IN THE HOUSE ~ Question ~ Attack on the Supreme Court of Canada

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    M. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NPD): Monsieur le Président, ils n'écoutent personne et c'est ça justement le problème.

    We have ever-changing stories from the Prime Minister and his Minister of Justice.

    When the decision of the Supreme Court came down, the Prime Minister claimed he was “very surprisedâ€� but this week he tells us he knew all along.

    The Conservatives have targeted Kevin Page, Sheila Fraser, Marc Mayrand and now even the Chief Justice. In short, any eminent Canadian who disagrees with him.

    Why has the Prime Minister gone so far out of his way to pick a fight with the Supreme Court of Canada?

    Hon. Peter MacKay (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, CPC): Mr. Speaker, that is patently false. We have nothing but the utmost respect for the Supreme Court as well as all of the institutions of the country. That is why we want people with merit, people with judicial excellence, to fill the positions, particularly at the Supreme Court of Canada.

    We acted on the advice of legal experts, including former justices of the Supreme Court. We have listened to the Supreme Court's ruling with respect to eligibility specific to the province of Quebec. That is a new interpretation from the original act.

    As the Prime Minister has said, we will respect the spirit and the letter of the Supreme Court's decision.