Liberal candidate entitled to his entitlements

Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff had to deal with candidate problems for the second day in a row Thursday, following comments by Wild Rose (Alta.) Liberal hopeful John Reilly during a radio interview.

Reilly, a former judge, suggested that not all sexual assaults need be punished with jail time.

“There are sexual assaults and there are sexual assaults,” he opined on the Dave Rutherford show.  Oops.

Reilly issued an apology and Ignatieff spent most of his morning press contact answering questions about it.

Curiously, Reilly’s campaign website was still flagging his appearance on Rutherford as evidence of his surging popularity in Wild Rose, where he is trying to defeat Conservative incumbent Blake Richards.

“In the last week alone, he has already been featured in the National Post, Global TV, The Rutherford Show, and the Calgary Herald.”

The same website explains Reilly’s departure from the Alberta bench:

“He’s so disgusted by the proposed Conservative Justice Initiatives that he has resigned his judicial appointment in order to take his concerns to Ottawa and better represent our riding.”

It does not mention, however, another apparent object of disgust:  his old boss’s refusal to pay for a trip to Switzerland.

In 2001, Reilly, then on the bench of the Provincial Court of Alberta,  took the Chief Judge of Alberta to court for refusing an expense claim. Reilly wanted to use the $2,500 allowance allotted judges annually for professional development to travel to Caux, Switzerland, for a session on “Peace Building Initiatives.” Reilly argued that the session would help broker peace between three Alberta First Nations chiefs who were also going to Caux.

The Chief Justice told Reilly the trip didn’t fit the requirements for professional development under the allowance scheme, but told him he was free to go on his own dime.

Reilly asked for judicial review of the decision, lost, and then took it to the Alberta Court of Appeal. The court  finally tossed the case in 2008.

Cost to Alberta taxpayers to litigate? Unknown.

Reilly’s campaign headquarters said Thursday that he was out knocking on doors and unavailable to comment.

8 thoughts on “Liberal candidate entitled to his entitlements

  1. WOW!!! Unbeleivable Liberal Entitlement, Arrogance, and contempt for Victims of Sex Crimes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. After the Opposition votes against the budget in the next parliament the judge will be your defacto solicitor general. He’s the one who will be advising the cobbled together “majority” after may 2. The criminals will be going to university (according to Iggy) during the day and looking for victims at night. Mark Holland will tell you about justice and how we should be afraid of “American style justice”. Maybe Liberal style justice is what we should be afraid of.

  3. I’d be careful of anyone who’d try to paint an entire party with one brush-stroke though. Only zealots see the world in black and white, and they sure don’t see it clearly.

    That being said… this guy sounds like a bit of a tool. I’m glad he’s no longer a judge.

    The Liberal party’s big issue is its “backroom deals” culture and its past cozy relationships with the civil service. Oh, and its lack of a viable leader. No amount of promises will make Ignattief a more palatable prime minister.

    (Full disclosure: I’m unaffiliated with any political party, and proud of it. My views are my own.)

  4. The news in BC yesterday was a convicted child murderer, but found not criminally responsible for his crime, is now on day parole on the 3rd anniversary of his crime.

    Imagine… murder your own children and after three years, out enjoying freedom. I wonder how Mr. Latimer feels about that? He killed his disabled daughter in a crime of compassion and spent more than 10 years incarcerated. I believe he still is. But Savagely stab and suffocate 3 children and 3 years of mental hospital time and you are out. Seems fair to me. I guess there is child murder and then there is child murder….

  5. Judge Reilly’s rap sheet

    Earlier this year in February, the Alberta Court of Appeal criticized Reilly when it unanimously overturned his decision to give a conditional sentence to a drug offender. Joseph Dow was caught with what police said was “a potpourri of drugs” and later pleaded guilty to three counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking and one count of possession of the proceeds of crime. But Reilly did not send him to jail, letting him serve his sentence in the community rather than prison. “I’ve made comments before about how ineffective I feel imprisonment is,” Reilly said from the bench in passing sentencing. But the Alberta Court of Appeal gave Dow a 30-month prison term and, in the unanimous ruling accompanying that decision, Justice Patricia Rowbotham wrote: “It was not open to the sentencing judge to disregard guidance of this court, to disregard sentencing provisions of the Criminal Code and to set his own idiosyncratic policy. The sentence is demonstrably unfit.”

    Last fall, the Alberta Court of Appeal quadrupled a 90-day sentence Reilly had given to a man who sexually molested a 14-year-old developmentally delayed woman while the two were travelling on a bus. The appeal court put the man in jail for 12 months and the appeal judges wrote: “We find it particularly troubling that the trial judge stated effectively that a 90-day sentence served intermittently had the same deterrent effect as a 12-to 15-month jail sentence. This is clearly wrong. This court has pointed out and reiterates that in child sexual abuse cases, denunciation and deterrence are not secondary considerations in favour of rehabilitation or individualized solutions.”

    In March, 2010, the Alberta Court of Appeal overturned a conditional sentence that Reilly gave a former guidance counsellor who had plead guilty to two counts of sexual assault and one count of gross decency in a case in which three junior high school girls were molested. Reilly gave the offender a two-year sentence to be served in the community. The Alberta Court of Appeal overturned that and sent the man to jail for three years.

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