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More on Robed Dictators


In his award-winning essay "Robed Dictators", published by Next City Magazine and here on conservativeforum.org, Rory Leishman described the usurpation of our parliaments' legislative power by unelected judges. In this essay he provides still more examples of this dangerous trend.


Rory Leishman

 Author Notes

Freelance journalist, author of a weekly national affairs column for The London Free Press and Sun Media Newspapers in London, Ontario. Mr. Leishman's work also appears in various other journals, and he operates his own web site where others of his essays can be viewed. He can be reached via e-mail at rleishman@home.com.

 Essay - 4/14/2000

What has gone wrong with our country? How can it be that within a few months, both the Commons in Ottawa and the Legislature of Ontario have approved radical legislation that undermines marriage and the traditional family?

With no debate or recorded vote last October, the Ontario Legislature responded to a Supreme Court of Canada judgment, by adopting a revolutionary change to family law that provides shacked-up couples, both heterosexual and homosexual, with all the tax benefits and other legal advantages that used to be reserved exclusively for married couples who have sworn an oath of lifelong fidelity.

On the federal level, Bill C-23 does the same. During committee hearings on the bill, Canadian Alliance MP Eric Lowther challenged Justice Minister Anne McLellan to cite any difference in public policy treatment that her legislation provides between a married couple and a same-sex couple. She replied: "Are you aware of the divorce act?"

That's it. The one unique legal benefit left to married couples is the dubious privilege of going through a divorce. Yet Bill C-23 was approved on third reading by the Commons on Wednesday with dissent from only 17 Liberals, four Conservatives, two independents and 49 members of the Canadian Alliance.

For an explanation of this travesty, readers are directed to The Charter Revolution & The Court Party by Professors F. L. Morton and Rainer Knopff of the University of Calgary. This brilliant new book is must reading for any Canadian who cares about freedom under law.

Morton and Knopff pin much of the blame for family-bashing legislation upon the Supreme Court of Canada. In one ruling after another, our supreme judicial autocrats have presumed to impose their personal homosexualist agenda, regardless of the law and the constitution.

While these judges claim to be upholding the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, that is a delusion. In reality, they have taken the law into their own hands. In the words of Morton and Knopff, "The Supreme Court is no longer a court, but an overtly political censor, an oracle ready to second-guess disputable political judgments whenever it sees the need."

The lower courts have followed suit. Thus, in a free vote in 1994, the Ontario Legislature decisively rejected legislation introduced by the former NDP Ontario attorney-general Marion Boyd that would have granted same-sex couples essentially the same rights and benefits as married couples. Yet the very next year, an Ontario judge ruled that four lesbian couples had a legal right to adopt children.

How could that be? In defiance of the Legislature, Boyd had instructed counsel for the government to argue that the ban on homosexual adoptions in the Ontario Child and Family Services Act violated equality rights guaranteed in the Charter. Although there is nothing in the plain text or in the legislative history of the Charter to support such a bizarre interpretation, the judge agreed with Boyd: In this way, they contrived to circumvent the Legislature and get a key tenet of their homosexual ideology written into law.

This was no isolated incident. Morton and Knopff point out that McLellan and her predecessors as justice minister, Allan Rock and Kim Campbell, have all done essentially the same thing flouted the express wishes of Parliament, by instructing crown counsel to urge the courts to incorporate special rights for homosexuals into the Charter.

Citing research by Ian Brodie, a professor of political science at the University of Western Ontario, Morton and Knopff also document how successive federal governments going back to the Trudeau era have handed out tens of millions of dollars for legal research and court interventions to groups like LEAF (the feminist Legal Education Action Fund) and EGALE (Equality for Gays and Lesbians Everywhere). Together, these radical organizations have corrupted the intellectual integrity of all of the nation's law schools. Prof. Robert Martin, one of the few holdouts for reason and democracy in the law school at the University of Western Ontario, laments that traditional standards of scholarship, "are being abandoned, replaced by nothing more than a determination to propagate orthodoxy."

Meanwhile, most judges have embraced the barrage of gay and feminist propaganda coming from government-employed and government-funded lawyers and law professors. And most of our legislators have capitulated to the judges.

In this way, the people of Canada have lost the power of self-government. The most crucial questions of public policy are now settled by a legal elite that cares nothing for the historic principles of democracy and the rule of law.

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Opinions expressed in this article are the opinions of the author, and are not necessarily shared by conservativeforum.org or the members of its Editorial Board.