Is no public institution sacred in the eyes of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau?
The arm’s-length director of public prosecution was fair game for interference as we saw in LavScam, when former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould was subject to continued lobbying to overturn the DPP’s decision not to grant SNC-Lavalin a deferred prosecution agreement.
The political weaponization of the public service by Trudeau was made clear by top bureaucrat Michael Wernick’s combative and partisan appearances before the justice committee. Trudeau then made sure to call on his trained seals on the committee to shut down the hearings even though Wilson-Raybould had asked to be given a second chance to appear, just as Wernick had.
Now comes news of Trudeau poking his nose in the selection of a chief justice of the Supreme Court of Canada.
One of the big deals promised by Trudeau in the 2015 election campaign was to introduce merit-based appointments. So important was it to revamp the system to merit-based appointments that virtually all federal appointments were frozen for the first years of his mandate. For example, by Dec. 1, 2017, there were 594 federal cabinet appointed positions unfilled, including 63 judicial vacancies.