Ultra Vires


Martha Hall Findlay Fireside Chat

On Monday, January 14th, former Bay Street lawyer Martha Hall Findlay (and Osgoode grad) sat down in the Faculty Lounge to discuss her candidacy for the Liberal Party of Canada.

Martha Hall Findlay (left) and Joanna Langille (right), the event organizer
Martha Hall Findlay (left) and Joanna Langille (right), the event organizer

Hall Findlay began by discussing the Liberal Party’s current position in the political landscape. A leader, Hall Findlay said, should be someone Canadians could trust based on their experience. Any potential leader would have to understand what Canadians were going through. Having run for the Party’s leadership in 2006, Hall Findlay saw the Liberals making many of the same mistakes now as they had then, as it is still unclear how the Liberals stand on many important issues. To succeed in the next election, the next Liberal leader needs new ideas.

Speaking on ideas, Hall Findlay refused to define herself according to a left/right dichotomy. She is pro-trade, pro-marijuana, and more typically left-wing on social and aboriginal issues.

When asked how she would approach Idle No More and Aboriginal leaders, Hall Findlay answered that she thought the movement arose from Aboriginal frustrations with the Prime Minister and his treatment of the Kelowna Accord. While the Prime Minister’s apology to First Nations peoples had been an inspiring moment, she said, the attitude of respect and cooperation forged under the Kelowna Accord has been lost.

Asked about law reform, Hall Findlay said that the current length of time it takes to access the justice system was hurting both people and the system. She also criticized the government’s handling of Omar Khadr, saying that he was a hard person to fight for, but that he should have been brought back to Canada sooner.

Turning from domestic issues to foreign affairs, Hall Findlay was upset over how the Prime Minister had turned the Israeli-Palestinian conflict into a divisive domestic issue. She supports a two-state solution, and more generally supports multi-lateral solutions to international problems. Onthe Responsibility to Protect doctrine, Hall Findlay said that Canada should not go into Mali without first discussing how and why. She criticized the government’s acquisition of F-35s, saying that she could not see a compelling Foreign Affairs reason for buying them. She was, however, in favour of more naval spending.

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