Maybe I was wrong all along.
Maybe Jody Wilson-Raybould, Canada’s former Minister of Justice and Attorney General, was honestly trying to follow through on the government’s progressive pre-election justice promises.
The cold, hard truth is that Wilson-Raybould’s time as Canada’s justice minister was a massive disappointment for anyone who hoped the Liberal government would actually follow through on its lofty justice promises.
The presumption of innocence is one of the golden threads that holds together our justice system. It operates as a shield between the individual and the overwhelming power of the state.
Until recently, this has been a question reserved for philosophers. But now, we have the technology to answer the age-old question in the most democratic way possible — an NCAA-style bracket tournament.
Andrew Scheer and the federal Conservative party have a plan to crack down on guns and gangs. Scheer’s plan is a simple one: End automatic bail eligibility for gang members, revoke parole for gang members and impose minimum sentences for some gang-related offences. Scheer says that his plan, unlike Justin Trudeau’s plan that puts criminals first, will keep Canadians safe.
Last week Pro Bono Ontario dropped the bombshell that they would be forced to shutter their offices in Toronto and Ottawa because of a $500,000 funding gap. Private funders, apparently, can no longer support the program. So, civil lawyers took to the opinion pages and social media to defend the little guy.
In 2015, prior to the last federal election, the then-third-party Liberals made three promises that warmed the hearts of lawyers who work in the criminal-justice trenches.
Last week, the Liberal government, in a rare move, almost followed through on a key election promise. Marijuana is now legal in Canada — sort of.
But what happens when disagreement with a decision turns into a complete dismissal of the judiciary’s independence and authority?
Now is as good a time as any to see if the Liberals have lived up to their lofty justice promises.