Friday, May 02, 2014

Your judicial joke of the day ..... Vic Toews swearing in ..... Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!

Former Public Safety Minister/"Justice" Toews: "Hey, Commissioner Paulson, arrest all those people over there they don't stand with us, therefore, they're pedophiles!"

Good Day Readers:

Arrived at The Law Courts a few minutes before this auspicious occasion was to begin (the crowning of Vic Toews) and after glancing at the public gallery which seemed to be full sat in a temporary seat set up at the front of the courtroom which CyberSmokeBlog later came to realize was reserved for dignitaries. Here's the bilingual program handed out.
Province of Manitoba
COURT OF QUEEN'S BENCH SWEARING-IN CEREMONY

May 2, 2014
1:00 p.m.
Law Courts Complex
Winnipeg

For

THE HONOURABLE JUSTICE VICTOR E. TOEWS

and

THE HONOURABLE JUSTICE SADIE A. BOND

____________________________

ORDER OF PROCEEDINGS

1. Opening Remarks
The Honourable Glenn Joyal Chief Justice of the Court of Queen's Bench

2. Reading of the Minute of Appointment

Ms. Donna Miller, Q.C., Deputy Minister of Justice and Deputy Attorney General

3. Administration of Oath of Office and Oath of Allegiance
The Honourable Glenn Joyal Chief Justice of the Court of Queen's Bench

4. Welcoming Remarks from the Bench
(a) The Manitoba Court of Appeal, The Honourable Richard Chartier, Chief Justice of Manitoba

(b) The Court of Queen's Bench, The Honourable Glenn Joyal, Chief Justice

(c) The Provincial Court of Manitoba, The Honourable Ken Champagne, Chief Judge

5. Welcoming remarks

(a) The Government of Manitoba, Ms. Donna Miller, Q.C., Deputy Minister of Justice and Deputy Attorney General

(b) The Government of Canada, Mr. Darrin Davis, Regional Director, Justice Canada

(c) The Law Society of Manitoba, Mr. David Swayze, President

(d) The Bar Association, Ms Sofia Afirza, Vice-President, Manitoba Bar Association

(e) the Faculty of Law, The University of Manitoba, Lisa Fainstein, Associate Dean

6. Response
 

The Honourable Justice Victor E. Toews
The Honourable Justice Sadie A. Bond

7. Closing Remarks and Invitation to Reception

What's missing from this picture?

Someone representing exemplary, law abiding, taxpaying citizen Joe/Jane six pack who will be stuck paying for this extravaganza.

The entire affair took about 90 minutes which could easily have been reduced to 30 minutes without missing anything. About 150-200 attended..

Attendees?

The creme de la creme of Winnipeg society. The legal establishment, glitterati, politicians, celebrities and wannabees - the beautiful people.

Amateur hour down at your local comedy club

Why was it every speaker felt compelled to include 3-4 jokes in their comments as though they were working to a pre-set formula. In response the audience would clap and hoot (No, no not that kind of hooting!) like trained seals. Dutifully, each speaker attempted to tell us how great Vic Toews is right up there on a pedestal with God. OMG it was boring time and time again having to sit through sanitized versions of his background.

CyberSmokeBlog's silent protest

Rather than participate in the Vic Toews love-in, every time he was being likened to the greatest invention since canned beer CSB simply didn't applaud like the rest of the trained seals. Why should anyone who disagrees with him be labelled as a potential pedophile?

Line of the day?

Belonged to Chief Justice Glenn Joyal when he said (to paraphrase), "Being in public service for so many years much is known about his private life" which elicited a muffled snickering. Wonder why?.

You thanked the wrong person Mr. Toews

At least twice Vic Toews made a point of singling out Conservative Member of Parliament Shelly Glover who, unfortunately, is CyberSmokeBlog's federal representative in parliament, for Manitoba's Federal Judicial Advisory Committee's recommendation that he be appointed to Queen's Bench.

You got that part wrong "Justice" Toews. How quickly you've forgotten. Perhaps a refresher excerpt from the March 8, 2014 article, 'A patronage critic' on Queen's Bench by Winnipeg Free Press reporter Mary Agnes Welch will serve to improve your memory:

When he became attorney general following the 2006 election, Toews made three key changes to the judicial-appointment system, most of which did little to make the process less secretive, said University of Guelph political scientist Troy Riddell, who studies judicial appointments.

Toews added a police representative to the advisory panel that vets potential judges in each province, a move condemned by many, including national lawyers' groups and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada.

In Manitoba, it resulted in longtime Winnipeg Police Association President Mike Sutherland's appointment to the Federal Judicial Advisory Committee for Manitoba, where he still serves.

Toews also changed the way the provincial advisory committees forward possible appointments to the Justice Minister. Before, would-be judges could be recommended, not recommended or highly recommended. That allowed the committee to clearly highlight superior legal minds, perhaps above political affiliation.

Now, recommendations are made to the federal Justice Minister based on a simpler designation, either recommended or not recommended. What other names are in the mix are kept secret, so it's not clear who Toews might have beat out for the Queen's Bench appointment.

Also in 2006, Toews stripped the Chair of the Advisory Committees - in Manitoba, currently Queen's Bench Justice Brenda Keyser - of voting rights.

