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Mulroney Inquiry – The Oliphant in the room?


 

From the PMO backgrounder on Justice Jeffrey Oliphant, just appointed to head up the Mulroney/Schreiber Commission of Inquiry:


Justice Oliphant was appointed on August 22, 1985 as a Justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench of Manitoba.  On December 24, 1990 he was appointed as Associate Chief Justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench of Manitoba.  He was appointed a Deputy Judge of the Nunavut Court of Justice in October 2002 and is a former Chair of the Judicial Inquiry Board of Manitoba.

Not in the PMO backgrounder on Justice Oliphant, just appointed to head up the Mulroney/Schreiber Commission of Inquiry:

Oliphant was appointed a Justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench of Manitoba, and later, Associate Chief Justice, by then-Prime Minister Brian Mulroney

That won’t be a problem, though, right? I mean, I’m sure the PM didn’t even know that he was appointed by one of the people he’ll be investigating — it doesn’t say a word about it in the press release, after all.


 
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Mulroney Inquiry – The Oliphant in the room?

  1. I’m stunned!

  2. Rumpole would be impressed!

  3. Kady,

    Are you calling into question Justice Oliphant’s impartiality? Or are you suggesting that Prime Minister Harper should have?

  4. Seriously Fernando. On a matter such as this, you don’t think it inappropriate that Harper’s choice for heading this inquiry would be a Mulroney appointee?!?!

  5. Seriously boudica. Do you have a habit of puting words in people’s mouth’s?

  6. Seriously Fernando, you tend to repeat blatantly obvious observations as though you were struck by some irony-free lightning bolt?
    I’m certain that most people in places which espouse a fair-and-just judicial system don’t have judges judging the person who gave them that job.
    But hey, this is Harper’s world and welcome to it!

  7. Isn’t there the minor problem that probably the vast majority of judges on the federal bench right now are either Mulroney or Chretien appointees? (Chretien is surely also a problem).

    Anyone whose first appointment (rather than elevation to a Court of Appeal or from the provincial to the federal bench) was by Martin or Harper probably wouldn’t count as experienced enough.

  8. Fernando, what words did I put in your mouth exactly?

  9. Forget the inquiry, put the money to a better use.
    There is no way a Mulroney appointee can be impartial.

  10. Why is this any more a problem than a Liberal appointed judge? It’s not like Mulroney can take his judgeship away if he doesn’t like what he hears…

    The Liberals have a vested interest in the outcome of this inquiry…why would we assume a Liberal-appointed judge (many of which, you’ll remember from Benoit Corbeil’s Adscam testimony, got their judgeship as a reward for doing good Liberal party work as lawyers) wouldn’t bring a partisan flavour to the proceedings?

  11. OK boudica; let’s assume you were asking a straight forward question. Here’s my answer. I think Justice Oliphant has a solid reputation. I think JC didn’t mind his ‘interest’ in Brian Mulroney. I think judges in this country are largely appointed based on merit (guess I’m naive that way, shucks). I think optics is overblown as a concern (especially in Ottawa). I think I did a bad job of asking Kady a question. What can I say? I don’t do it for a living.

    You know what boudica, now that I think of it, you may not have been puting words in my mouth but you did get pretty close to what was there. Hey! How about that?

  12. frankly I have been doing my level best to care one way or another!

  13. Making too much of a fuss over who appointed the investigator only serves to make it difficult to investigate those who can appoint. Lets give benefit of the doubt and all that.

  14. I am absolutely certain that Oliphant will be completely impartial in executing his duties as head of the inquiry. I think that the public very often fails to acknowledge that Prime Ministers do not simply go through a list of judges and pick out the ones that they like and appoint them. It is an involved process to become a judge. Oliphant has been on the bench for over 20 years, I am sure that he will do a professional, impartial job as he has been doing during his entire time on the bench.
    Oliphant owes absolutely nothing to Mulroney. Life long tenure, and a complicated and difficult process to remove a judge, ensure that the judiciary is free to be impartial.
    People need to give Oliphant, and the judiciary as a whole more credit.

