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.

Just Posted

Oak Bay parents say medical system helped lead to son’s overdose

Parents of Elliot Eurchuk speak out about needed policy changes in wake of son’s overdose death.

LGBTQ advocates turn Victoria SOGI protest into dance party

Counter-protest outnumbers anti-SOGI activists on lawn of B.C. legislature

Ladysmith scooter crash leaves local man with critical injuries

RCMP said a truck was making a left-hand turn when it collided with the scooter travelling through the intersection

Nightly closures on West Coast Highway delayed until June

Daytime roadwork on Alberni/Tofino connector to begin May 7

Greater Victoria farm swamped with goat cuddling offers

The wee goats need to get used to humans before ‘goat yoga’ launches

UPDATED: 9 killed, 16 injured after van hits pedestrians in Toronto

Toronto police say nine people have died and 16 are injured

Judith Guichon steps down as Lieutenant Governor of B.C.

Election decision didn’t make her best moments from the past six years

Vancouver to rake in $30 million in empty homes tax in first year

The tax is the first of its kind in Canada, and was intended to address the city’s near-zero vacancy rate

B.C.’s snowpack continues to increase, melting delayed

River Forecast Centre official says sudden melting further into the season could cause flooding

Another B.C. First Nation voices support for Kinder Morgan pipeline

Simpcw First Nation claims people living on one-third of pipeline route support the project

Protesters argue both sides of B.C.’s SOGI curriculum at teachers’ union office

The sexual orientation and gender identity program was launched as a pilot project last year

Scooter crash leaves Island man with critical injuries

RCMP said a truck was making a left-hand turn when it collided with the scooter travelling through the intersection

Camosun launches cannabis training courses

Growing Cannabis for Professionals is available online through continuing education

Prankster broadcasts fake nuclear threat in Winnipeg

The audio recording on Sunday warned of a nuclear attack against Canada and the United States

Most Read