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Former chief justice supports appointing an Indigenous Supreme Court justice

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Beverley McLachlin

OTTAWA – Former Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin said she supports requests for the appointment of an indigenous justice to the Canadian Supreme Court.

There has never been an indigenous lawyer in Canada's highest court.

When McLachlin announced his departure from the Supreme Court, there was strong support for an indigenous candidate to be named – but the move was thwarted when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau selected Alberta Judge Sheilah Martin to fill the vacancy.

CTV Power Play host Don Martin asked McLachlin if she supports the pressure for Supreme Court justice during an episode of the show aired on Thursday. She said "absolutely".

"I am in favor of diversity in the Supreme Court because … I think different people bring different experiences from their past lives," McLachlin said.

She backed away from any potential arguments against the change.

"Some people say this is bad because they will be biased – not at all. They bring these perspectives so they can see the problem in a better, richer and deeper way. So I would really like to receive this and I am sure that it will happen, ”she told Martin.

During the 2017 effort for Indigenous Supreme Court justice, indigenous jurists John Borrows and Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond were often named as strong candidates. Both have a doctorate in law and worked throughout Canada.

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