OTTAWA — Jody Wilson-Raybould recommended in 2017 that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau nominate a conservative Manitoba judge to be chief justice of the Supreme Court, even though he wasn't a sitting member of the top court and had been a vocal critic of its activism on Charter of Rights issues, The Canadian Press has learned.Well-placed sources say the former justice minister’s choice for chief justice was a moment of "significant disagreement" with Trudeau, who has touted the Liberals as "the party of the charter" and whose late father, Pierre Trudeau, spearheaded the drive to enshrine the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in the Constitution in 1982.The sources spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss internal discussions about a Supreme Court appointment, which are typically considered highly confidential.For her part, Wilson-Raybould said Monday "there was no conflict between the PM and myself."In an email, she characterized the matter as part of the normal process of appointing a Supreme Court justice, which involves "typically CONFIDENTIAL conversations and communications — back and forths between the PM and the AG (attorney general) on potential candidates for appointment."She said she's "not at liberty to comment" on the "veracity" of what the sources said occurred, adding, "Commentary/reporting in this regard with respect to a SCC appointment(s) could compromise the integrity of the appointments process and potentially sitting justices."The issue suggests Trudeau may have had reasons unrelated to the SNC-Lavalin affair for moving Wilson-Raybould out of the prestigious Justice portfolio earlier this year — a cabinet shuffle that touched off a full-blown political crisis for the governing Liberals.Wilson-Raybould has said she believes she was moved to Veterans Affairs as punishment for refusing to intervene to stop a criminal prosecution of the Montreal engineering giant on bribery charges related to contracts in Libya. Trudeau has denied the SNC matter had anything to do with the decision.She resigned a month later amid allegations she was improperly pressured by the Prime Minister’s Office to interfere in the SNC-Lavalin case, triggering a furor that has engulfed the Trudeau government ever since. The PMO refused to comment on the story Monday.The issue, the sources say, arose after Beverley McLachlin announced in June 2017 her decision to retire that December after 28 years on the high court, including 17 as chief justice.Her retirement meant the government would have to choose a new chief justice and find another bilingual judge from western or northern Canada to sit on the nine-member bench.Trudeau created an independent, non-partisan advisory board, headed by former Conservative prime minister Kim Campbell, to identify qualified candidates to fill the western/northern vacancy and submit a short list of three to five names for consideration.According to the sources, one of the names on the eventual list was Glenn Joyal, who had been appointed in 2011 by former Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper as chief justice of Manitoba’s Court of Queen’s Bench.Wilson-Raybould then sent Trudeau a 60-plus-page memo arguing that Joyal should not only be added to the top court but should be named chief justice as well.Only once before in Canadian history — in 1906, when Sir Wilfrid Laurier appointed his justice minister to the top judicial job — has a prime minister chosen a chief justice who was not already sitting on the Supreme Court.Wilson-Raybould’s pick puzzled Trudeau but he became disturbed after doing some research into Joyal’s views on the charter, the sources said.Joyal had criticized the judiciary for broadly interpreting charter rights and expanding them to apply to things not explicitly mentioned in the charter or, in his view, intended by provincial premiers when they agreed to enshrine a charter in the Constitution.The Supreme Court’s liberal interpretation has led to things like legalization of same-sex marriage, the right of women to choose to have an abortion and the legalization of medical assistance in dying, among other things — developments Trudeau has celebrated.In a January 2017 speech to the Canadian Constitution Foundation’s Law and Freedom Conference, Joyal echoed conservative arguments that the top court has usurped the supremacy of elected legislatures to determine social policy.The charter, Joyal argued, was the result of a compromise between Pierre Trudeau and premiers, most of whom had originally opposed inclusion of a charter in the Constitution. The compromise was intended to maintain a balance between the judiciary and the legislative branch of government, with provisions allowing governments to limit or override rights altogether in some circumstances.Since then, judicial interpretation of the charter has ignored the intentions