Smearing Justice Joyal

They told me if I voted for the Conservatives we’d have blatantly partisan interference in the judicial system, and they were right!

The Trudeau government’s latest excuse for LavScam: Jody Wilson-Raybould was a social conservative deep-cover operative trying to appoint an extreme right-winger to the Supreme Court of Canada. Or something like that.

Relations between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and then-Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould first began to fray in 2017 over concerns about her choice to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court of Canada.

A year before cabinet discussions about a plea deal for Quebec engineering company SNC-Lavalin, Trudeau and Wilson-Raybould disagreed about her recommendation of Manitoba Justice Glenn D. Joyal, sources familiar with the matter tell CTV News.

Trudeau was concerned that Joyal wasn’t committed to protecting rights that have flown out of interpretation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, particularly LGBTQ2 rights and even abortion access, neither of which are specifically enshrined in the Charter.

[…]

The Prime Minister’s Office was concerned about views Joyal expressed in a speech to the Canadian Constitution Foundation’s Law and Freedom Conference in the January 2017, in which he discussed about the way courts were interpreting the Charter, ushered in by Trudeau’s father.

“It may be one of the bitter ironies of Pierre Elliott Trudeau’s Nation Building strategy of the 1980s, that despite the celebration and promotion of the Charter, it has led to an institutional imbalance that dilutes a source of Canadian distinctiveness,” he said in the speech.

Joyal argued for a rebalancing the relationship between the courts and legislative branch.

“I would hope and have every reason to believe, that this would signal the beginning of a true dialogue with the courts, where the resulting policies would, I suspect, reflect a traditionally pragmatic and uniquely Canadian mix of liberal and non-liberal values.”

His speech raised concerns that Joyal, if appointed, would be less willing to protect rights that are based on a broader interpretation of the Charter.

This is truly baffling, since I’ve been assured that unlike those nasty Americans, Supreme Court Justices in Canada are appointed strictly based on merit and not because of how the Prime Minister thinks they might decide hot-button issues.

Joyal, for his part, says he withdrew his name from consideration because of his wife’s breast cancer:

In a statement Monday, Joyal made no mention of Wilson-Raybould, but said that although he applied for the position of Supreme Court justice, he had to withdraw for personal reasons related to his wife’s health.

“In 2016, the Office of the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs announced an independent and non-partisan application process for appointments to our highest court. The confidential process assesses each candidate on their merits,” Joyal told Global News in an emailed statement.

“Ultimately, I had to withdraw my application for personal reasons, due to my wife’s metastatic breast cancer. Regrettably, that detail was omitted from the now-published media reports for which I was given no opportunity or, in one case, approximately one hour to respond to.

“I fear that someone is using my previous candidacy to the Supreme Court of Canada to further an agenda unrelated to the appointment process. This is wrong,” Joyal continued.

Ever since the Charter of Rights and Freedoms took effect in 1982, judges, lawyers and academics have wrangled with the question of how the powers of the judiciary and the legislature should be balanced. That’s what Joyal was talking about. And intellectually honest people know raising these points doesn’t make you a bigot.

Which is precisely why Sheila Copps says Joyal is a bigot (and a “homophone”):

As long as Copps is around, Frank D’Angelo will not be the most embarrassing person ever to come from Hamilton.

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