Shelly Glover, the Manitoba MP who is in the midst of a court battle with Elections Canada, is one of the government's picks to help choose the next Supreme Court justice.
Glover is one of three Conservative MPs tapped by Justice Minister Rob Nicholson to sit on an advisory panel that will advise him on a list of candidates.
Jacques Gourde and Robert Goguen are the other Tory MPs, Francoise Boivin is the NDP representative and Dominic LeBlanc is the Liberal member of the panel.
Glover, MP for Saint Boniface, and James Bezan, MP for Selkirk-Interlake, Man., have both filed applications asking a Manitoba court to order Elections Canada to accept their expense returns and declare that they have "complied with the provisions" of the law.
Glover is disputing the election agency over her 2011 campaign filing. Bezan is fighting over the past three federal election filings, dating back to 2006.
The MPs say in their court filings that Elections Canada "has misinterpreted the requirements" of the law regarding signs left over from the previous campaign. The MPs refer to the signs as "non-monetary" contributions. Glover is also fighting in court over how campaign staff wages are claimed.
Glover honoured to be named to panel
The dispute has resulted in Elections Canada advising Speaker Andrew Scheer that MPs who fail to correct their expense filings "shall not continue to sit or vote" in the House of Commons until the correction is made, according to legislation. But Scheer so far is allowing the two MPs to continue sitting in the Commons while the matter is being dealt with by the court.
"I'm just so honoured to be able to sit on the committee," said Glover. It would be silly for anyone to consider her an odd choice for the panel, she said. "I've continued to work as I always have, as diligently as possible for not only my constituents but all Canadians and I'm going to continue to do that."
"I'm proud to have been selected to work on this committee and I look forward to working with others to make sure that the choice that's made is good for Canada," said Glover.
Glover also said it is "ridiculous" that some people say she shouldn't be in the Commons while her legal battle with Elections Canada is ongoing. She said she will continue to do the work she was elected to do and will serve her constituents with pride and dignity.
"When there's a case before the courts that may well end up at the Supreme Court, if indeed Ms. Glover is on that committee, it seems sort of, perhaps, a bit of a conflict for her to sit there," said Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau after question period. "It's certainly not the kind of optics that a government that is trying to get itself out of a terrible ethical pit should be encouraging right now but this government doesn't seem to be following any of my recommendations on openness and transparency."
The next Supreme Court judge will be from Quebec and will be filling the upcoming vacancy left by Justice Morris Fish, who is retiring at the mandatory age of 75. Nicholson, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, Quebec's chief justice and legal experts are consulting on a list of candidates that will be given to the panel for review.
They will do their own consultations and look at the candidates' resumes and past judgments, and will give an unranked list of three people back to Nicholson and Harper, who will make the final selection.
Fish, who was appointed in 2003, will end his work at the Supreme Court on Aug. 31. He turns 75 in November.
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