Will Justin Trudeau keep fighting Stephen Harper’s court battles?

Likely that a number of these kinds of cases will be dropped, presumably to the relief of Justice Canada lawyers (given that at least part of the Harper government’s motivation appeared to be more scoring of political points than enforcing the law):

Bahareh Esfand couldn’t vote for Justin Trudeau, but she sees the prime minister-designate’s victory reflected in her own Federal Court battle

For the past year, the Coquitlam, B.C., woman has locked horns with a Conservative government bent on winning the right to remove her permanent resident status.

It’s a complicated story: Esfand came to Canada from Iran in 2006 with her political refugee husband, but the minister of citizenship and immigration wants to strip her of refugee status for returning to see her ailing mother.

Regardless, the battle is almost pointless, because even if the government won, it’s unlikely they could deport a hard-working, non-criminal mother of a Canadian-born child and wife of a newly minted Canadian citizen.

As if to put a fine point on all of that, Federal Court Judge George Locke sided with Esfand this week in a scathing decision that suggests the outgoing government was “more concerned with removing refugee status than granting it.”

‘They’ve got a lot of decisions to make’

Esfand claims Stephen Harper’s government threw her life off balance in a bid to score an ideological point.

In that, she wouldn’t be alone. Canada’s courts are packed with claimants alleging their rights were violated by an agenda that purported to be tough on bogus refugees and tough on crime.

But her case also raises a question. What next? Even before Locke handed down his decision on Esfand, Ottawa announced plans to appeal if they lost.

But will Trudeau want to continue fighting Harper’s battles?

“They’ve got a lot of decisions to make,” said Josh Paterson, executive director of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association.

“They’re going to have to take a good, hard look at the whole suite of laws that have been passed by the current government and the legal challenges that are out there and figure out what to do.”

Broadly speaking, the cases in front of appeal or Federal Court judges involve either broad Charter of Rights challenges to legislation or specific cases where the application of policy allegedly undermines the intent of a law.

Issues range from mandatory minimum sentences, victim surcharges, the Fair Elections Actrefugee health care and Bill C-51 to the controversial niqab issue — just for a start.

Source: Will Justin Trudeau keep fighting Stephen Harper’s court battles? – British Columbia – CBC News

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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