‘If the system works; corrupt it.’

The carpetbagger from Severn, Ontario is certainly doing the job for Ontario premier Doug Ford. Those conservatives who resented the appointment of Doug Downey as conservative candidate in our riding of Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte would have to agree that he is jumping to his master’s bidding. Look at what he is attempting to pass off as an independent recommendation in changing how we appoint judges in this province.

It must all stem from the complaints when Doug had barely warmed the premier’s chair and he tried to appoint a friend as head of the provincial police. This was accompanied by a request for the provincial police to fund a van with sleeping accommodations for the premier to travel about the province.

He might have gotten away with it if his attorney general at the time, Caroline Mulroney, had been trained in law in Canada and had ever practiced law anywhere other than New York State. As you can imagine, the premier’s wishes were soon a hilarious topic around the water coolers in the attorney general’s ministry, and then the Bay Street bars, and then everyone knew. It took a while to figure out what to do with Brian Mulroney’s kid but Ford found another job for her.

And then Ford found the perfect patsy, the small-town lawyer he had appointed to my riding to keep Patrick Brown from running to succeed himself. This guy probably never even looks up from his notes when his driver drives through his riding on Highway 400 on his way from his office at Queen’s Park to his home in Severn.

But his proposed changes in appointing judges has got him noticed. As is typical of the Doug Ford government, nobody had complained about how judges are appointed. Ontario has an international reputation for how it appoints judges. It has a respected judicial appointments advisory committee that screens applicants and ranks at least two qualified applicants for each open position for the attorney general. In the rare case, the attorney general might ask for more.

The proposed change is that the attorney general wants a list of all the qualified applicants for the position. That is recreating the old patronage system. It is many steps backwards for Ontario.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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