On Monday, more anonymous sources leaked information designed largely to separate the Prime Minister from the SNC-Lavalin scandal. This time the anonymous sources spoke to CTV News and the Canadian Press suggesting that Jody Wilson-Raybould had recommended Glenn Joyal, chief justice of Manitoba’s highest trial court, be made chief justice of the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC), causing a rift between her and the PM back in 2017.
The articles made it seem that Judge Joyal was rejected because he had made comments which were conservative in nature.
One Globe source went one step further and made the racist allegation that the former attorney general preferred Joyal so that he could be replaced by an Indigenous judge. Joyal was the chief justice of the Manitoba trial courts, and no Indigenous judge has been appointed as chief justice in a Canadian trial court
Justice Joyal had said the court’s interpretation of Section seven “has become, particularly in recent years, the single most fertile source for the discovery of new rights and the de facto constitutionalization of political and social issues.”
The Supreme Court of Canada had used Section seven to strike down abortion laws as well as euthanasia.
According to CTV’s sources, “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.”
When asked if his office had leaked the information, the Prime Minister said that Canadians “can have faith” in their judicial system, in effect refusing to actually answer the question.
While interesting, the leaks are downright worrisome as they could seriously politicize the judicial system.
Already the Manitoba Bar Association (MBA) has issued a statement in support of a top judge after the CTV/CP reports, but that is really just the beginning.
Justice Joyal himself has come out publically noting that he pulled his application in order to help his wife, who is currently battling cancer. He furthermore wrote that he feared someone was using his candidacy for the Supreme Court of Canada to further an agenda unrelated to the appointment process.
Justice Joyal said, “This is wrong.”
So why are Liberal insiders allegedly acting this way? In my view, they are trying to do anything possible to save their government even if it is ethically and morally wrong.
Already they have attempted to cover up potential investigation into the SNC-scandal by using their majority on the justice committee to shut down the discussion in that arena. Now it seems insiders are willing to leak sensitive information which could harm the basis to our judicial system.
This has led Conservative deputy party leader Lisa Raitt to call for an immediate investigation.
John Ibbitson noted in the Globe and Mail that the leak showed how little the Trudeau camp respected the rule of law.
While Toronto Sun Columnist Anthony Furey Tweeted that many in the legal community have been angered in the same way the controversial Mark Norman affair affected veteran circles.
Furey interestingly points out just how dangerous it is to have Canada’s legal and veteran communites against, but the continued talking points from the Liberal insiders have likely done far worse.
Not just veterans and lawyers, but women, the indigenous, and many more have been casually offended through the aggressive, and disrespectful talking points put forward as a mechanism of defense.
Already the Prime Minister has had to apologize for the comments made by his parties inner circle about the character of Jody Wilson-Raybould.
That apology came after the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) published an open letter demanding the Prime Minister “immediately and categorically publicly condemn the racist and sexist innuendo about Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould that is being spread by unnamed elected officials and staff of your government in media reports.”
With so many groups being rapidly offended in order to separate the PM from the dubious decisions taken by his own office, one has to wonder if the many insiders are not leaving the Prime Minister almost baseless come election time.
I suppose when your ship is sinking, and everyone is jumping off, the next moves aren’t exactly a priority. Already two cabinet ministers have resigned, and a caucus member sits as an independent after alleging the PM screamed at her for calling out his handling of SNC. The PMO has denied those allegations.
Sadly, with the government so distracted, the only people losing are us.
While we can’t fix our distracted government right away, we can work on limiting the damage from anonymous sources with dangerous intent.
To do that, we must demand an investigation into these leaks.
Update: One day after publishing this article, the Liberals announced that an innocent man had been kept in prison for months while the AG was in her role. Largely making it seem like it was Jody Wilson-Raybould’s fault.
I suppose there is still space to stoop lower. You can read about that story by clicking here.
What do you think about these leaks and anonymous sources? Join the conversation by commenting below!