Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin distanced herself Saturday from the controversial decision to name Henry Morgentaler to the Order of Canada, saying she was not the driving force behind the move and intentionally abstained from voting on whether to honour the abortion doctor.And here's the part that tells you the toll that conservative muckraking takes on the finer individuals involved in our system of government, be it as a civil servant, committee chair or Chief Justice:
McLachlin, as head of an advisory council that selects Order of Council recipients, shed light on the secretive process as she spoke for the first time about a debate that has persisted since Morgentaler's July nomination.
Canada's chief justice told a news conference she "made a personal policy decision" almost a decade ago to avoid getting involved in appointments by promoting any candidate or voting for their investiture.
"My view is that I'm there to make sure that the meeting runs well and fairly and that the vote is taken fairly and not to weigh in for or against a particular candidate."
McLachlin, who as a judge must be viewed as impartial, spoke of her struggle to reach "an adequate comfort level" in her role as chairwoman of the advisory body, which makes recommendations to the Governor General.The chance of any success to the complaint that has been launched by the "religious and family values" groups...diminishing by the moment.
"I do it because by law I'm required to do it. It's not something I chose to do," she said at an annual gathering of the Canadian Bar Association. "I feel reasonably comfortable in the process doing it the way I have outlined that I do it, not getting involved in promoting a particular candidate, or advocating for a particular candidate or voting for a particular candidate or against."
McLachlin decried the "misinformation" that has been publicly circulated about her personally promoting Morgentaler. She also disputed news reports that it was unusual for the advisory council to vote on a candidate and that the group usually reaches a decision unanimously.
"There has been no practice of consensus," said McLachlin. Rather, the group routinely votes on a nomination and she said she has only voted once to break a tie.
Now can we leave the good and admirable Justice alone to do her job in the esteemed manner she comports herself with? And leave the petty, vengeful and unwarranted sideshows aside? Please?
Update: JJ lays the smack down .