Union President furious over judge granted permission to hear cases from tropical island
The Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) is calling for the termination of a judge with the Superior Court of Justice who presided over her Toronto-area court cases from the Caribbean.
According to OPSEU President Warren Thomas, the judge, who has not been identified, is guilty of extremely poor judgment and should therefore be fired.
Additionally, Thomas is calling for the job of the regional senior judge, who approved the aforementioned judge's plans to travel and work from abroad.
According to a news release, a media report indicated the judge was hearing cases from Turks and Caicos.
Further, Thomas believes it's ludicrous that this judge was granted such permission just days after travel and work directives were issued to all Superior Court justices in Ontario.
“This case takes the cake or maybe it takes the Caicos,” Thomas said in the release.
“We’ve seen a string of high-profile public figures getting axed for their non-essential travel abroad, but it’s unbelievable that a judge is presiding over her cases from a Caribbean resort while front-line courthouse staff are forced to work in unsafe courthouses," he continued.
According to Chief Justice Morawetz, the judge in question was granted permission as the result of “an oversight," and she has been instructed to stop.
However, Thomas feels this isn't good enough. “To have judges presiding over cases from a tropical resort while forcing court staff to return to an unsafe work environment goes beyond poor judgment, it’s an outright abuse of power and privilege," he said.
Thomas referred to the fact the Chief Justices’ elected to reopen the courts this past July, despite concerns the union had regarding a lack of safeguards in place to protect workers and the general public.
“Our members working in the courts are helping to keep this province running during a global health crisis,” said Thomas. “This judge has failed in the court of public opinion and to restore order and trust in our judicial system, she must go.”
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