New Supreme Court Justice Richard Wagner: Somehow I Missed this One

I’m usually right on top of Supreme Court news.  Back in August I blogged about the Panel of MPs Selected to Replace Justice Deschamps.  Needless to say, the other day when a colleague mentioned to me that the new Quebec Judge had been appointed, I simply could not believe I missed it. Upon further research, I learned that in the period since I last blogged about this future appointment, the new Justice had been selected by the Prime Minister, gone through a questioning process, and took the bench on December 3, 2012.

The new Judge is Justice Richard Wagner who was appointed from the Quebec Court of Appeal.  In articles I have read the appointment appears to be lauded.  The main criticism is that he is male.  Since he is replacing Justice Deschamps it brings the female component of the court down to 3 of 9 Judges.  I’ll be sure to discuss this issue in a further post.

The one question I had is whether Justice Wagner is Francophone.  A quick Google search brought up this article which answered that question (he is).  Justice Wagner stated to the House of Commons committee:

I’m a Montrealer and I’m very proud of my francophone heritage and of my mother tongue which is one of the most beautiful languages in the world.

This appointment therefore leaves the number of Francophone Judges on the top court unchanged at two.  By law three Judges must be from Quebec, however Justice Fish is not Francophone.  In the past there have been Francophone Judges from other provinces (eg. Justices Charron and Bastarache) however currently it appears there are seven Anglophone Justices.

This blog post was written by Toronto Criminal Lawyer Adam Goodman. Adam can be reached at 416-477-6793 or by email at

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