Pardon politics

Posted on August 17, 2012 in Governance Debates

Source: — Authors: – commentary/letters
4 August 2012.   Douglas Kirkpatrick

I was taken aback at the headline on the article regarding prime ministerial discretion to issue pardons: Harper Pardons Convicted Farmers (Aug. 2).

When I was the chief of staff to solicitor-general Herb Gray, the task of issuing pardons was the purview of the National Parole Board and such decisions were taken at arms length and without any consultation with the government. I can only surmise that the arm is getting shorter, that the Prime Minister has given himself new powers that we didn’t know about – or was this hidden in Bill C-38 as well?

It is a sad day when quasi-judicial authority is assumed by politicians. When will we start call him Mr. President?

Douglas Kirkpatrick, Ottawa

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