Editorial: Bricks and bouquets

With many of our public figures making especially questionable decisions in the past couple of weeks, it seems like a good time to revive a newspaper tradition of tossing a few bricks at those who are off the mark and bouquets to those who deserve some praise.

So here goes:

A brick to Prime Minister Stephen Harper for attempting to malign Supreme Court Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin. She did nothing inappropriate in looking to flag a potential issue with appointing Justice Marc Nadon to the top court well before his nomination.

A bouquet to Premier Kathleen Wynne for acknowledging the need to increase legal aid eligibility in the now-defunct provincial budget. With the criteria still at 1995 levels, the proposed change is long overdue. We’ll see who wins the election, but hopefully the legal aid provisions will resurface.

A brick to Wynne as well for a budget that maintains a very high deficit. Many of the things you’re proposing are necessary, but we need to see a clear plan for dramatically reducing the deficit rather than increasing it.

A bouquet to the Law Society of Upper Canada for running a respectful, informative, and transparent debate on accrediting Trinity Western University’s law school.

A brick to NDP Leader Andrea Horwath for provoking an election despite a budget that delivered much of what her party and supporters traditionally seek. The legal aid changes are at risk due to the election. While there’s a small possibility you’ll win, it’s sad you and your fellow party leaders can’t find ways to co-operate in the public interest. You clearly put your party’s narrow interest in winning more seats first.

We need to stop declaring coalitions a dirty word.

A bouquet to LSUC benchers for their decision on Trinity Western. We’ll see if it stands in court, but benchers appear to have bravely voted with their consciences on both sides of the issue.

A brick to Attorney General Madeleine Meilleur for not speaking to Law Times. You wouldn’t do it when you took the job and now apparently can’t because of the election. We understand to some extent and it’s your choice, but you really should be more open to the public. Election campaigns, contrary to a famous slip in 1993, are a time to debate serious issues.

A bouquet to the lawyers at Axess Law PC for shaking up the legal profession with your low-cost legal services. We know some people question your approach, but it’s good to see a new way of doing business that will offer cheaper access to legal services.
Glenn Kauth

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