Canadian Judicial Council Tosses Complaint Over Morgentaler Abortion Award

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 25, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Canadian Judicial Council Tosses Complaint Over Morgentaler Abortion Award

by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 25
, 2008

Ottawa, Canada ( — The Canadian Judicial Council dismissed a complaint that pro-life advocates filed in response to abortion practitioner Henry Morgentaler getting the Order of Canada award. The complaint centered on Canada Supreme Court Justice Beverley McLachlin, who had defended her role in overseeing the award.

Charles McVety, president of the Canadian Family Action Coalition, and dozens of groups crafted a letter calling for her removal.

McVety said the chief justice should no longer sit on the Order of Canada panel because some award recipients, like Morgentaler, are involved in legal disputes that will eventually come before the court.

A collection of 42 pro-life groups and businesses signed a joint letter to the Canadian Judicial Council, the agency responsible for overseeing the conduct of federal judges, asking for McLachlin’s dismissal.

But the Council tossed out the complaint on Thursday saying it was "not a judicial matter.”

The Toronto Globe and Mail indicated the complaint was dismissed early in the review process in which a member of the CJC Judicial Conduct Committee reviews it. When the complaint is found to be substantive enough, it moves into the second phase, but that didn’t happen in this case.

Manitoba Chief Justice Richard Scott reviewed the complaint, the newspaper indicated, and since it involved a member of the CJC and outside attorney Thomas G. Heintzman, of the law firm McCarthy Tétrault, reviewed the decision.

McVety told the newspaper that he’s not pleased with the decision.

“If Canadians cannot count on non-political, non-ideological justice from the Supreme Court of Canada, it compromises the whole justice system,” he said.

At the end of July, KLRVU surveyed Canadians and learned that a clear majority oppose giving Morgentaler the award.

The poll included 13,324 respondents when the firm conducted it from July 17-21.

The random telephone poll of Canadian households found 55.8% of Canadians oppose the awarding of the medal to the man who helped usher in unlimited abortions in Canada paid for at taxpayer expense.

The poll found opposition to the award across the provinces.

Beginning with a wave on the east coast of Newfoundland, ebbing slightly in Quebec and then continuing with a surge in Ontario right to the west coast — the tide of opinion against awarding Morgentaler has risen, dramatically.

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