Trudeau taps former premier to take over selection process for next Supreme Court justice

The Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa on Thursday, May 16, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has launched the selection process to identify a new Supreme Court of Canada justice who will soon replace retiring justice Michael Moldaver.

A press release issued Monday states that qualified candidates have until May 13 to apply.

“This open, transparent, and independent process we are launching today will identify esteemed Canadian legal minds to serve at the highest court of our country,” the prime minister said.

Wade MacLauchlan, former premier of P.E.I., has also been named chair of the Independent Advisory Board for Supreme Court of Canada Judicial Appointments. He will replace former prime minister Kim Campbell, who has held the position for the last six years.

Once the application period closes, the board will submit a shortlist of candidates to the prime minister for consideration.

Moldaver, appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada on Oct. 21, 2011, announced he would be retiring from the bench on Sept. 1.

"It has been an honour for me to be a member of this country's highest court for the better part of 11 years," he said in a statement on Feb. 24.

"During that timeframe, I have had the privilege of serving under two pre-eminent chief justices — Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin and Chief Justice Richard Wagner — persons of honour and integrity, courage and vision, who share a passion for justice and a fervent commitment to maintaining the rule of law…”

Trudeau thanked the judge for his service.

“I wish to take this opportunity to thank Justice Moldaver for his service over the past decade as a justice of the Supreme Court, and congratulate him on his distinguished judicial career that has spanned more than three decades,” he said.

Moldaver will be able to continue to participate in judgements related to cases he’s heard for up to six months after retirement, per the Judges Act.