of the drafters and "led without question to a level of judicial potency that was not anticipated back in 1982," Joyal said in the speech, a video of which is available on the foundation's website. That, in turn, has resulted in a "less potent and less influential legislative branch that seldom has the final word." "With the 'constitutionalizing' of more and more political and social issues into fundamental rights, the Canadian judiciary has all but removed those issues, in a fairly permanent way, from the realm of future civic engagement and future political debate," he said.Joyal was particularly critical of the Supreme Court’s interpretation of section 7 of the charter — the section which guarantees everyone the right to life, liberty and security of the person and under which the top court struck down Canada’s abortion law and the prohibition on medically assisted death.The court’s liberal interpretation of that section "has become, particularly in recent years, the single most fertile source for the discovery of new rights and the de facto constitutionalization of political and social issues," he said.Trudeau rejected Wilson-Raybould’s advice. He ended up appointing Sheila Martin, a judge on the appeal courts of Alberta, Northwest Territories and Nunavut, to fill the vacant western Canadian seat on the bench. Sitting Supreme Court Justice Richard Wagner was elevated to the role of chief justice.Shortly after Trudeau told Wilson-Raybould he did not support her choice, the sources said Joyal withdrew his name from consideration.In a statement Monday, Joyal makes no mention of the former minister, saying he submitted an application for consideration for the Supreme Court in 2017, only to be forced to withdraw his name for personal reasons related to his wife's health."I fear that someone is using my previous candidacy to the Supreme Court of Canada to further an agenda unrelated to the appointment process," Joyal said. "This is wrong."Wilson-Raybould’s advocacy of Joyal for the top judicial job may not come as a total surprise to some Liberals, who’ve privately noted what they consider her conservative, restrictive approach to charter rights in a number of bills, including those dealing with assisted dying, impaired driving and genetic discrimination.Jane Philpott, as health minister at the time, was jointly responsible with Wilson-Raybould for the assisted dying legislation. She quit the cabinet earlier this month in solidarity with Wilson-Raybould, saying she no longer had confidence in the government’s handling of the SNC-Lavalin affair.Joan Bryden, The Canadian Press
Global Affairs Canada says consular officials in China paid a visit Monday to detained former diplomat Michael Kovrig. It is the fifth time Kovrig has received a consular visit since he was detained by Chinese authorities in early December, but the first since an anonymous report in Chinese state media accused him and fellow detainee Michael Spavor of stealing state secrets. The Canadian government says their detentions are arbitrary and warns Canadians travelling to China to do so with a "high degree of caution" because of the arbitrary application of local laws.
Schools under a United Conservative government would operate under rules for gay-straight alliances that were developed before the NDP came to power, says UCP Leader Jason Kenney. Kenney outlined his party's education platform for the April 16 provincial election at the private Calgary Jewish Academy on Monday. The Education Act included a provision to allow gay-straight alliances — clubs meant to make LGBTQ kids feel safe and welcome — in schools if students wanted them.
The announcement came after the Apple Inc supplier and rival told shareholders last week that slack global economic growth and softer demand for memory chips, its core business, would weigh on operations in 2019. "The company expects the scope of price declines in main memory chip products to be larger than expected," Samsung said in a regulatory filing pre-empting its earnings guidance due next week. Samsung did not elaborate on the purpose of its filing.
Five years after Colorado first legalized marijuana, a new study shows pot's bad effects are sending more people to the emergency room. Inhaled marijuana caused the most severe problems at one large Denver area hospital. Marijuana-infused foods and candies, called edibles, also led to trouble.
Calgary police are asking the public for help after a coin aficionado reported that a rare collection had been stolen from their garage in the southwest part of the city. Between Thursday, February 21 at approximately 8 p.m., and Friday, February 22 at approximately 9 a.m., a person broke into a detached garage located in the 3000 block of 40th Street S.W, a Calgary Police Service said in a news release. Inside the garage was a safe that contained a coin collection valued at approximately $30,000.
