TORY CRONY MADE JUDGE. Campaigner will get $232,000 a Year
The above headline appeared in the Montreal Gazette of Junes 29th 2006. It was the head of a very biased report by Janice Tibbetts of Canwest News Service. I was so annoyed by this report that I wrote a letter to the editor of the Gazette and once again my letter was not printed. Since Canwest has become proprietor of the Montreal Gazette, hardly any of my letters have been published. As a result I started this blog which now contains about 30 posts.
I am going to reprint part of the article by Janice Tibbetts and my letter to the editor of the Montreal Gazette and let you judge the dispute for yourself'
The Article in Part
"The Harper government has promoted the co-chairman of the Conservative election campaign in New Brunswick to a federal judgeship sparking an allegation that the Tories intend to use the prestigious postings as patronage plums.
Justice Minister Vic Toews...elevated Richard Bell to the New Brunswick Bourt of Queen's Bench, the province's superior court.
Bell will earn $232,00 annually once the 7.25% raise is approved by Parliament as expected.
'This falls in the traditions of rewarding your buddies,' said Jacob Ziegel, a law professor at University of Toronto.'Nothing has changed. It's very sad and it's time the government got out of the business of naming judges.' .....
'Harper is no different from his predecessors,' Ziegel said. 'Your wonder how sincere he is about his commitment to accountability'
Ziegel is one of several respected members of the legal community who have called for reforms in the system amid complaints that you can't get a judgeship without political connection'
MY LETTER TO THE EDITOR, dated June 29th, which was sent by e-mail.
"Your headline, 'Tory Crony Made Judge' of June 29th, 2006, concerning the appointment of Richard Bell as a judge of the New Brunswick's Queen's Bench is distasteful and erroneous. The sub heading, 'Campaigner will get $232,000 a year is biased and without regard to what Mr Bell earned as a lawyer which probably exceeded this amount. The writer of this article is content not to do any background check on Mr. Bell, but to rely on the derogatory remarks of Jacob Ziegel, a law professor at the University of Toronto, who knows nothing of Richard Bell. The only bench that Jacob Ziegel is cable of sitting on, is a park bench.
As a Montreal lawyer, I have had the opportunity of referring several clients to Richard Bell for matters that arose in New Brunswick. I found him to be a hard working lawyer, who gave these matters his complete consideration, and was extremely well qualified. My clients were quite satisfied with his services. As a judge, he will be an asset to the court and will be warmly received by the judges of the court.
I often wonder why journalists degrade peole who were involved in politics. The problem in Canada is that not enough people are involved in politics. While I am a Liberal, I congratulate Richard Bell for his previous commitment to the Conservative Party. He set an example for many Canadians who only complain and show no desire to get involved."
H. Laddie Schnaiberg Q. C.
I WOULD BE PLEASED TO RECEIVE YOUR COMMENTS.