Letter to Honourable Vic Toews, Minister of Justice

This correspondence is in response to your recent notice that you plan to add police representation to the judicial appointments committees as a move to further open up the judicial appointments process.
From the outset it is important to be clear: while the IBA is not of the view that police appointments to this process may provide some benefit, we propose it would be more appropriate for- you to use your discretion as Minister to simply appoint such representation with the already three appointees that you have for each committee rather than add another Ministerial appointment.

Indeed, you will recall the IBA making submissions that such discretion should be exercised by the Minister of Justice to ensure Aboriginal representation on such committees given that the Indigenous Bar Association has n number of members of the bar in all juridictions. Rather than being supportive and reflective of Canada’s history, the response we received at that time was critical.

Indeed, in November 2005, you had stated to me directly as a witness before the Sub· Committee on Appointments to the Federal judiciary of which you were a sitting member, that if Aboriginal Peoples are to be represented on the Courts and the judicial appointments process in a more coordinated way then so too should all of the other groups comprising Canada1s multi~cultural mosaic.

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