Editorial: AG needs inspiring leadership

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne turned to a reliable performer in naming Madeleine Meilleur as attorney general last week.

A steady hand in cabinet, Meilleur, until recently the minister of community safety and correctional services, is a good pick for Ontario’s top legal job.

Of course, with an election looming, it’s unclear how long she’ll be in the post. Even if the Liberals manage to hang onto power, Wynne will likely be shuffling her ministers once again.

It’s too bad that Ontario continues to languish under political uncertainty given the pressing needs not just in the court and justice systems but across the government more generally. With the province continually bracing for an election, it’s hard to get much done. As Law Times reports this week, the need for the renewal of court infrastructure continues with the government turning to portable courtrooms in Barrie, Ont., given a burgeoning caseload there. And important bills, such as the government’s proposed law to tackle strategic lawsuits against public participation, have foundered as the legislative process largely grinds to a halt.

That’s not to say there hasn’t been progress. Most recently, for example, staff began moving into the new consolidated courthouse in Elgin County. At the same time, the Ministry of the Attorney General announced a deal with the Ontario Public Service Employees Union to resolve a dispute over contracting out court transcription work.

But in the end, those are small steps. The modernization needs of Ontario’s justice system are far greater than the progress so far. While John Gerretsen did a good job as attorney general and Meilleur will likely continue in that fashion, let’s hope the political situation in Ontario will soon allow for more inspiring leadership able to lay out a long-term vision for change and concrete steps for achieving it.
Glenn Kauth

Free newsletter

Our newsletter is FREE and keeps you up to date on all the developments in the Ontario legal community. Please enter your email address below to subscribe.

Recent articles & video

University of Toronto Press buys legal publisher Irwin Law

Amid insolvency rise, lawyer discusses intersection of employment and bankruptcy/insolvency law

Ontario Superior Court rules driver lacked liability coverage due to pre-accident cancellation

Nine new judges appointed to the Ontario Court of Justice

Ontario Court of Appeal denies legal clinic's motion to intervene in trade dispute

Walking the talk on accommodating lawyers with disabilities

Most Read Articles

Nine new judges appointed to the Ontario Court of Justice

Rules limiting advice on digital trading platforms could prevent investor protection: report

Walking the talk on accommodating lawyers with disabilities

University of Toronto Press buys legal publisher Irwin Law