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

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

Trevor Davis, base manager of the Western Canada Marine Response Corporation in Sidney, stands in front of the Hecate Sentinal, an oil skimming vessel based at Sidney’s Van Isle Marina. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Oil spill response base taking shape on Saanich Peninsula

Enhanced base with elements in North Saanich and Sidney to be fully operational in fall 2022

The O’Meara family – (left to right) Mari, Max, Adam and Rei – spent Saturday afternoon picking out the perfect tree. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Santa’s Forest tree sale in Saanich implements one-way perusing, curbside pick up

Christmas tree, wreath sales in Braefoot Park through Dec. 24

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement forecasting windy weather Sunday and Monday. (News Bulletin file photo)
More windy weather on the way for Vancouver Island

Environment Canada issues special weather statement for Victoria, east coast of Island, north Island

(Black Press Media file)
Webinars help Greater Victoria residents affected by dementia prepare for the holidays

COVID-19 pandemic, restrictions can add additional challenges for people living with dementia

Mary Cox and Jack Plant dance in their pyjamas and slippers at the morning pyjama dance during the Rhythm Reelers’ 25 Annual Rally in the Valley Square Dance Festival in Chilliwack on June 4, 2011. Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 is Square Dancing Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Nov. 29 to Dec. 5

Square Dancing Day, Disability Day and International Ninja Day are all coming up this week

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Kevin Bieksa during his days playing with the Vancouver Canucks. (Photo: commons.wikimedia.org)
Bieksa to guest on free Canucks Alumni ‘Hot Stove’ on Zoom app

Former NHL player has become a game analyst on Sportsnet

A small crash in the water south of Courtenay Saturday afternoon. Two men had to be rescued, but reports indicate there were no serious injuries. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Small plane crash in Comox Valley waters Saturday afternoon

Two rescued from plane that had flipped in water; no serious injuries reported

A photo from 2017, of Nuchatlaht First Nation members outside court after filing a land title case in B.C. ( Submitted photo/Nuchatlaht First Nation).
Vancouver Island First Nation calls on B.C. to honour UNDRIP in historic title case

Nuchatlaht First Nation says Crown counsel continues to stall the case using the ‘distasteful’ argument that the Nation ‘abandoned’ their land

West Vancouver Island’s Ehattesaht First Nation continues lock down after 9 active cases were reported today after a visitor tested positive last week. (Ehattesaht First Nation/Facebook)
Ehattesaht First Nation’s COVID-19 nightmare: nine active cases, a storm and a power outage

The Vancouver Island First Nation in a lockdown since the first case was reported last week

114 Canadians were appointed Nov. 27 to the Order of Canada. (Governor General of Canada photo)
Indigenous actor, author, elder, leaders appointed to Order of Canada

Outstanding achievement, community dedication and service recognized

The Ahousaht First Nation confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on Nov. 26, 2020. (Westerly file photo)
Ahousaht First Nation on lockdown over COVID-19

“Emotions are high. The anxiety is high. We want our community to pull through.”

Most Read