Reaction to Peter MacKay’s Resignation

Earlier today Peter MacKay resigned as Canada’s Justice Minister. I am being asked for my reaction. I said in a brief statement earlier today that his legacy will be that he abandoned Canadian women. In earlier speeches I said that his legacy will be the open season of sexual and other harassment of women in the military while he was Minister of Defence. In any event, his legacy should not be one of courage or public service. Let me tell you why. Mr. MacKay betrayed his political allies when he merged his party with Mr. Harper’s in 2003. It was betrayal because much of his support to be leader was given in response to his promise of no merger. He sold out for power. His failure to take responsibility for the sexual harassment and related scandals in the military was an act of cowardice. Prime Minister Harper moved him to the Justice portfolio before the scandal broke. When MacKay got to Justice he was the perfect lackey for the shameful government response to the Supreme Court’s decision striking down the prostitution laws. If Canada is a better place for women it is because Bill C-36 is not being enforced and will not be significantly implemented for long, if at all. Most of the rest of the government’s criminal justice law reform is equally shabby. And nobody can tell me any achievement, legitimate achievement, of Mr. MacKay’s that he should be proud of – which I find shocking. I will say of Mr. MacKay’s departure what I said one time of Mr. Nicholson’s, his predecessor’s, departure: that hopefully the replacement will not be another cowardly mediocrity.

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