  15. The scope is already ridiculously narrow, preventing context by not getting to the bottom of the thing (Airbus) that started it all. We’ll just have to wait and see if Oliphant is a bloddhound that wants to find the source, or domestic poodle that stays in the lap.

  16. Fernanado-Boudica – do lunch

  17. “Not in the PMO backgrounder on Justice Oliphant, just appointed to head up the Mulroney/Schreiber Commission of Inquiry:

    Oliphant was appointed a Justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench of Manitoba, and later, Associate Chief Justice, by then-Prime Minister Brian Mulroney”

    Not that I would ever think you might be just a little biased, but isn’t this really overstating the obvious. If Justice Oliphant was first appointed in 1985, and then appointed Associate Chief Justice in 1990, I think most people who read this blog would be able to work out for themselves that he was appointed by Mulroney.

    But hey, why miss an opportunity.

  18. The CBC story states Oliphant as a Trudeau appointee; would that make it better?
    However, to parse on Casey’s comment, when you have a PM who’s appointed a CON supporter to head the RCMP, picks a blue Liberal who has already written an article on why Canada needs to be in Afghanistan to make the same conclusion (after a couple hundred of thousands spent on travel expenses!), who assigns a supple subordinate to write up a soft review (no blame asserted!) on the Nafta-gate splish-splosh, and then refuses to have a serious and OPEN investigation into the possible Bernier bungle, i don’t see how most fence sitters can conclude anything but pre-ordinated design to any of Harper’s choices.

  19. Is there any doubt, by now, that PM Harper only appoints people who will give him the response he wants?

    The ‘fix’ has been in right from the start, why would we expect anything less now that Harper has been embarrassed into calling this inquiry.

  20. Watch, it’ll be 6 months into the inquiry and he’ll have to recuse himself because of (at least the appearance) conflict of interest, perhaps in the middle of an election campaign. Yep, I can see it now!

  21. I wouldn’t trust Harper with pretty much anything – he’s proven himself to be Mulroney and Chretien like in his conniving, self-promoting pursuit of power – but I’m not seeing much of a problem here.

    Appointed 24 years ago and promoted 18 years ago by Mulroney isn’t enough ON ITS OWN to suggest bias. Do they golf, socialize or hunt together like, for example, USSC Justice Scalia and VP Cheney? Is there any evidence that Oliphant has even had any non-official business contact with Mulroney since he was appointed almost two decades ago?

    When every single judge is appointed by a single person, the Prime Minister, we impugn the entire system by suggesting that the appointment is all important. That is a very American (both Dems and Republicans) and a very Canadian conservative view on our judicial system.

  22. I’m more interesting in investigating what was going on while Mulroney was IN OFFICE which is outside the scope of this inquiry.

  23. comment by Dije on Friday, June 13, 2008 at 3:29 pm:

    “I’m more interesting in investigating what was going on while Mulroney was IN OFFICE which is outside the scope of this inquiry.”

    good idea. and since the ball is already rolling, let’s re-examine HRDC, a 2 billion dollar list of people who own rifles, and figure out where the rest of the Adscam money went. are you with me?

  24. comment by tc
    “good idea. and since the ball is already rolling, let’s re-examine HRDC, a 2 billion dollar list of people who own rifles, and figure out where the rest of the Adscam money went. are you with me?”

    If you are in favor of convicting all crooks in the HoC, I’m with you 100% but if you are saying lets let one crook go because we can’t convict “ALL” of them than, with all due respect, that is a ridiculous thing to say.

  25. no, im in favour of finding the truth behind misdeeds, mulroney included. im just pointing out that the door swings both ways, and Liberals would be wise to be careful what the wish for. mulroney may have accepted a kickback (and if he did then he’ll get what he deserves), but it is small potatoes compared to the money involved in just those three examples i provided. mulroney’s money wasn’t the taxpayer’s and went into his safe deposit box, the Liberals stole public money and bought elections with it. both are wrong, but doesn’t one seem a much darker shade of grey?

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