Christie Blatchford: Using a position of power to threaten someone with corrective rape is A-OK. Doing so should in no way hinder your chances at attaining high public office.
Obviously I’m exaggerating a little. I originally had the above words in quotes, but decided to remove them on the off chance that someone took this seriously. And I should say that I normally enjoy Blatchford’s work. I don’t often agree with her– my politics usually don’t align with the NP– but the world needs muck-rakers and she’s good at what she does. I can’t help but think that if she took time to think about it, she would realize that she is going to bat for the wrong person here.
It would seem that judge Harvey Brownstone is one of the leading candidates to become Chief Justice of the Ontario court. Some of those who’ve seen his work don’t think he deserves such a high office, and they have come to Blatchford bearing court transcripts to prove it. The heart of the matter:
“So,” the judge told the young man, “you better watch it, because if you ever get into this kind of trouble again, you could end up in the penitentiary for life.
“Let me tell you something about the penitentiary,” he said.
“You would be very popular. You would make a lot of friends, or let me make it even more clear, they’d like you a lot. You might not like them much.
“Do you get what I’m trying to say, or do you want a demonstration?”
I think we all get what the Mr. Brownstone is saying. He’s saying: “I will see to it that you are raped if you misbehave again.” He’s not saying this to someone who cut him off in traffic; he’s saying this to a mal-adjusted young man whose fate is completely in Brownstone’s hands, and who needs an interpreter just to understand the proceedings. This is not a joke. This is not “frank talk.” This is a man who uses a position of power to threaten someone with rape.
Before someone decides to quibble, I don’t think it should make any difference that Rapey-poo Brownstone wasn’t threatening to do the deed himself. The result is still the same. In fact– I’m going to say that it’s worse. Instead of just saying something stupid about one case, Brownstone took what is by far the greatest shame and injustice our country is currently guilty of and tried to make it a feature, not a bug. The only thing I can think of that might compare is the residential school scandal. You know, that thing where we grabbed a bunch of people and confined them to public institutions against their will, while completely failing to protect them from sexual abuse? Residential schools get the nod as the worst evil because at least people in prison aren’t there just because they Native.
//quickly checks prison demographics, sees that native people are STILL FIVE FUCKING TIMES more likely to be sent to prison than white people…
That’s a heck of an act, Mr. Brownstone. What do you call it?
The analogy is imperfect, but if this isn’t akin to the cover-up being worse than the crime, it’s certainly an instance where the conspiracy is more interesting — and offensive — than the original sin.
In the result, the better story is not what Ontario Court Judge Harvey Brownstone said, but that it’s being used as part of a smear campaign against his candidacy for the soon-to-be-vacant Chief Justice’s job.
The current CJ, Annemarie Bonkalo, will step down in May.
The Ontario Court is the former provincial court, the largest and one of the busiest in Canada. The CJ and associate chief justices are appointed by the premier of the day, though the announcement comes out of the provincial attorney general’s office.
It works the same for federally appointed judges, where the prime minister picks the CJs of each province’s superior court and the associate chief justices.
At both levels…
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