Tories decry judicial appointment amid renewed scrutiny of MacKay's record

news-update

Conservatives are accusing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of stacking Canada's courts with Liberal partisans, pointing to a recently appointed judge who has donated almost $26,000 to the governing party over the past 14 years.

Justice Minister David Lametti appointed Toronto lawyer Andrew Pinto, a longtime donor to the Liberal cause, to Ontario's Superior Court this week.

A spokeswoman for Lametti said judges are chosen on merit and past political involvement is not relevant to the decision.

Lawyers are not generally restricted from donating to political parties, but are advised against doing so once named to the bench.

Conservative MP Michael Barrett suggested the Liberals are ``rewarding their friends.''

But the accusation comes amid renewed scrutiny of Conservative leadership contender Peter MacKay, whose own judicial appointments when he was the federal justice minister included the best man at his wedding and a handful of others with personal or political connections.