“It wasn’t this government that decided to table this decision in the middle of the Quebec election,” MacKay replied to Liberal critic Stéphane Dion. (via Conservatives defend Marc Nadon, slam Supreme Court’s timing | Toronto Star)
- He pointed to wide consultations he undertook, including with the Quebec bar and the Canadian bar association; an approving opinion the government sought from outside legal experts, including two former supreme court judges and a constitutional law expert; a private ad hoc committee review of candidates; and a public hearing held into the nomination.
- MacKay said “all parties” agreed Nadon was an excellent judge. Then MacKay pointed to the NDP justice critic Francoise Boivin’s own view of Nadon as “a brilliant legal mind,” as she expressed to the Star when Nadon became the surprise nominee last October.
- Boivin, whose participation in the screening committee is under a confidentiality agreement, has not said how she voted but has said the committee was not unanimous on Nadon’s candidacy as the best.
- The top court ruled 6-1 on Friday that Quebec seats are restricted to senior judges of that province’s appellate and superior trial courts or to senior lawyers currently practicing law there. It found while federal court judges are eligible for seats on the high court for the rest of Canada, Quebec’s distinctive civil code legal tradition is reflected in a law that narrows the pool of candidates for its guaranteed three seats on the high bench.