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Apr 21, 2023

Waterloo Asks Justice Farnese to Recuse Herself from Appeals Tribunal

Patricia Farnese

The series of events involving Waterloo Investment Holdings Limited and the Appeals Tribunal have taken another interesting turn with a letter being written to Justice Patricia Farnese requesting that she recuses herself as chair of that committee.  On April eighteenth, Marine Parade Chambers, the law firm of Senior Counsel Godfrey Smith, wrote to the high court judge.  In that letter, several concerns were raised, including the fact that Justice Farnese was a member of the Saskatchewan Green Party, a political organization based in that province of Canada.  During her time with the Green Party, Farnese participated in a number of activities, including running for office in 2016.  The principles of the Green Party are centered on environmental and social justice.  In February 2014, Farnese published an article in the Journal of Law, Property and Society in which she wrote, “consequently, planetary boundaries are on the verge of being exceeded such that the earth may no longer be a safe place for humanity.  If we ever hope to reconcile the often-competing rights of the extreme poor with environmental conservation goals, the growth imperative and the ethic of more that emerged from it, must be rejected”.  On the strength of those and other comments, Waterloo has expressed concern that notwithstanding her spotless record as an environmental activist, there may be an unconscious bias that could prejudice her consideration of Waterloo’s three hundred million dollar development project.  The letter requesting recusal was signed by Senior Counsel Godfrey Smith and copied Chief Justice Louise Blenman.

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