Legal challenge to Morgentaler Order of Canada rejected

A Federal Court ruled that the Governor General’s 2008 induction of Henry Morgentaler into the Order of Canada cannot be legally contested. Frank Chauvin, a retired Windsor police officer and a member of the Order of Canada, challenged the abortionist’s award, objecting to the secretive process by which the Order’s Advisory Council made its selection and taking issue with reports that the Council abandoned its own protocols to drive through Morgentaler’s nomination. Chauvin also argued that the Council’s chair, Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, should have recused herself from voting on the nomination, given that Morgentaler is regularly before the courts and could again have business before the Supreme Courf of Canada.

Federal Court Prothonotary Kevin Aalto said that Chauvin does not have standing to bring the case. The judge also said the Governor General’s Royal Prerogative is not subject to review.

At least nine previous Order of Canada inductees returned the prestigious honor, or had it returned on their behalf, and over 100 Members of Parliament declared their objection. Polls indicated that well over half of Canadians opposed the award and a petition signed by 30,000 opponents was submitted to the Governor General.

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