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View Michael Barrett Profile
Madam Speaker, how does one become a judge in Canada? One would think individuals would take the LSAT, go to law school, get a good job, establish a career that demonstrates their ability and their merit year after year, and maybe they would be deemed fit to be appointed to the bench. Ideally, that would be the process that a young person with judicial ambitions would undertake. Under the Liberal government however, the reality is that if individuals want to become judges, they better be Liberals. If they want to expedite the process, being related to a Liberal member or being a max donor sure helps.
The Liberal record on partisan judicial appointments is horrendous and completely does away with the government's claims, “All judicial appointments follow our new, open, independent, transparent and merit-based process”. The way it works with the Liberal government is that prospective candidates are recommended by Liberal members or other members of the Liberal elite, like the wife of a currently sitting member of Parliament who sits on the Queen's Bench in Manitoba.
The prospective candidates are then checked against their score on Liberalist, a Liberal database, to make sure they are Liberal enough to make the cut and that their donation records are up to date. If the fact that a sitting judge is telling ministerial staff who should be appointed to the bench, and where, does not raise red flags, then the fact that they are being graded on their partisanship should.
It is no secret that the Liberals always put their friends before the rest of Canadians. No clearer example of this can be found than that of the President of the Queen's Privy Council, the member for Beauséjour, letting his family and friends jump the queue as we saw with clam scam, where the member awarded a lucrative fishing contract to family when he was the minister of fisheries. With that track record, it is no surprise that five of six recent judicial appointments in New Brunswick have personal connections to that member.
A neighbour, a family relative and three lawyers who helped retire debts from his unsuccessful 2008 leadership bid were all appointed to the bench in New Brunswick, again raising red flags that the Liberals' merit-based appointment process might not be so merit-based after all, and that they are indeed partisan patronage appointments.
It really comes down to ethics. We have seen that the Liberal government seems to throw ethical considerations by the wayside and step over the ethical line repeatedly. Again, it is no surprise that the Liberal appointment process is certainly not merit-based but is in fact an exercise in partisanship. That is exactly why Canadians are losing faith in public institutions that they pay for and that they expect to operate at the highest ethical level.
We have witnessed a steady degradation of the public trust over the last five years and Canadians are left with a feeling that two sets of rules exist in Canada: one for the governing class and one for those they govern. Canadians deserve to have confidence in their public institutions and deserve to have a government that upholds those institutions.
When will the Liberal government realize that very thing, and put everyday Canadians ahead of their friends?
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