Doug Ford is using the pandemic as a cover for partisan changes to the judicial appointments process

Currently, Ontario’s Judicial Appointments Advisory Committee (JAAC) is recognized as the gold standard for impartial and merit-based judicial appointments. The government and independent organizations both appoint JAAC members. JAAC reviews applications for judicial positions, investigates, evaluates candidates, and provides the Attorney General with an impartial list of names to schedule appointments with.

This system has served Ontario well, and in large part most people see the Ontario Court as an intellectually rigorous, fair, and impartial court.

This appointment process is the system that Ford and Downey are trying to break. Your new process would give the government more leverage over who sits on the JAAC. In other words, politicians can more easily stack the committee with friendly partisans.

The new legislation would also force JAAC to add more names to its list of recommended candidates, giving Downey the ability to request additional names if he doesn’t like one, allowing the government to set the criteria that JAAC must consider , and in some cases, may allow judicial appointments without public advertising for the vacancy.

If the appointment system is not broken and it is not, the only conclusion we can draw is that the update is complete.

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