Nova Scotia Senators call for Atlantic Canadian Supreme Court SeatPublished on 3 October 2016 News & Photos by Senator James Cowan (retired), Jane Cordy, Terry Mercer, Wilfred Moore (retired)
OTTAWA, October 3rd, 2016 Nova Scotia Senators James Cowan, Jane Cordy, Terry Mercer and Wilfred Moore demanded Prime Minister Justin Trudeau respect the custom of regional representation in appointing Supreme Court Justices. (Letter attached)
“Changing the nomination process to include candidates from across the country for a Supreme Court seat which by 141 years of custom should be Atlantic Canadian looks to be more a political act than sound public policy,” the Senators wrote in in a letter to Prime Minister Trudeau.
The Supreme Court of Canada is not just the highest court in the land, it has also been described as the “guardian of the constitution.” As that guardian the Supreme Court must represent the regions in its deliberations. To that end the next Supreme Court Justice appointed must be from Atlantic Canada.
Senators Cowan, Cordy, Mercer and Moore said they were encouraged by the unanimous vote in the House of Commons on Tuesday that called for the government to maintain the custom of regional representation.
The Minister of Justice, however, said this still does not guarantee an Atlantic Canadian Justice.
“We find this discouraging,” the Senators wrote.
“While we understand the desire for an open and transparent process for Supreme Court nominees, the attempt to “set aside” the regional custom does not promote those desired goals. We urge you to restore confidence in the process and restore the regional representation custom. To do otherwise would be a disservice to Atlantic Canada and the people who so wholeheartedly supported you in the last election.”
Office of Senator Moore (613) 947-1921 Office of Senator Mercer: (613) 996-2657
Office of Senator Cordy: (613) 995-8409 Office of Senator Cowan: (613) 995-4268