Hello Steve Janke!

There’s a lesson here: never throw out the B-roll!

As some of you may know, I, along with Tasha Kheiriddin and Greg Staples armed ourselves with video cameras and stalked the halls of the Liberal Party leadership convention in December looking for interesting people to talk to and fun moments to catch on tape.

Steve Janke has the post of the day (already featured on Bourque, National Newswatch and Rutherford) about John Duffy’s hypocritical position on climate change. Duffy is co-founder of the website www.climateliberal.ca and was pushing the issue of climate change at the convention. As Steve Janke brilliantly points out today, Duffy’s position is… um… unsustainable as the former Paul Martin confidante was a lobbyist for the Bromine Science and Environmental Forum (a front for the bromine producing industry) where he worked to keep bromine off of Environment Canada’s list of toxic chemicals. Bromine is “the most effective heat trapping greenhouse gases of all” according to Environment Canada.

Anyway, do go and read Steve Janke’s excellent post!

And, now… watch the following video that Tasha was able to shoot for Blogging Tories during the Liberal convention.

Who knew that Grit could be so transparent?

liberal-courts-head.jpg

Lorne Gunter:

In the wake of the Adscam scandal, it was revealed that of all judges appointed by the Liberals — not advisory panel members, but judges themselves –nearly two-thirds had personal ties to the governing party. If one added in those from law firms with Liberal connections, the total shot up to nearly three-quarters.

Yet not an official word of concern from the CBA, or the Liberals, or the Grits’ media cheerleaders about how that brought the administration of justice into disrepute.

Given the left-leaning predisposition of the legal establishment in Canada over the past 30 years, it is a pretty sure bet that most of the bar association, law-society and judicial members of the advisory committees — plus many of the provincial representatives — hew to the left. Add in the Liberals’ 36 incumbent appointees, and the committees were cozy little closed shops that could be relied on to pick left-leaning ideological soulmates for the bench.

More reading:
Globe and Mail causing trouble?
Macleans 50: Right Turn

Globe and Mail causing trouble?

The Globe and Mail recently published an article on Monday about appointments to the Judicial Advisory Committee, a group of volunteer individuals that help select a pool of candidates for consideration for the Minister of Justice.

The Globe notes the following,

At least 16 of 31 recent appointments to the panels have Conservative party ties, according to a survey by The Globe and Mail. Others, while not directly linked to the party, have expressed right-of-centre views about the proper role of the judiciary.

Canada’s “newspaper of record” also goes on to cite seven separate authorities on the issue decrying the sure first steps to the implementation of a radical right-wing conspiracy in Canada. Stephane Dion is quoted:

“The only reason he’s stacking the committees is to select judges who will cater to his neo-conservative agenda,” said Mr. Dion, demanding an end to what he called a “blatant” effort to politicize the judiciary.”

Gilles Duceppe, the NDP, a University of Ottawa law professor, the Dean of Osgoode law school, the president of the Canadian bar association, even Beverly McLachlin expressed “concern” when the Globe and Mail contacted them to comment on its narrative. One doesn’t get the sense of balance from the article.

Partisan appointments to a panel which makes recommendations to the Minister of Justice?

On closer inspection, one discovers that the Globe’s math is a bit of a stretch and designed to be alarmist. I count over 115 names on the Judicial Advisory Committee and the names have been fully disclosed on the website for a month.

So why does the Globe deem this story to be newsworthy and why now? Well, it all fits into a narrative that the evil Conservatives don’t believe in the Charter and that if we aren’t vigilant, it’ll be gone tomorrow.

In fact, the Globe article comes during a week-long feature in the National Post about the Charter to coincide with a conference at McGill that focuses upon the “Charter @ 25″.

Is the Globe and Mail trying to fan the flames on the issue of judicial appointments?

One wonders if the Globe is as vigilant reporting on partisan appointments to the bench (rather than a non-binding advisory committee). Consider, for example, this list of judicial appointments.

Also, if one digs a little deeper into previous Judicial Advisory Committees, we discover that partisan Liberals have previously packed the JACs under Liberal justice ministers. Here’s a list:

From 2004-2006
Irene Lewis
New Brunswick Women’s Liberal Association (1994-1998)

James Hatton
Federal Liberal Candidate in the 1988 Federal Election (North Vancouver)

Sharon Appleyard
President of 2005-2006 Executive-Liberal Party of Canada (Manitoba)

Elizabeth Wilson
Member of interim peers panel for Liberal federal candidates 2006

Roger Yachetti
Donated $128.10 to Liberal party of Canada in 1999

Karolyn M. Godfrey
(P.E.I)-Liberal donation $486.80 in 1999

Marc Letellier
$1000 donation to Liberal party of Canada in 2000

Fernand Deveau
$128.33 donation to Liberal party of Canada in 1998

Simon Potter
prominent Liberal activist as well as being a lobbyist and counsel for Imperial.

Anil Pandila
Donated $390.12 to the Liberal party of Canada

From 2002-2004
Claudette Tardif
Currently a Liberal Senator (Alberta) – appointed by Paul Martin

Lou Salley
Former Chretien B.C. organizer, B.C. organizer for Dion in 2006

Rodney Pacholzuk
Former Organization Chair for the Kelowna Federal Liberal Riding Association

George Cooper
New Brunswick Campaign Manager for the Ignatieff Campaign

Annette Marshall
Co-chair of the 1993 Liberal Election Campaign – Nova Scotia

Lorraine Hamilton
Former President of the Burlington Federal Liberal Association and EA to Paddy Torsney, M.P.

Roberta Hubley
Former P.E.I. Liberal MLA

Everett Roche
Lawrence MacAulay’s Official Agent

Yes, these are partisans who served on judicial advisory committees. As I wrote on Macleans.ca, I’m still looking for the Globe and Mail article concerning these (Liberal) partisans. I don’t think that I’ll find it.

Can we instead thank these volunteers, regardless of political stripe, for their commitment to public service?

Macleans 50

Macleans newsmagazine has put together a new initiative called the Macleans 50 which is described as “A diverse field of Canada’s most well known and respected personalities from journalists to politicians offering their comments on the issues of the day, everyday.”.

To my astonishment, Macleans editor Adam Radwanski named me to the 50 and invited me to participate and to comment at the website along with other “50s” such as Tom Flanagan, John Manley, Steve Paikin, Paul Wells, Irshad Manji, Barry Cooper, Christy Clark, and L. Ian MacDonald (among others). The “Mac 50″ will comment on a variety of news from politics to health to education.

The official launch was on Monday and we’ve already seen many animated discussions.

I’m also happy to see Dan Arnold of CalgaryGrit on the list.