The Star.com reports about a proposed McGuinty appointment coming down the pike.
The Liberals are nominating a former Ontario Human Rights Tribunal head to oversee all provincial environmental and land-use agencies, which one MPP charges is akin to making the "coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs the president of the Toronto Blue Jays."
Lawyer Michael Gottheil has been nominated to lead the Environment and Land Use Planning Cluster, which includes the Assessment Review Board, the Board of Negotiation, the Environmental Review Tribunal and the Ontario Municipal Board.
Here is Mr. Gottheil's self portrait from the HRT of Ontario web site, where he is shown as the current Chair of the Tribunal:
Mr. Gottheil was appointed Chair of the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario in April 2005. He is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School and was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1987. After working as in-house counsel for two national trade unions, in 1991 he co-founded the Ottawa law firm of Engelmann Gottheil, where he practiced labour, employment and human rights law until his recent appointment. In addition to practicing law, Mr. Gottheil has also held the positions of part-time professor at Algonquin College and the University of Ottawa Law School.
Mr. Gottheil has been actively engaged in professional and volunteer activities focused on improving the lives of the visually impaired. He is a member of the Canadian Association of Visually Impaired Lawyers and over a 12-year period, served on the Board of the Canadian National Institute for the Blind as member, vice-chair and chair at the Ottawa local and provincial levels.
Mr. Gottheil's interest and commitment to human rights and social justice extends beyond his professional activities. He has travelled the world, climbed mountains and in taking the time to exchange views and build bridges, sought to explore the differences that create the human fabric. He is a keen believer that learning and living varied experiences and perspectives is fundamental to both personal growth and positive community change.
I sure don't see any real world experience there, but looking at the rulings of the Tribunal while he has been on top, I don't see any connection to the real world there either.
Lisa MacLeod for the Conservatives had this to say about the nomination:
"We think he has no planning background, no background in heritage conservation, no background in urban design and no background in assessment reviews."
Of course, the provincial Godfather has a different take on it:
Premier Dalton McGuinty's office denied an "uber-agency" is being created and said the move to appoint the "highly qualified" Gottheil is just meant to improve operational efficiencies. He'd oversee the administration of property and land-use tribunals to reduce duplications.
And the candidate himself says:
"What I bring to the table is the experience and knowledge and the ability to put into place questions of access to justice ... questions of case management,"
Heck of a job on that case management piece, Michael if the rulings from your HRT are any indication. Politics, yes. Truth, not so much.
The decision is deferred for a week, but since the reds dominate the committee and the house, is there any doubt about the outcome?