioned Nadon once he was named, it gave no say or veto to opposition parties.

The prime minister did not reveal how he would now proceed in finding a new judge, except to say he would respect the “letter and the spirit of the judgment.”

In fact, the Harper government threw the question into the court’s lap after its interpretation - and attempt to retroactively amend the law via a clause in a budget implementation bill - prompted a legal challenge by Toronto lawyer Rocco Galati, and the unanimous denunciation of Quebec’s national assembly.

On March 21, the high court judges said the law’s guarantee of three seats for Quebec narrows eligibility to the province’s senior judicial ranks and current members of its bar as a way of protecting the province’s civil law traditions. It said Federal Court judges are ineligible, but may be appointed to seats representing the rest of the country.


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