Supreme Court of Canada Selection Process a Success
OTTAWA, ON – Friday, October 19, 2012 – MP Greg Rickford was honoured in being chosen as Chairman of the Supreme Court of Canada Selection Panel during this past summer and says the process was very useful in filling the vacancy at the SCC for the Quebec Region arising as the result of the retirement of the Honourable Madam Justice Marie Deschamps.
“I am very pleased with this particular panel. As the Chair, I had the opportunity to work very effectively with members of the opposition parties in this very rigorous process and in the end, we were able to make recommendations about prospective candidates and support them unanimously,” says MP Rickford.
The selection panel plays an important role in ensuring transparency and balance in the Supreme Court appointment process. It includes five Members of Parliament, including one from each recognized political party. Conservative MPs Jacques Gourdes and Kerry-Lynne Findlay, NDP MP Francoise Boivin and Liberal MP the Honourable Stéphane Dion joined MP Rickford on the panel.
“I think that any time political parties can go through a process and have that strong sense of collegiality and understand the importance of this particular task that was asked of us and bring that forward with unanimous support, we are all on the right track.”
For two months, the panel reviewed and assessed a list of qualified candidates put forward by the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada in consultation with the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice of Canada, the Chief Justice of Quebec, the Attorney General of Quebec, the Barreau du Quebec, the Canadian Bar Association and, at their discretion, other prominent legal organizations.
On October 4, Mr. Justice Richard Wagner was selected and appeared before a public hearing of an ad hoc parliamentary committee, a process that was first established for the appointment of the Honourable Mr. Justice Marshall E. Rothstein in 2006 and again repeated with the appointments of the Honourable Madam Justice Karakatsanis and the Honourable Mr. Justice Moldaver in 2011.
The publically televised ad hoc committee meeting can be found below.