TORONTO, June 18, 2003 ( – The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, Beverley McLachlin, attempted to defend judges from charges of judicial activism.  In a speech to the Canadian Club in Toronto she opined that fears that activist judges have usurped the power of politicians are unfounded.  She also defended the appointment of the judiciary, saying that the election of judges would cause them to fall under the influence of political parties.  Judges, she said, must remain unelected “independent arbiters.”  Critics, however, who have seen Canada’s laws and even the country’s charter changed by judicial fiat rather than by elected officials, scoff at McLachlin’s lame defence.  Responding to the Ontario Appeals Court decision redefining marriage, REAL Women of Canada stated: “Predictably, the political appointees to the Ontario Court of Appeal have used their unelected position to impose their own vision on the country – a vision based not on the law, but on their own politically correct ideology.  In no other nation, do the courts enjoy the power now held by the Canadian courts which operate without any checks and balances.  Consequently, the Canadian courts are the only ones in the world that have had the arrogance to change the definition of marriage.”  Justice McLachlin defended judicial interpretation saying that “the activity of interpretation is more than simply deciding what these and those words mean.”  She explained that “this is high level, specialized, intellectual work.”  However, REAL Women’s Gwen Landolt – a lawyer – told LifeSite that “judges come to the bench with their own political and ideological axes to grind, and make their decisions accordingly.”  The debate over the selection process of Canada’s top judges takes on an added significance in the light of the need to replace the soon retiring Mr. Justice Charles Gonthier on the Supreme Court.  A swearing out ceremony was held for Gonthier Monday even though he will officially retire on August 1. Landolt commented on Gonthier noting “he is the only independent minded judge there.  All the rest are like a pack of sheep with no mind of their own – wearing politically correct blinders.”  See National Post coverage: