Tom Mulcair remains unconvinced that Prime Minister Stephen Harper won’t re-appoint Marc Nadon to the Supreme Court. Nadon was, of course, the Federal Court judge ruled ineligible for the top court. Last year, months before Nadon’s initial appointment, Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin and Justice Minister Peter MacKay discussed potential issues posed by Nadon’s CV. Harper’s office claims that, at the time, the PM declined to talk things over with McLachlin.
The PM’s office remembers events thusly: “After [MacKay] received [McLachlin's] call he advised the Prime Minister that given the subject she wished to raise, taking a phone call from the Chief Justice would be inadvisable and inappropriate.”
The opposition now focuses on that statement’s use of the word in bold. Mulcair, the NDP leader, calls it a lot of things. He phrased his question like so:
“The Prime Minister’s personal attack against the Chief Justice is absolutely unprecedented in the history of Canada, and it forces us to ask why. Why go to all this trouble over an appointment that’s already been rejected? I’d like to give the Prime Minister one more opportunity to categorically rule out reappointing Marc Nadon to the Supreme Court. Will the Prime Minister rule that out once and for all?”
The first words of Harper’s response:
“We’ve been clear on that, and we’ll act according to the letter and the spirit of the Supreme Court decision.”
Mulcair is still concerned that Harper could appoint Nadon to a judicial post that would render him eligible for the bench, and quickly make it so.