*** Sigh ***
François Landry — a political aide who was working directly on the judicial appointment process in Lametti’s office last year — wrote a memo to chief of staff Rachel Doran on Feb. 18, 2019, warning that partisan considerations in the appointments process have created the “potential for a scandal.”
According to Elections Canada, Bélanger donated a total of $1,400 to Lametti’s bid for a Liberal nomination in 2014 and 2015. Lametti was elected in the riding of LaSalle-Émard-Verdun later in 2015.
Records also show that Bélanger gave $1,500 to the Liberal riding association in LaSalle-Émard-Verdun in 2018. According to Bélanger’s postal code in the Elections Canada database, he lives in the riding of Mount Royal.
According to Elections Canada, Bélanger made more than $10,000 in other donations to the Liberal Party between 2006 and 2019.
Lametti became justice minister in early 2019, replacing Jody Wilson-Raybould.
On Monday, Democracy Watch filed a challenge of the appointment process in the Federal Court, alleging that it’s undermining the independence of the judicial system.
“The current federal judicial appointment system is open to too much political interference by the ruling party, which violates the independence of the courts that is needed to ensure democratic good government and fair law enforcement for all,” Duff Conacher, co-founder of the advocacy group, said in a news release.
In the coming weeks, the justice committee of the House is expected to launch a study of the judicial appointment process. The Bloc Québécois has prepared a motion to that effect and has won the support of the other opposition parties, which together hold a majority of seats on the committee.