Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of Public Safety launched an attack on defence lawyers. John Diefenbaker was a defence lawyer and successfully defended 18 people who were facing the death penalty, but according to the minister, he should have been ashamed of choosing to make a career of defending criminals. The member for Kitchener Centre is also a defence lawyer. Justice Moldaver, whom the Conservatives recently appointed to the Supreme Court, was also a defence lawyer. According to the minister, those two people are guilty of choosing a shameful profession.
After the 1999 Manitoba election, the Minister of Public Safety was charged with breaking election laws and he hired a defence lawyer to plea bargain for him. Was he at least grateful then for lawyers who choose to defend criminals?
The minister brought shame on himself, his government and the House with his ridiculous remarks attacking our country's defence lawyers. He should stand and apologize.