Eddie Joyce, MHA for the District of Bay of Islands, says he is concerned
that a defeated Progressive Conservative candidate from the last election,
long-time Tory organizer, and law partner of the minister of justice for 30
years has been given a provincial court judgeship.
Minister Tom Marshall announced that Mike Monaghan was appointed a
provincial court judge. Mr. Monaghan is a long-time legal partner of the
justice minister and a close personal friend of Premier Danny Williams.
"The appointment of Mike Monaghan is a complete slap in the face to the
people of the province," said Mr. Joyce. "After the last provincial
election, Mr. Monaghan signed affidavits which brought court action against
myself regarding election results. This action put poll clerks and returning
officers under a lot of stress and proved to be completely groundless. Mr.
Monaghan knew there was nothing to challenge and one phone call to the
returning officer could have eliminated several of the affidavits. Mr.
Monaghan personally told me he did not want to initiate this court action,
but Premier Danny Williams asked him to move forward. I guess this
provincial judgeship is another political appointment for a defeated
candidate and someone who is loyal to the premier.
"Provincial court judges are screened and analyzed through a judicial
review committee. The committee makes recommendations to the minister of
justice, who then makes recommendations to cabinet as to who would be best
suited for this position. Did the minister of justice follow the
recommendations of this judicial committee, or did he only recommend his
long-time legal partner and friend?
"Given this government claims to be open and transparent, I am today
asking that the complete list of recommendations of the judicial review
committee be released publicly to see if Mr. Monaghan was the highest
recommended person to be named a provincial court judge. Was this decision
based on merit, or was this appointment based on politics and cronyism,
something the premier has become notorious for over the past 2 and a half
years in government."