Having spent $1.7 million on the Bastarache inquiry into the obvious fact that judges are appointed by politicians who reward their friends, the estimated final cost is now $6 million. However, pundits are salivating at the prospect of seeing the Prime Minister’s registry of meetings for the period during which it is alleged that party fundraisers exerted influence over judicial appointments and the possibility the entries will corroborate the accuser’s allegations. Particularly tantalizing is the fact that the document in question was apparently headed for the shredder before being rescued by a request under the Access To Information Act!
In passing, it is worth noting the former Chief Justice’s comment on the glaring weakness in the nominating process:
“Saint-Louis said two grey areas remain: the latitude the minister has after the selection panel submits its suggestions, and the fact the minister has exclusive power to name powerful associate chief judges.
‘What are the influences, good or bad, that guide the choice of one candidate over another?” she asked. “If there is an ethical problem in all that has been said here, it is not a problem at the level of judges, it is rather a problem with the political class.’ “
No kidding, Madam Justice!