WEYBURN, Sask. — A Saskatchewan city council that faced a backlash after voting against construction of a group home for disabled adults in an upscale neighbourhood has reversed its decision.Councillors in Weyburn voted unanimously Monday night in favour of a discretionary use application for the facility in The Creeks neighbourhood, allowing the Saskatchewan Housing Authority project to move forward.Council had rejected the proposal two weeks ago, with Coun. Brad Wheeler arguing that people who bought $700,000 homes in The Creeks might have changed their plans if they knew a group home was moving in.Wheeler also said group homes carried a "stigma," but he later apologized for his remarks and he wasn't present at Monday's meeting.Rod Stafford, board chair of the Weyburn Group Home Society, says the past two weeks have shown how much support the facility had, both in the community and across Canada.He says it shows how things can run off the rails if the process isn't fully understood and followed."We're very happy at whoever brought the pressure to bear on council ... and it was positive for the group home society tonight," Stafford said after the vote.Social Services Minister Paul Merriman said in a statement he is pleased with the vote and looks forward to the home's grand opening."Inclusive communities benefit everyone in our province and this group home will give people with intellectual disabilities in Weyburn the opportunity to live and be part of the community of their choice," Merriman said.Weyburn Mayor Marcel Roy earlier said that council did not intend to cause any harm, but residents in the neighbourhood had voiced concerns about the proposed group home.Letters sent to council ahead of the original vote showed residents were worried about safety and a potential impact on property values.The project's developer, Doug Rogers, said he thinks everyone is happy that it has come to a successful conclusion."I think everyone has learned a lot in the last two weeks, and I think together, were just looking forward, moving forward to having this home built."(Discover Weyburn)The Canadian Press
After a years-long dispute that nearly resulted in a general strike in February, the Northwest Territories government and the union representing about 4,000 of its employees have a new collective agreement. "We're pleased with the recommendations," said Dave Stewart, the territory's deputy minister of finance. "Negotiating a new collective agreement can be difficult under ideal conditions.
An online bathing suit dealer claiming to be based in Vancouver has a record number of complaints filed against it with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Karla Davis, a spokesperson for the BBB, says Bikinishe posted its business profile in July 2018.
Much of it came from Jean-Daniel Tremblay of engineering and construction giant SNC-Lavalin, who testified via Skype from Montreal about his experience working on Muskrat before his dismissal by Nalcor in late 2013. "It was a Nalcor takeover and SNC was kind of pushed aside," Tremblay told inquiry co-counsel Kate O'Brien in response to questions about SNC-Lavalin's reduced role following a major shakeup. The tense relationship between Nalcor, Newfoundland and Labrador's energy corporation, and Quebec-based SNC-Lavalin, has been a recurring theme at the inquiry, which is investigating why the project is at least $5 billion over budget and at least two years behind schedule.
Island 911 dispatchers say a program introduced in 2017 has completely changed the way they do their job and it's allowed them to help people in medical emergencies before an ambulance arrives. The medical priority dispatch system prompts dispatchers to ask specific questions during a call that helps them collect important information from the scene of medical emergencies. Medacom Atlantic operations manager Amanda Landry said since the program was introduced in 2017, dispatchers have guided callers through scenarios like chest pain, allergic reactions, childbirth and cardiac arrests over the phone.
Festival Inspire is looking for a few good local artists. Festival organizers put out the call for artists to paint murals for the summertime event in Moncton and were surprised by the response. More than 100 applications came in from around the world and very few from the Moncton area, executive director Lisa Griffin said.
RCMP in Iqaluit say there's a "faint hope" that Ambar Roy, an 18-year-old Ontario university student who's been missing for more than a week, is alive. Roy has been missing since March 13 in the Nunavut capital. The University in Waterloo student was in Iqaluit to visit his parents.
