A couple of comments regarding today’s Supreme Court ruling confirming Conservative MP Ted Opitz win in the last federal election:
The LSUC is struggling with how to address the articling crisis in Ontario.
Today, the law society's Articling Task Force released its final report on reforming lawyer licensing in the province. The report will be debated live on Thursday 9:30 am at LSUC Convocation.
Everybody on the task foce seems to agree that a change is needed. But the big question being debated tomorrow is whether the LSUC should a) approve a five-year pilot project that will allow articling and a new Law Practice Program (LPP) to operate side by side; or b) effectively scrap the articling program altogether for fear that a) would create a two-tiered licensing process.
The majority of the task force is favouring a).
It should make for an interesting debate.
In his column today, Yves Boisvert sorts through the stew of allegations made by Lino Zambito that have placed a number of politicians and political operatives in Quebec under the spotlight, not least of which is the mayor of the province’s second largest city.
According to the star witness, Mayor Vaillancourt, a fixture in Laval municipal politics since the 1970s, was known to take a 2.5 percent cut of all city construction contracts. It can hardly be a coincidence, Boisvert suspects, that just last week an anticorruption unit came down on the mayor’s house last week with search warrants. Of course, there has been plenty of speculation as to the reasons compelling Zambito to speak as freely as he has chosen to do – he himself admits he was “no angel.” But Boisvert doesn’t deny that Zambito, for all his past dodgy dealings, is still a credible witness. Even so, the columnist is worried that the Charbonneau Commission may have overreached in allowing Zambito to name certain names:
That’s all the proof he has to offer. So up to this point, it’s all hearsay. One can imagine that had Gendron actually said that, he could conceivably have kept the money for himself – an old trick. If so, it wouldn’t have been prudent for the Commission to allow the witness to name Gilles Vaillancourt. I expect there is more to come. [My Translation]
It’s likely that Zambito is safe from criminal prosecution or, at the very least, that he’s made an arrangement of some kind in exchange of his candour. As for the hearsay about Vaillancourt, well, there have been stern denials of any wrongdoing. But no talk of suing Zambito for defamation. After all, it was only a year ago – almost to the day – that the mayor backed off such a threat against two other politicians who had claimed that he had offered them money to help them win tough elections in their own ridings. Still, the city of Laval is considering whether it should request to be a participant in the Commission so that it may have the opportunity cross-examine him. Will he back off from that threat too?
Paul Wells commits journalism and reads the fine print of the Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) between Canada and China, which will soon come into force:
Catherine Solyom at The Gazette wonders whether Lino Zambito of Charbonneau Commission fame is immune from prosecution in court about his own involvement in the system of collusion that ruled Montreal’s construction industry for so many years:
Yves Faguy is the senior editor of National Magazine. / Yves Faguy est le rédacteur principal du magazine National.