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Ford defends political appointments to judge selection committee

BRAMPTON, Ont. — Ontario Premier Doug Ford is defending his government’s appointments of two former staffers to a committee that helps select provincial judges, saying he’s not going to put Liberals or New Democrats in those roles.

The Toronto Star first reported that Matthew Bondy, a former deputy chief of staff to Ford, is the chair of the Judicial Appointments Advisory Committee, and Brock Vandrick, Ford’s former director of stakeholder relations, is on the committee.

The appointments are made by Attorney General Doug Downey, and Ford says today that his Progressive Conservative government got elected “to get like-minded people in appointments.”

Ford suggested that judges and justices of the peace are too lenient on criminals, and are letting people out on bail too frequently, so he wants to see more judicial officials appointed who will keep people in jail.

The committee reviews applications and conducts interviews for prospective Ontario Court judges, then sends a ranked list of its recommendations to the attorney general, who appoints someone from that list.

The committee is made up of three judges, three lawyers and seven members of the public.  

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 23, 2024.

The Canadian Press

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