The heir to the British throne, who is a keen conservationist, and his wife, Camilla, were guided on their city tour by Eusebio Leal, an historian who oversaw a facelift of the Cuban capital's historic center. With Charles sporting sunglasses and Camilla holding a dainty cream parasol under fierce Caribbean sun, the royal couple stopped to banter with tourists and Cubans on their walk. The three-day trip aims to strengthen British-Cuban ties as part of a broader normalization of the island's relations with the West, even though the Trump administration has sought to unravel a detente between Cuba and the United States.
Whether it be a shirtless man strumming a guitar while in-line skating around Whyte Avenue, or crater-sized ruts in the road, there are a few certain signs that spring has sprung in Edmonton. Radio-Canada's Gaetan Lamarre and his partner, Carolyn Gibson, decided to make the most of the floods and portaged their way across the grounds of Strathcona High School in south Edmonton this past weekend. For many Edmontonians, the first signs of spring were muck and mud, the sudden onslaught of allergy symptoms, or the acrid smell of a neighbour's garbage fire.
Coca-Cola subsidiary Minute Maid is seeking another chance to get its high-protein, low-sugar milk products into New Brunswick stores. The company's bid for a milk-dealer licence for its Fairlife brand of "ultrafiltered" lactose-free milk was rejected in December by the New Brunswick Farm Products Commission. The commission concluded that introducing Fairlife into the New Brunswick market was not in the best interest of the public or the dairy trade, according to a brief rejection letter filed in the Court of Queens Bench in Saint John.
In his written decision issued on Friday, Registrar Fred Pretorius ordered the society to accept those applicants as valid, registered members. "According to the Bylaws of the Society, from the moment the complainants paid the prescribed membership fee, they were members of the Society, and ought to have been added to the register of members," Pretorius wrote. Pretorius ordered an investigation after complaints were made last year to the Registrar in the weeks leading up to the beginning of a strike at the non-profit, on Nov. 2.
A group of water experts, students and former councillors is urging the City of Ottawa to ban bottled water in all its arenas and facilities. The Ottawa Water Study Action Group (OWSAG) gathered at City Hall on Monday to both celebrate the quality of local drinking water and ask the city to get out of the plastic water bottle business. "Ottawa tap water is terrific, it is much better than bottle water," said former city councillor Diane Holmes at the meeting.
Immigrants, Indigenous people and members of the LGBTQ community are disproportionately represented among Quebec's homeless population, according to the first-ever province-wide survey into the problem. Overall, the survey, conducted by Quebec's Ministry of Health and Social Services, found 5,789 people were "visibly" homeless on the day the census was conducted last April 24. Officials who conducted the survey stressed the total amount of homeless people is likely far higher, once the so-called "hidden homeless" — those without a permanent address who aren't necessarily living on the street — are taken into account.
King George VI Public School is cheering for Iowa State Cyclones' Bridget Carleton.The Cyclones are part of the NCAA basketball tournament. Carleton's dad, a teacher at the school is watching her game Monday night, but back at home in Chatham, staff are hoping for the best."We're pretty excited that it's one of our own," said Brittney Cheney, kindergarten teacher at the school.The team visited the kindergarten class and she said the students still talk about it today.And another time, Carleton wore the Iowa State shirt during a visit to the school as a mystery reader."Students look up to her as someone who not only came from a small town, but had a passion for basketball and she showed grit to get to where she is now," Cheney said.The Cyclones are a number three seed in the Chicago Regional bracket and are playing against Missouri State Monday at 9 p.m. to make it to the Sweet Sixteen.
The event ended almost 18 months of secrecy over Apple's television project and featured some of the biggest names in entertainment promoting their original content shows. Apple is working to reinvent itself as an entertainment and financial services company as sales of its iPhones fall. "We believe deeply in the power of creativity," Chief Executive Tim Cook told an audience at the company's Cupertino, California, headquarters.
U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer sided with Tesla, granting the electric vehicle company dismissal of the lawsuit brought in October 2017. Breyer dismissed the original lawsuit in August but allowed plaintiffs to file an amended one. The lawsuit sought class action status for shareholders who bought Tesla stock between May 3, 2016 through Nov. 1, 2017.