Wife defends MacKay
OTTAWA—Justice minister Peter MacKay’s wife is making a spirited defence of her husband over comments recently attributed to him about female judges.
In a letter to the Globe and Mail, Nazanin Afshin-Jam MacKay lashes out at both the media and the group of lawyers who attended a session in which MacKay reportedly said women were leery about becoming judges.
The report generated widespread criticism, including from the justice ministers of both Ontario and Quebec.
His wife said MacKay’s comments have been misrepresented in the media, which she likened to a “24-hour news cycle, National Enquirer-TMZ mentality.”
She writes that organizers of the private meeting of lawyers have turned down her husband’s request to release the audio recording of his comments to lay the matter to rest.
“Instead, they run to the anti-Conservative media with hearsay and, of course, he is savaged by his accusers, political opponents, and press,” Afshin-Jam MacKay writes in a response to an open letter on the subject by Globe columnist Leah McLaren.
Afshin-Jam MacKay goes on to explain her husband made a passing reference in the speech of the bond she has with the couple’s infant son and contends that reference was tied with the reference of fewer women applying for judicial positions and misrepresented.
“Ironically, he is presumed guilty without any evidence, only hearsay,” she wrote.
Eyebrows also were raised over e-mails MacKay sent to staff marking Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.
The Mother’s Day e-mail saluted moms for juggling two full-time jobs—home and work.
The Father’s Day message was quite different—making no mention of any household duties, but saying the men were “shaping the minds and futures of the next generation of leaders.”
Both e-mails were obtained by The Canadian Press.
In her letter to the Globe, Afshin-Jam MacKay noted most of the senior officials in her husband’s office are women and they approved the messages, which she said were written by female staffers in the Justice Department.