To the editor:
We write respecting Justice Patrick Smith being subjected to a disciplinary proceeding by the Canadian Judicial Counsel, over his agreeing to act as interim dean of Lakehead University's Bora Laskin Faculty of Law, while they looked for a full-time dean.
As Thunder Bay lawyers, we have long known Justice Smith as a hard-working and well-regarded local Judge, and before that, the same kind of lawyer, for years. When he was asked to help Lakehead out of a tough spot, their last Dean of Law having left suddenly and unhappily, we were not surprised that he took on this thankless task, after getting firm approval from the Chief Justice of his Court, and even the federal Minister of Justice.
For the judicial complaints body now to suggest that accepting this role was bad personal conduct on his part, and even that it might deserve removal from the bench, is nothing short of outrageous. Yes, there was controversy surrounding Lakehead's decision to choose him for this temporary job, but surely there are other ways to address that, than by taking aim personally at Justice Smith, who deserves the exact opposite of criticism and blame.
Gil Labine, Kevin Brothers, Eija Peltokangas, Neil McCartney, Randall Johns, Chris Arnone, Jack Jamieson, Rodi-Lynn Rusnick-Kinisky, Alan Jones, Don Shanks, John Wright, Chris Hacio, Kate Brindley, Peter White, Ann Marie Makkinga, Tim Henderson, Johnny de Bakker, Douglas Shanks, Elizabeth McLeod, Fhara Pettinger, Duncan Macgillivray, Robert Sinding, Richard Courtis, Derek Noyes, Serge Ettinger, Dan Lester, Tara Hum, Samantha Filipovic, Dan Filipovic, Kim Gagan, David Shannon, Gilliaan Matson, Warren Mouck, Jeff Moorley, Brennan Sacevich, Karen Hagman (Thunder Bay lawyers).