Editorial: Can PM quit picking fights?

There are some fights that Prime Minister Stephen Harper should get into. Fights with the opposition, either the NDP or the Liberals? Sure, definitely. Scrapping with your political opponents is part of the democratic process. Diplomatic spats with Russia, Iran, North Korea? Yes, we expect harsh words used against corrupt and dictatorial regimes.

The chief justice of the Supreme Court of Canada?

Maybe not.

The Prime Minister’s Office has thrown out the claim against Chief Justice Beverly McLachlin, accusing her of acting improperly. The case in question was the nomination of Marc Nadon, a federal appeal court judge who was appointed to the court, then bounced due to a legal challenge. Nadon didn’t have the proper background needed to take a seat on the court.

If this was a simple legal spat, that would be one thing. There is nothing wrong with the Conservatives, or anyone, from arguing their interpretation of the law. When they try to drag the reputation of the chief justice into disrepute, however, they had better have a good reason.

If there is a reason for this spat, the PMO has yet to reveal it. In fact, it seems that the most likely reason is the string of defeats the country’s top court has handed the Conservatives in recent months. 

The Conservatives are not getting much backing from the legal profession. The Canadian Bar Association has said it is deeply concerned about the spat, and wants Harper to clarify that McLachlin acted appropriately. 

It seems to follow a pattern of the PMO deciding that some group or individual is an enemy and targeting them. This is odious enough when it’s a public servant or person outside of government. It’s far worse when it’s a direct attack on the top court. The Tories need to rein in their leadership.

– M.C.

Just Posted

Langley woman’s graduation marks expansion of PTSD service dog program

Delta-based B.C. and Alberta Guide Dogs Society and Vancouver Island Compassion Dogs merging to service to more veterans

For a 20th year, golfers memorialize Surrey business owner killed by cancer

Annual tourney pays tribute to Howie Blessin, who wasn’t an avid golfer but employed people who are

National PTSD awareness ride rolling into Langley

The Rolling Barrage 2018 ride will arrive next Tuesday and overnight in Langley.

Spartans squeak out pre-season soccer victory in Oregon

Trinity Western’s women’s soccer team plays in Washington today, then at home on Saturday night.

Take-home naloxone may be replacing 911 calls in parts of Lower Mainland

Naloxone kits handed out up 29% over 2017, ambulance calls and emergency visits down 22-24%, deaths hold steady

Happy birthday Boler: An anniversary gathering of the cutest campers in Winnipeg

Hundreds of the unique trailers in Winnipeg to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Manitoba invention

UPDATED: B.C. matching Red Cross donations for victims of wildfires

Donations being taken by many organizations, BC Hydro waiving bills

VIDEO: ERT called to Port Moody home for distraught man with a gun

Officers negotiated with man for about four hours before he was arrested and taken to hospital

Woodpecker goes out with a bang, starts grassfire in B.C. city

Untimely death of woodpecker causes power outage in Cawston

Communities on evacuation alert in many areas of B.C. as wildfires flare

Warning was issued for 583-square-kilometre blaze that has charred Fraser Lake to Fort St. James

UPDATE: Kelowna’s crying judge refuses to pull herself from case

Judge Monica McParland won’t pull herself off of case.

Complaint coming about cattle prod use at B.C. rodeo

Fair reps investigate after Vancouver Humane Society pics show shocking device at bullriding event

PHOTOS: B.C. city wakes up to darkness under wildfire smoke

The rest of the province also dealing with thick haze as smoky skies continue

Most Read