Canada needs judicial reform at the highest level

Dear Editor,

I write this letter as a supplementary commentary on Peter Stuart's commentary response to Stephan Jetschik letter (page 4 of this edition). Mr. Jetchik's letter was published in the November 11 edition of the Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph.

I strongly disagree with Peter's conclusions, in particular on the point of view Peter expresses on the Supremacy of God in our Charter of Rights and Freedoms. First of all, I believe in the supremacy of God, but I think Peter is assuming much from our government since the new Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom was enacted. I am sure many Canadians will be surprised by what I have to say.

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms was designed by Prime Minister Trudeau and the Liberals and others to leave larger social windows ajar for winds of change, to in effect, steer secular society closer towards total secularization of government and our court system.

The Charter has been used in the courts for the dismantling of the Judeo-Christian values of family life in our country, particularly and shamefully in Quebec, with the Henri Morgentaler case striking down the abortion laws and most recently on the Federal level in June, 2003 with the announcement from Prime Minister Chretien not to appeal the Ontario same sex court decision to the Supreme Court. Don't forget he was Trudeau's Justice Minister and was instrumental in preparing the new Charter and he then went on to construct a new marriage law that was passed by his successor Paul Martin's government.

In Peter's third paragraph, he assumes the courts agree with the Supremacy of God preamble and what he says demonstrates their agreement with "inherently spiritual nature of the rule of law". Nothing can be further from the truth.

The reality is the jurisprudence in this country has demonstrated total disregard for the preamble and I will explain this statement below, but I must first explain some technical details about the high court so you may more fully understand what is going on and why we need judicial reform in this country at the highest level, particularly with respect to how the Supreme Court deliberates and accept cases on it's docket.

It is extremely important to understand that Parliament has imposed rules for the Supreme Court to grant leave to appeal, which means a litigant asks permission first of the Supreme Court to in fact hear their appeal.

Sadly, in Canada, Parliament has instructed the court to make this decisions in hearing appeals based upon a criteria of "Public Importance" rather than litigant-centered positions. I was shocked when I discovered this and I am sure other Canadians will be equally shocked and outraged. Think about the political judicial appointments to the high court and just how this may influence a particular Justice's position on certain issues when applying the "Public Importance" rule.

The US Supreme Court makes its decisions to hear cases based on a very well-documented and clear process called certiorari or "cert." The US Supreme Court Cert process uses legal considerations to their request for judicial review and legal considerations weigh heavily in their deliberations and it is a much more equitable way of accepting cases to the final court of power in the land.

Here it is, in black and white, the shameful Canadian Jurisprudence on the Preamble to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms on the Supremacy of God, from 1999 case R. v. Sharpe, the British Columbia Court of Appeal.The BC justices went on to state in their decision they had "no authority to breathe life" into the Preamble, calling it a "dead letter".

Southen, J. in R. v. Sharpe (1989), 175 D.L.R. (4th) 1 (B.C.C.A.) in finding that the phrase, "the supremacy of God," which is part of the Preamble to the Constitution Act, 1982, is a "dead letter" and thereby had no force or effect for the purpose of interpreting various provisions of the Charter, including section 2 (a).

The courts still believe the preamble of the Supremacy of God has no authority or affect and is in fact in their view a "dead letter".

From this conclusion, it can be suggested that, in Canada, the Canadian Judicial System and the Supreme Court are political institutions masking themselves as an independent judiciary. This is the most dangerous position Canadians can be subject to, particularly those with high moral convictions and religious beliefs.

Governments have for centuries been trying to find ways of taxing the air that man breaths as God provides it to man for free. I might add, they are getting close with their ideas on carbon cap and trade mechanisms.

I hold that life is sacred, if this were not true, then it should easily be harnessed and controlled by man's law.
They no longer guillotine you for dissenting. Thank goodness this type of tyranny is no longer part of our western democracies, but the winds of the virulent secularist religion [our political system] seek to change Judeo-Christian morality on very essential fundamental questions of life and freedom.

If a Government is allowed to dictate who is allowed to live or die and codifies it in law, then who in fact has become a god? The State. If this takes place, we are all unsafe and the least of our brethren with the smallest voices will be the first to be "helped along" to the Creator.

The argument of the futile elderly and terminally ill and positioning the question of best use of resources for their care, are at the nexus of the question of the Good Samaritan and "Who is my neighbor?".

Mercy and compassion is where the debates needs to go. Not false compassion and false mercy, design to erroneously lessen life's inconvenient burdens and sufferings on the family and the state.

This is a clear case for a good end must not justify bad means to attain that good end. We must implore good means and proper thinking towards this question of the dignity of human life. The Preamble has been said to suggest in some legal circles that our dignity is guaranteed by the Preamble and the Supremacy of God.

Legalizing assisted suicide is always a slippery slope. Once you open the door to who can decide who lives or dies, and incidentally as is the case for abortion on a woman's demand in Canada, euthanasia is right around the corner. The assisted suicide rational would seem congruent given the earlier acceptance of abortion as it is still an undefined question in law in Canada.

We require an abortion law in Canada and not the legal vacuum we have at present. Until such time, we will always be headed towards more and more requests for legalizing suicide.

Furthermore, we need judicial reform at the Supreme Court level to allow cases to be taken up based on legal considerations and not political ones.

Pierre Little
Publisher