Gavin Magrath is a lawyer and advocate practising principally in international human rights and international transportation.
Gavin Magrath is a practicing lawyer at Magrath's International Legal Counsel in Toronto, where his practice focuses on international maritime, transportation, and human rights law. He is also a volunteer board member of Lawyer's Rights Watch Canada and of "Why Should I Care", a grassroots organization dedicated to providing a forum for bringing the public together with subject matter experts to discuss current political issues in a non-partisan environment. He has degrees in Philosophy and in Commerce from Queen's University, Kingston, a Juris Doctor from Dalhousie Law School, and an LL.M from the University of Toronto.
With much ado about crossing the floor from the Conservative to the Liberal Party, the talk seems to centre on whether Justin Trudeau's Liberals gained much, if anything. That talk misses the point: the question is not what the Liberals got, but what the Conservatives lost. Coming on the heels of the clearly unplanned departure of John Baird, the real story is not the questionable value of the asset Trudeau has acquired but the fact that a sitting government member has crossed the floor to sit with a third party.
Mr. Harper's subjective motivations are irrelevant, as the Court's ultimate decision is sadly also irrelevant. Intentional or not, and whatever the decision, your appointment has created a situation that can only further divide Canadians and damage the reputation of and respect for the Supreme Court you have been asked to serve.
The way Harper made his decision on the new foreign ownership rules is dangerous and undemocratic. Canada has legislation, the Investment Canada Act, that sets out the process and requirements for foreign purchases. Strange that the deal that prompted him to develop the policy will be immune from the policy. Can he choose to ignore his own rules the next time?
News that four former Guantanamo detainees have filed a complaint against Canada with the UN Committee Against Torture for the Canadian government's failure to arrest George W. Bush has caused quite a tempest in our teapot. Evidence of Bush's involvement in authorizing war crimes and torture goes far beyond the reasonable grounds necessary for law enforcement.
Much of the focus of the pundit class in America in these post-election days is on the need to overcome the divide between the sides and achieve compromise for the good of America. Let us hope the President is under no such delusions.
In what has been described as a "broadside" and a "blistering attack," Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird criticized the United Nations in his speech to the General Assembly earlier this week. Whether these views are simply borrowed from conservative thinkers to the south, or whether they are motivated by animus at perceived snubs such as Canada's failure to win a Security Council seat in 2010, they were sufficiently offensive that former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney offered rare public censure of the Conservative government.
If our government perceives that it is being snubbed by the United Nations, perhaps it should look at foreign and diplomatic policies instead of going to New York to pick up its proverbial marbles and return home.