Mr. Speaker, it is a basic principle of Canadian democracy and a foundational principle of our Charter of Rights and Freedoms that citizens have a right to petition government for redress of grievance, that they are allowed to criticize their government without fear of reprisal and that the independence and integrity of the courts warrant respect from us all.
Yet, these past few days we have witnessed a minister impugning the decision-making of the federal judiciary, and the member for Oak Ridges—Markham attacking a University of Ottawa law professor, Amir Attaran, for exercising his rights under law, for making representations to the court and for using the democratic process.
This conduct of targeting a person who has otherwise critiqued government policy, who exercises his free speech rights and due process rights, can have a chilling effect on free speech, let alone the undue interference in matters before the courts.
This is not the way a democracy should work. This is not the way to respect the independence of the judiciary and to respect the integrity of processes before the courts.