Conservative Appointments an Alarming Affront to Legal and Democratic Norms

February 23, 2024

TORONTO, ON – Today, Lucille Collard, MPP for Ottawa–Vanier and Ontario Liberal Critic for Justice Issues, wrote to Doug Downey, Attorney General of Ontario, demanding he correct a serious error in judgment and revoke the politicized appointments of two former Conservative staffers to the nonpartisan and neutral Judicial Appointments Advisory Committee (JAAC).

Earlier today, Premier Doug Ford revealed that these appointments were a deliberate attempt at politicizing judicial appointments, saying, “We got elected to appoint like-minded people…I’m not going to appoint some NDP or some Liberal. I’ve made it very clear where I stand on judges…You voted a party in…I’m putting like-minded people that believe in what we believe in…I’m gonna continue doing it.”

“Let’s just be clear with what Premier Ford is saying here: he deliberately appointed former Conservative staffers to the nonpartisan committee that helps pick judicial nominees expressly to achieve desired partisan outcomes. ​

These are his own words — and it is entirely unacceptable. ​

We do not want US-style politicization of our courts. These appointments should be reversed.”

— Bonnie Crombie, Leader of the Ontario Liberal Party


“Minister, as alarming as it is for this Premier to be ignorant of basic legal and democratic norms, you are a member of the Law Society of Ontario and have a responsibility as a lawyer to conduct yourself in a manner consistent with The Rules of Professional Conduct. ​

These rules include ensuring there can be no reasonable perception of bias, and appointing partisan actors to the Judicial Appointment Advisory Committee for inherently partisan political reasons, as stated by the Premier, is unacceptable.”

— Lucille Collard, MPP for Ottawa–Vanier and Ontario Liberal Critic for Justice Issues


Collard_Letter to Attorney General_Feb 23.pdf

PDF - 150 Kb

Carter Brownlee

Press Secretary, Ontario Liberal Party


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