Liberals nix opposition motion for investigation into top-court selection leak

The federal Liberals have used their majority on a House of Commons committee to block an opposition attempt to investigate the leak of confidential information about applicants for a seat on the Supreme Court of Canada.

Conservatives and New Democrats wanted the Commons justice committee to find out who leaked information about a dispute between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould over who should be named chief justice of the top court.

But a motion to launch an investigation has been defeated by a vote of 5-4.

The Canadian Press and CTV reported last month that Wilson-Raybould recommended Glenn Joyal, chief justice of Manitoba's Court of Queen's Bench, to become chief justice.

According to sources, Trudeau was concerned about her choice because he believed Joyal favoured a conservative, restrictive approach to interpreting the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Trudeau ultimately named sitting Supreme Court Justice Richard Wagner to replace retiring chief justice Beverley McLachlin.