Currently, the majority of voting members on Manitoba's judicial advisory committee have close ties to Toews.

Marni Larkin is a top Conservative strategist who ran the party's last provincial campaign, served on the party's national council and quarterbacked several local riding races.

Ken Lee is a Senior Strategist and fundraiser for the provincial party.

John Tropak, a Winnipeg video-store owner, has donated at least $5,400 to the Conservative party in recent years and was rumoured to be a contender for a Senate appointment.

And Mike Sutherland has been a Toews ally. Toews awarded Sutherland a Diamond Jubilee medal in 2012 and last year appointed him to the Canadian Firearms Advisory Committee.

Toews will make $288,000 as a Queen's Bench judge and is also eligible for a federal pension worth $79,000 annually and a provincial pension for his five years as a provincial MLA.

While an MLA running for re-election in the 1999 race, Toews violated the province's Election Finances Act. In 2005, he pleaded guilty to spending more than the allowable limit and was fined $500.


Where do you see any reference to Shelly Glover being on the Committee that recommended you? BTW, she was on the highly secretive selection committee that made the disastrous recommendation to appoint  Marc Nadon. She's not doing very well in this activity is she?.

Ms Glover was accompanied at the Toews' swearing in by, yes, this same Mike Sutherland who used to be a Winnipeg Police detective back in the 1980s. He was the same lad who accompanied her when she was sworn in as the federal Minister of Whatever

Constitutional law expert - hardly

Once again each speaker felt the need on go on and on ad infinitum and ad nauseam about Vic Toews prowess as a constitutional law expert but is and was he? Winnipeg Free Press journalist Mary Agnes Welch in her March 13, 2014 article entitled, 'A closed mind' on the bench' summed his performance thusly:

As Canada's Public Safety Minister, Vic Toews was criticized over and over by Federal Court judges for sidestepping evidence, failing to offer detailed decisions and displaying close-minded intransigence when dealing with the charter rights of Canadian citizens incarcerated abroad.

In at least 11 cases (emphasis CyberSmokeBlog's) heard in Federal Court, decisions made by Toews, Manitoba's newest Court of Queen's Bench justice, were overruled, found unreasonable and inconsistent with the facts.

Ms Welch also likened it to being taken out to the judicial woodshed by the Federal Court of Canada

Does that sound like a constitutional expert to you. If so he was quite a sloppy one.

Vic Toews the activist judge?

Under the Harper government the Supreme Court of Canada has reversed laws it has implemented 5-times. Let's count the ways:

(1) Senate Reform
(2) Pre-Sentencing
(3) Prisoner Transfers
(4) Nadon
(5) Early Parole

But it just gets better. In addition, some Canadian Justices are shaping their rulings to minimize the impact of the victim surcharge and mandatory minimum sentences for gun and marijuana possession sentences.

The Harper government despises activist judges and believes it has the exclusive right to pass laws even though they may be flawed. Mr. Toews is a dyed-in-the-wool Conservative who has a reputation for being Mr. Law And Order tough guy. But it even gets better it that's possible. Today his former boss Stephen Harper is engaged in a public spat with the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada. Dumb, dumb and more politics

Can you see Glenn Joyal handing Vic Toews any files that contain elements of the above given his track record of intransigence?

The reception

After the swearing in CyberSmokeBlog surreptitiously/furtively hung around the courtroom to see who was schmoozing with whom so was late arriving at the reception on the third floor in the grand library. However, it did count at least 44 but several were already in the room so the number would have been somewhat higher. Had to wonder how many were the beautiful people - legal establishment, politicians, glitterati and celebrities versus 6-pack taxpaying Joes' and Janes' who will be stuck with the bill for this extravaganza.

The cost? Thanks to the kind staff at The Law Courts Judges have access to support services via the Services Branch of the Courts Division of Manitoba Justice details of which can be fount in the Department's Annual Report. But there a slight problem. Justices/Judges names are not listed along with the amounts they have claimed. Surprise!

Recall last year Chief Justice Joyal filed a complaint with the Canadian Judicial Council against Lori Douglas who's been on administrative leave for what has to be at least a couple years by now for what he alleged was abuse of said fund? BTW, the CJC has yet to post it's decision.

Had to wonder how the guest list was compiled and whether Vic Toews' ex of 30-years (Lorraine Fehr) who took him to the cleaners in a very, very messy divorce a couple years ago got an invite.

Time to clean up your swearing in act Queen's Bench

Everyone likes a good joke especially CyberSmokeBlog but why did every speaker think they were competing at a amateur comedy festival. It really made the event seem like a circus/jokefest. Compare this to when a federal cabined minister is sworn it at Rideau Hall. It's read the declaration and get out.Whatever happened to decorum, protocol and especially solemnity? But then again the appointment of Vic Toews was a Big Joke.

CyberSmokeBlog's Prediction

Watch out for Sadie Bond she's a real sleeper/dark horse who projected sincerity, genuineness and humility versus Vic Toews who's resting and trading on his past laurels. She'll be far less susceptible to "judgeitis" (when power goes to their head) eventually eclipsing Vic Toews on the bench.

Final thought

The worst omen about the Toews' appointment? He's left handed!

Sincerely,
Clare L. Pieuk

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