Da Legal Stuff...

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Friday, September 02, 2005

Does Canada's Supreme Court Really Represent Canadian Values?

Boy, it’s a great judicial system we have in this country. Even though the current bench doesn’t reflect the diversity of Canada, it does reflect the Federal Government’s narrow view of what Canada really is, Ontario, Quebec and the other guys.

The current bench consists of 4 justices from Quebec, 3 from Ontario, 1 from Alberta and 1 from New Brunswick. In other words the court has 7 judges from the center of the universe, 1 from the West and 1 from the East.

Add to this the fact that nearly half of the bench is made up of judges from a Province with very strong separatist leanings and what does that mean for a true representation of Canadian values?

With 9 positions existing and 10 provinces in the country, wouldn’t it make sense that every attempt be made to sit a justice from each of the provinces less one that would find representation at the next available opportunity? No, the feds would rather placate Ontario and more especially Quebec. The rest of the Country be damned.

Take Newfoundland and Labrador as an example. The Province has practically no representation within Canada. It has only seven seats in the House of Commons out of over 300 and the province has never seated a Supreme Court Justice, even though it has been a part of Canada for over half a century. As a matter of fact the word is already out that when Justice Major’s seat opens up at the end of this year, not only Newfoundland and Labrador, but NS, NB and PEI can forget filling the slot.

According to Ottawa, Atlantic Canada already has representation by the 1 justice from NB. Another example of how little the federal government knows or cares about the Country outside its immediate field of vision.

Once again, the Atlantic Provinces are simply lumped together in Ottawa’s narrow view. Never mind that each of the provinces has a completely different history, culture and values than the other. Never mind too, that nobody ever lumps other provinces in Canada together the way they do with Atlantic Canada.

Why does the east always have to settle for a one size fits all system? Aren’t the Atlantic Provinces individual entities like Ontario and Quebec? Would one of those Provinces put up with their Federal Government saying, “Well, it works for Ontario so you’ll have to live with it Quebec”.

The fact of the matter is that each of the Provinces on the east coast has its own issues and they don’t necessarily have compatible solutions. Each has its own culture and has a right to be represented as such.

Maybe it’s time to start phasing in a new approach to filling seats on the Supreme Court. Let’s start by phasing out multiple Justices from a single province. When Justice Major retires in December why not fill his slot with someone from anywhere except Ontario, Quebec, Alberta or NB.

There are 6 other provinces out there to choose from, not to mention the territories and if Paul Martin or anyone else in Ottawa isn’t sure where to look, I’d be more than happy to provide a list of all of them and a map identifying exactly where they are located.

Here’s a hint Paul, they are all inside the Canadian border. Now look to your left and right. Now really, is it that hard Paul?


NL-ExPatriate said...

IMHO its laughable that these men and women consider themselves to be the moral conscious, ethical voice, and blind justice of not 1 One, not 2 two, not 3 three, not even 4 four individual histories, cultures, and heritages but 10 ten individual and separate provinces and peoples.

Meanwhile they are implicitly implicated in an unjust unfair representation of the PEOPLE of canada!

Yet they act more like puppets, marionettes with their strings being pulled by The great province of Ottawa.

Lady justice is cheating and has a see through blind fold! Or she has horse blinders on, that allows her to only see Ontario and Quebec!

Am I the only one who sees this?
Am I the only one that sees the color of the sky as Green, White, and Pink?

WJM said...

Yet they act more like puppets, marionettes with their strings being pulled by The great province of Ottawa.

Name a case where the Supreme Court had its string so pulled.

Am I the only one who sees this? Am I the only one that sees the color of the sky as Green, White, and Pink?

No, there are plenty of people who are deluded like you.

It's funny: I was looking through an American reference book the other day, and came across a chronological table of all the Chief Justices and Associate Justices who have ever sat on the Supreme Court of the United States. It had a lot of information about that court, but one fact was curiously absent in the table: home state.