Mr. Speaker, Bill C-42 will confer upon Chief Justice Lamer and his wife Madame Justice Tremblay-Lamer a pension benefit that does not exist under the current Judges Act. This has raised a concern that a perception has been created that the impartiality of the chief justice may have been compromised.
University Professor Ted Morton has stated:
Without imputing any illicit motive to anyone involved-the timing of this proposed change could not be worse. Sceptics will claim it is unacceptable that a chief justice who is about to benefit from the justice minister's proposed pension policy change now sits in judgment on the justice minister's Quebec reference-the most politically sensitive constitutional case of the decade.
Did the justice minister anticipate that his proposed pension reform could undermine the perception of impartiality of the chief justice and, if not, would he care to comment on Professor Morton's concern?