Jody Wilson-Raybould tried to limit the role of the Prime Minister's Office in the judicial appointment process, sources in The Globe and Mail said, adding an already tense opposition between Justin Trudeau's then Justice Minister and Justin Trudeau's inner circle of persecution. giant SNC-Lavalin.
After appointing the Justice Minister in 2015, Ms Wilson-Raybould set the goal of depoliticizing the way in which judges are appointed in Canada, giving more independence to the seven-member examination committees which rank candidates under an extensive new questionnaire. Her court advisor until February of last year, Katie Black, said she was hired to bring a non-figurative viewpoint to the appointment process.
"He wanted someone to be a politician for this position and I thought that this proved a high level of integrity where he wanted to ensure that the process of judicial appointment was apolitical," said Black, who worked as a legal officer to the former Supreme Leader of his court Canada, Beverley McLachlin and is now a lawyer in Ottawa.
Mrs. Mavri said that Mrs. Wilson-Raybould wanted to see value-based judicial appointments throughout one's legal career and not in political relations.
"What is the political background of this person has never been considered in the selection process," he said.
However, other sources reported that the PMO had been exempted from Mrs Wilson-Raybould's decision to limit the amount of information shared with the various lawyers seeking a seat at the counter. One particular issue was whether the PMO should have access to the confidential evaluation of candidates provided by session judges, including heads of courts with vacancies to fill, sources said.
The internal debate on court appointments contributed to the strong relationship between PMO and Mrs Wilson-Raybould, which was intercepted at the Department of Veterans Affairs in early January. She gave up her new position on February 12 amid a growing suffocation as to whether the PMO put pressure on it to secure an out-of-court settlement with SNC-Lavalin, which faces bribes and frauds associated with her efforts to secure government contracts in Libya.
The opposition has accused Ms Wilson-Raybould of recovering from the Ministry of Justice to pave the way for a minister who would respond more to the demands of the PMO. He was replaced by David Lametti, a Montreal lawyer and professor of law, who has held seven court meetings in recent weeks.
Officially, judicial appointments are made by the General Governor, based on advice from the Cabinet, following a recommendation by the Minister for Justice. The process starts when candidates are assessed by one of the 17 Judicial Advisory Councils across the country, which determines whether a candidate is recommended, recommended or unfit for the bench.
Under the previous, conservative government, the four federally appointed members (including a police representative) had a majority vote in these advisory committees. Under the new procedure created by Mrs Wilson-Raybould, the federal government will only appoint three members to represent the general public. The four other members of the seven-member committees now represent the Provincial Bar Association, the provincial capital of the Canadian Bar Association, the Provincial Chief Justice and the Provincial Attorney General.
The new procedure also allowed the committees to classify candidates as "highly" recommended to favor "really excellent candidates" for judicial appointments. During her tenure to justice, Ms. Wilson-Raybould increased the proportion of women and minority members in the judiciary.
Three sources have provided additional information on the next steps in the appointment process. The Sphere has given anonymity to these sources because they were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.
According to these sources, additional control at the political level is supervised by the Office of the Minister of Justice and the PMO.
Under the current government, all ministers from the province of a candidate are consulted for an appointment. For example, all Ministers of British Columbia, Ontario or Quebec have a say to candidates from their province and the Ministers themselves from Manitoba or Saskatchewan consult the candidates in their province.
In addition, several MPs (mostly lawyers in the campaign) can be asked for their thoughts on candidates as well as on non-governmental people, including the Liberals in some cases. The audit also includes searching for databases for donations to political parties at provincial and federal level.
According to sources, there has been a disagreement last year between PMO and Mrs Wilson-Raybould about exchanging comments on candidates from outside lawyers and judges.
These consultations carried out by justice officials are considered necessary to identify the needs of each court, other than the sense of a candidate's reputation and abilities. Mrs Wilson-Raybould's view was that the comments were made confidential in her office and that their use should be limited to her role in defining the candidates they would recommend to the cabinet for appointment to the bench, sources said.
However, PMO is worried about the shrinking of the information provided by Mrs Wilson-Raybould's office and raised the issue with her, sources said.
A government official said the judges' comments on individual candidates were wrongly shared with the PMO at the beginning of 2018 and that practice has ceased since then. Other sources reported that the debate about whether these comments should be shared with the PMO went on later in the year and that Mrs Wilson-Raybould insisted she could not be distributed outside her office.
In a statement after losing her job as Minister of Justice, Ms. Wilson-Raybould said she worked to ensure that judicial appointments were "transparent, inclusive and accountable." The office said she could not be approached for comments on Friday.
A spokesman for Mr Lametti said the government is working to "appoint the most valuable lawyers that reflect the country they serve.
"Our government believes that Canadian confidence in our justice is enhanced by a transparent and accountable selection process that identifies pending court candidates reflecting Canada's diversity," said David Taylor in a statement.