New Democrat MP Joe Comartin has done what his party says they are against, he attacked the judiciary. Chris Roussakis/QMI Agency
Let it be known throughout the land that the NDP is against attacks on the judiciary unless they are the ones doing it.
On Wednesday the New Democrats issued a statement denouncing an attempt by Conservatives on the Access to Information and Ethics Committee to get access to documents in the possession of CBC. The committee is studying whether CBC is properly following the law, a matter that is currently being fought in the courts because of CBC’s refusal to release certain documents to the federal information commissioner.
So now the NDP is going to boycott the committee which they see as an attack on judges and the courts.
“We believe the motion clearly oversteps the division of powers between the Legislative and Judicial branches of government. By compelling the production of documents directly related to a case now before the courts, Mr. Del Maestro’s motion oversteps the role of this committee. It is improper for the committee to determine how to interpret legislation. This is clearly a function of the judiciary.”
Now no one would want to see the courts or sitting judges attacked. Well, I would and I do it on a regular basis, but the NDP really doesn’t like any kind of attack on the judiciary unless they are doing it. Here’s what Joe Comartin, a lawyer and New Democrat MP said to Supreme Court nominee Michael Moldaver who promised to learn French now that he is on the highest court.
“I heard the same commitment from him. And we all know that was five, five and half years ago and Mr. Rothstein is still not able to conduct any hearings in French,” Comartin said during hearings in mid-October.
Francoise Boivin, another lawyer and New Democrat MP made similar comments about Rothstein promising to learn French.
Now Justice Marshall Rothstein, appointed in 2006, has come out to defend himself. Rothstein says the record of the public hearings before his appointment are clear, he made no such promise.
“Mr. Comartin was at the parliamentary hearing in 2006 and the record of that hearing is perfectly clear as to what I said and what questions were and were not put to me,” he said. “It speaks for itself. I have no intention of engaging in a debate with Mr. Comartin.”
So, there you have it. The NDP is definitely against attacks on the judiciary unless they are the ones conducting the attacks. Just as they are all for Parliament being able to see whatever documents they want to see, such as classified military documents about Taliban prisoners, but not entitled to even ask for documents on the CBC.