The government declined to consult parliamentarians on the merits of Clément Gascon, the latest Supreme Court appointee. Gascon’s impeccable credentials have helped the Tories avoid an uproar in the Commons. For good measure, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau asked the government if it would appoint parliamentarians in advance of Quebec’s next vacancy later this year.
MacKay’s response got interesting in its last stanza.
Mr. Speaker, I thank the leader of the third party. I agree with him. I think this is an inspired choice. It has been a choice widely applauded, particularly in the province of Quebec. With respect to a future process for the appointment of the Supreme Court judges, of course we intend to, again, consult widely and certainly within Quebec and with those in the legal community. However, we are concerned with the process and the compromise that occurred in the leaking of information around it the last time, and so we will proceed with caution and haste in the future.
The Justice Minister no longer trusts the parliamentary selection committee charged with developing a short list for the PM’s final consideration.