The First Test of a Leader is the People They Appoint

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  • Bill, re your opinion piece in today’s Herald. I am not convinced that Jody Wilson-Raybould was one of Trudeau’s capable ministers. Her handling of the review of the wrongful conviction of the Nova Scotian, Glen Assoun was an act of indecision and incompetency. See my e-mail (below) to Chris Hall at the CBC that further elaborates my thoughts on her treatment of Mr. Assoun. This just elected rookie MP was in over her head as minister in charge of the Justice Portfolio and also the Attorney General. She did not shine in the SNC Lavalin affair. —>

    To: [email protected]
    Subject: The House
    Chris, on yesterday’s The House you had an excellent interview with Ronald Dalton, co-president of Innocence Canada, on the establishment of an independent Criminal Case Review Commission by the current Justice Minister, David Lametti. Mr. Dalton was optimistic that the federal gov’t. will take steps to overhaul the way wrongful convictions are reviewed and let’s hope it does. During the interview, Mr. Dalton made mention of the Glen Assoun case, a Nova Scotian who was wrongfully convicted of murdering his girlfriend but was ultimately exonerated after spending 17 years in prison and after a further 5 years, following parole, while his case review wound its way thru the justice system. After an exhaustive analysis by Dept. of Justice lawyers , a recommendation, that the then Justice Minister order a new trial for Mr. Assoun, was given to Jody Wilson-Raybould in 2017. The recommendation sat on JWR’s desk for ” 18 ” months without her taking any action. Shortly after Mr. Lametti was appointed the new Justice Minister, he ordered a new trial take place ASAP. The new trial lasted only one day as the prosecution withdrew its case against Mr. Assoun due to new evidence that arose from the review. All charges were dropped and Mr. Assoun was fully exonerated. If Jody Wilson-Raybould had not been shuffled out of the Justice portfolio, just how much longer would Mr. Assoun’s file have remained on her desk and further denying justice and freedom for this innocent man. How many other recommendations, similar to Mr. Assoun’s, were receiving no action? JWR’s competency, as Justice Minister, has to be questioned – her inability to make important decisions is clearly displayed by the Assoun file. I would say she was in over her head. All thru the SNC – Lavalin affair and during the election, the media never challenged JWR on her inexcusable lack of action re the Assoun file. She has been given a free ride here and she owes an explanation and an apology to Mr. Assoun. At some point in time, would not the PM have been in his right to intervene and order JWR to make a decision? I think the answer is clear – a man’s freedom was at stake.

    Bob Wornell | May 23, 2021 | Reply

    • Bob thanks for this. I should have made the distinction

      Bill | May 23, 2021 | Reply

  • So very well said Bill.

    Hector Jacques OC | May 21, 2021 | Reply