Premier Christy Clark's decision to appoint Suzanne Anton as attorney general and justice minister will not be celebrated by civil libertarians.
During her ill-fated run for Vancouver mayor in 2011, Anton routinely chastised Mayor Gregor Robertson for not launching a crackdown on the Occupy Vancouver protest.
Anton even introduced a notice of motion calling on the city to immediately remove all structures from the front lawn of the Vancouver Art Gallery.
The motion, which wasn't seconded, resolved that a staff team, including police, "implement the removal of the structures in a peaceful manner".
This is despite the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guaranteeing freedom of association, freedom of peaceful assembly, and freedom of expression.
Here's what council candidate Chris Shaw said about Anton's position before the 2011 municipal election:
“If Suzanne Anton really wants to have a civic disturbance, that’s the best way to get it. I think that Suzanne Anton, for all her other charms—whatever those may be—unfortunately doesn’t really recognize that this city has a major problem with poverty and homelessness, and that there is also this thing called civil rights and legitimate dissent, which this is. It is a nonviolent expression of distaste. And you notice that we’re not using a large number of city resources at the moment. The police have largely gone home.”
Under the Attorney General Act, Anton's duties will be to advise on legislation, all matters of law, and act as legal counsel to the heads of all ministries.
Her appointment comes as Sensible B.C. is ramping up its campaign to have a provincewide referendum on the regulation of marijuana.
The group's Sensible Policing Act seeks to decriminalize marijuana possession and work toward legalization.
Former attorneys general Geoff Plant, Ujjal Dosanjh, Colin Gablelmann, and Graeme Bowbrick have all called on Clark to endorse legalizing, regulating, and taxing marijuana to raise revenue and curtail gang activity. They did this in support of the Stop the Violence B.C. Coalition.
Anton, a former prosecutor, has never publicly endorsed the Sensible Policing Act. Nor has she condemned the war on drugs along the lines of the former attorneys general.
She's described on the B.C. Liberal website as a "lawyer" when she's actually a nonpractising lawyer.
Under Law Society of B.C. rules, nonpractising lawyers must declare in writing that they will not practise law except on a pro bono basis or as a designated paralegal.