Trudeau appoints Supreme Court chief justice

Prime Minister Trudeau appoints Richard Wagner as Supreme Court chief justice

Richard Wagner. Credit: Andrew Balfour Photography/Supreme Court of Canada Collection

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has appointed Quebec-born Justice Richard Wagner to be the next chief justice of the Supreme Court of Canada.

Wagner, 60, was born in Montreal and earned a law degree from the University of Ottawa in 1979.

He practised law for more than 20 years, focusing on professional liability and on commercial litigation related in particular to real estate law, oppression remedies and class action suits.

“It is an honour to name the honourable Richard Wagner as the new chief justice of Canada,” Trudeau said in a statement.

“I have the utmost confidence in his ability to lead the highest court of Canada, an institution with a long and respected history of judicial independence and excellence. The judiciary, the legal profession, and all Canadians will be well served by his dedication to upholding the laws and Constitution upon which this country is founded.”

As a Quebec Superior Court judge, he sat on several of the court’s committees, including the judicial practice committee for training of newly appointed judges. He was named to the Supreme Court by Stephen Harper in 2012.

Wagner is a self-declared advocate of judicial independence, once saying that “the judiciary is only accountable to the person subject to trial.”

He is the middle child of former Quebec Liberal cabinet minister and one-time federal Conservative leadership candidate Claude Wagner.

Trudeau had been under pressure from some quarters to name a Quebecer as chief, in keeping with the tradition of alternating between a civil code jurist from Quebec and a common-law one.

The current chief justice, Beverley McLachlin, is stepping down after 28 years on the court, including almost 18 years as chief.

McLachlin, 74, is the first woman to hold the top job on the high court and is also Canada’s longest-serving chief justice.

The Canadian Press
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Column: One parenting book certainly doesn’t fit all

Like the fingerprints they are born with – each child is different.… Continue reading

Ryga Arts Festival to include virtual and in-person events

Arts festival in Summerland will run from Aug. 15 to 23

Okanagan and Shuswap MPs want federal funds to help stop invasive species

Concerns raised that spending favours Eastern Canada.

Summerland Ornamental Gardens remain closed

Staff and volunteers continue to weed and maintain plants

Canada’s deficit result of investing in Canadians: Minister of Middle-Class Prosperity

Minister Mona Fortier said the government is working on the next steps as the economy restarts

COVID-19: Homeless to be relocated from temporary Okanagan shelter

Homeless shelters in Vernon have been combined into one site at the curling rink since April

Dozens of fish die at popular lake near Chase

A few natural phenomena are possible causes for their deaths.

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

RCMP ‘disappointed’ by talk that race a factor in quiet Rideau Hall arrest

Corey Hurren, who is from Manitoba, is facing 22 charges

NHL’s Canadian hubs offer little economic benefit, but morale boost is valuable: experts

Games are slated to start Aug. 1 with six Canadian teams qualifying for the 24-team resumption of play

Most Read