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

Victoria police investigating chop-shop found in Beacon Hill Park

Police asking public to register bikes with them in case lost or stolen

Island Health issues Victoria overdose advisory

Health authority warns of increase in overdoses from opioids and stimulants

Central Saanich council spills plans for alcohol in public parks

Local expert Adam Sherk praises decision, warns of liberalization

Saanich makes ALC appeal for Prospect Lake Elementary parking, portables

Council votes in favour of seeking non-farm use designation

Recent surge in COVID-19 cases not unexpected amid Phase Three of reopening: B.C.’s top doc

Keep circles small, wear masks and be aware of symptoms, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of July 13

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

B.C. NDP changing WorkSafeBC regulations to respond to COVID-19

Employers say reclassifying coronavirus could be ‘ruinous’

Statistical flaws led to B.C. wolf cull which didn’t save endangered caribou as estimated

Study finds statistical flaws in an influential 2019 report supporting a wolf cull

Beloved Island woman dies at 106

Dorothy Adair adored by the many people she met in Chemainus in two short years

Man arrested for allegedly pushing unsuspecting seniors, jumping on cars at Parksville mall

Cops arrest man after ‘aggressive incident’ at Wembley Mall in Parksville

B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’ charged with sex assault of teenage boys

The man, 75, is accused of assaulting teenage boys he met through Coquitlam-area churches

B.C.’s potential deficit $12.5 billion as spending spikes, taxes drop

Finance Minister Carole James gives COVID-19 outlook

Canadians torn on scaling back COVID-19 benefits to save money: poll

Of those surveyed, 78 per cent said they were worried about the size of the deficit

Most Read