Q-448 — Mr. Dion (Saint-Laurent—Cartierville) — With regard to judicial appointments from the province of Quebec: (a) what steps is the government taking to ensure Quebec has full representation on the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC); (b) by when will a Justice to replace Justice Fish assume his or her seat on the SCC and by what process will this vacancy be filled; (c) in what ways is the decision in Reference re Supreme Court Act, ss. 5 and 6 being studied and analyzed by the government, and what impact is it expected to have on future judicial appointments from Quebec; (d) will the government seek constitutional amendment to allow for the appointment of judges from the federal courts to the Quebec seats on the SCC and, if so, how does the government plan to proceed; (e) does the government anticipate that the decision in Reference re Supreme Court Act, ss. 5 and 6 will have any impact on its ability to fill vacancies from Quebec in the federal courts and, if so, how; (f) in what ways will the government seek (i) to ensure civil law expertise and the representation of Quebec’s legal traditions and social values on the Court, (ii) to enhance the confidence of Quebec in the Court in the context of future appointments; (g) since the decision in Reference re Supreme Court Act, ss. 5 and 6, what discussions or meetings on judicial appointments have occurred with the Government of Quebec and the Barreau du Quebec; (h) in what ways has the question in (e) been studied or will be studied, if any; (i) in what ways has the pool of eligible persons for appointment to Quebec seats on the SCC been defined and identified, broken down by (i) gender, (ii), Aboriginal status, (iii) visible minority status; (j) what qualifications and merit criteria have been identified as necessary and desirable for an appointment to a Quebec seat on the SCC;
(k) what steps have been undertaken to identify potential successors to Justice Lebel upon his anticipated retirement from the SCC; (l) if the process in (k) has not begun, when is it anticipated to begin and what will the first steps be; (m) what regard is given, if any, to the linguistic proficiencies of candidates for Quebec seats at the SCC, in both official languages, (i) at what point in the process is such proficiency assessed, (ii) by whom, (iii) to what standard; (n) does the answer in (m) vary if the vacancy were to arise from another province; (o) in what ways will Quebecers, their government, and their professional orders be consulted and involved in the process to fill present and future vacancies arising from the province at the SCC; (p) in what ways have Supreme Court justices from Quebec been consulted by the government, in the past and present, relative to the appointments process and credentials and will they be consulted in the future; and (q) for judges appointed to Quebec seats on SCC whose appointment and swearing in is subsequently deemed void ab inito, (i) are taxpayers reimbursed in any way for the appointment process by the government, (ii) is the salary of such a judge returned to the government for the period in which it was collected in error, (iii) who makes the determinations in (i) and (ii) and by what process, (iv) what impact does such a determination have on the retirement and pensionable allowances of such a judge if he or she were a federal judge prior to and post appointment to the SCC, (v) are nominees from Quebec informed of the possibility of their appointment and swearing in being deemed void ab initio and, if so, at what point in the process? — Sessional Paper No. 8555-412-448.