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LETTER: Ford 'doing away with merit' with appointments

Premier should keep his 'patronage- and partisan-tainted mitts off of our previously independent and non-partisan bench,' says letter writer
2019-08-22 Doug Ford in Orillia 1
Simcoe North MPP Jill Dunlop and Premier Doug Ford are shown in this file photo. | Nathan Taylor/OrilliaMatters

OrilliaMatters welcomes letters to the editor at [email protected] or via the website. Please include your full name, daytime phone number and address (for verification of authorship, not publication). The following letter is in response to a letter regarding judicial appointments by Premier Doug Ford, published Feb. 29.

While letter writer Doug Lewis continues to have my greatest respect, I heartily disagree with his comment that Doug Ford’s recent appointments to the Judicial Appointments Advisory Committee is just business as usual and ‘par for the course.’

It may be par for the course for Premier Ford and this current crowd, but it is certainly not par for the course for any previous government, and hopefully not for any subsequent ones.

Ontario and Canada can be proud of their rich legal heritage of appointing judges based on merit alone, because they are smart and have demonstrated a firm knowledge of the law and a strong commitment to our legal system — not because the candidate has parroted the views held by the current premier.

Until now, governments went out of their way to appoint non-partisan members to the advisory board, who then made recommendations based upon who was best for the job. Premier Ford is doing away with merit, and instead seeking to appoint judges who share his conservative views. It is shameful and it is dangerous.

By all means, Premier Ford, continue to appoint your personal friends and political donors to the Ontario Energy Board, the Public Accountants Council, Legal Aid Ontario chairmanship, OPP commissioner (Ron Taverner), agent general (Dean French) and countless others, but please keep your patronage- and partisan-tainted mitts off of our previously independent and non-partisan bench. (And please don’t get me started on the reinstatement of anointing friends and political allies as ‘King’s Counsel’ — with no correlation to ability or merit whatsoever.)

R. Clive Algie
Barrister and solicitor