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Results: 301 - 360 of 117604
View Randeep Sarai Profile
Lib. (BC)
I'm going to suspend for a minute to resolve these technical difficulties.
View Randeep Sarai Profile
Lib. (BC)
We'll resume.
I believe the technical difficulties have been resolved.
Ms. Idlout.
View Lori Idlout Profile
NDP (NU)
View Lori Idlout Profile
2022-08-24 11:03
[Member spoke in Inuktitut, interpreted as follows:]
Thank you. Shall we start again?
First of all, I am extremely happy to be here. I thank you for allowing me to be part of this, and that I can speak to you in my own language. I am very grateful for that.
I know, we all know, that Canada is multicultural, but it was also indigenous before there were other arrivals. We've always had our own traditional legal processes and systems. We still use our legal systems today. Sadly, they are no longer recognized in the court system, although we will try to apply traditional knowledge on legal issues within the court system. It should be recognized and promoted.
I am happy that I am able to sit here and say to you that when I went to the University of Ottawa, I took legal studies. I enjoyed my instructor, Tracey Lindberg. She has worked with aboriginal students and has studied aboriginal legal issues and systems, and I learned a lot from her.
Minister David Lametti, this morning, I enjoyed it when you said that the court system has to look at all the legal systems, not only in English or French, but it should also include indigenous legal systems and processes that work.
With Ms. O'Bonsawin now nominated, that is very hopeful and it will help us to introduce a third legal system, which will be indigenous. Whether she's the first person appointed or not, I look forward to the day when we will do more to include indigenous traditional legal systems.
We have many issues whereby we cannot run for many positions. Not being able to speak French is one. Will you look into that as a barrier for us? If more indigenous lawyers are to be involved in policy in government, we need to consider bilingualism in other ways.
View David Lametti Profile
Lib. (QC)
Nakurmiik, Ms. Idlout. It's good that you are here today on this historic day.
Let me say first of all that under call to action 50 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's calls to action, one of the things that I am charged with as Minister of Justice is to encourage the revitalization of indigenous legal systems, and there are many. There are hundreds of different kinds of legal systems, all of the Inuit, Métis and first nations legal systems, so there are a number of different projects that I am supporting to help revitalize those traditions. They are being led by indigenous leaders, elders, and I'm going to say “lawyers” in quotation marks, because they're indigenous experts in their own normative systems.
Those projects are being led, and I'm supportive of that. I think that in and of itself will help on the day-to-day revitalization of self-government and self-determination. It will also have an impact on the common law and the civil law and the structures that exist in the Canadian legal system. There will be a better appreciation simply because of that.
The question of bilingualism is an important one. To Canada it's very important, and it is important on the Supreme Court that we have bilingualism as a criterion. I think Justice O'Bonsawin has proven today, and there are others in the system I know of, that as an apex court, the top court in Canada, you have a whole career to prepare for it. Bilingualism as a criterion for that court I firmly believe shouldn't stand in the way of good indigenous and non-indigenous candidates.
Other courts don't require that each and every judge be bilingual. There are unilingual anglophones and francophones on various courts across Canada. It is an obligation for a whole court to be able to offer services in both French and English, but that will often mean sending a francophone judge to northern Ontario or an anglophone judge to a part of New Brunswick or Quebec, as the case may be. That requirement of institutional bilingualism isn't an impediment either, so—
View Lori Idlout Profile
NDP (NU)
View Lori Idlout Profile
2022-08-24 11:09
If I may interrupt you—
View David Lametti Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Lori Idlout Profile
NDP (NU)
View Lori Idlout Profile
2022-08-24 11:09
—I think there was a misunderstanding about my question.
View Randeep Sarai Profile
Lib. (BC)
Ms. Idlout, we're out of time on this round. Hopefully you'll be able to be in the subsequent round.
View Lori Idlout Profile
NDP (NU)
View Lori Idlout Profile
2022-08-24 11:10
My question wasn't interpreted properly, and he ended up giving a different kind of response.
View David Lametti Profile
Lib. (QC)
I'm sorry if I misunderstood.
View Lori Idlout Profile
NDP (NU)
View Lori Idlout Profile
2022-08-24 11:10
Could I...?
View Randeep Sarai Profile
Lib. (BC)
Unfortunately—
View Lori Idlout Profile
NDP (NU)
View Lori Idlout Profile
2022-08-24 11:10
Could I ask the committee—
The Chair: I believe you'll have another round in a few minutes.
Ms. Lori Idlout: —if I could ask my question?
View Randeep Sarai Profile
Lib. (BC)
As chair, I can't enforce the answers. I can enforce only the time. I apologize.
We'll go over to Mr. Brock for five minutes.
View Larry Brock Profile
CPC (ON)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
It's good to see you again, Minister Lametti, and welcome, Justice MacLauchlan. I'm very, very appreciative of your attendance today and your input.
I have a couple of areas I want to follow up on with respect to my colleague Rob Moore's questioning.
I've done a little bit of research with respect to some of the information that's available on the website of the Office of the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs Canada.
I understand, Minister Lametti, that once the short list is finalized, you are required to consult with a number of stakeholders—obviously, the Chief justice of Canada, which you've alluded to; relevant provincial and territorial attorneys general, which you've alluded to; relevant cabinet ministers, which you've alluded to; and opposition justice critics. What I haven't heard and what is clearly spelled out on the website is that you're also to consult with members of both the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights and the equivalent standing Senate committee.
My question for you, Minister Lametti, is this: Who in particular on the justice committee did you consult with?
View David Lametti Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you for the question, Mr. Brock.
I don't have the report in front of me, but I will get that to you. We did in fact consult with members of both the House and Senate committees.
View Larry Brock Profile
CPC (ON)
I can put it on the record right now that I was not consulted. I know that our justice critic, Rob Moore, was, but as far as the other standing members of the committee are concerned, I don't think anyone was consulted, so please look into that and advise us accordingly.
I know that there are big shoes to fill with the pending retirement of Justice Moldaver. Justice Moldaver has had a very distinguished legal career, not only as a leading expert when he was in private practice but also in serving as a leading expert on the bench with the Court of Appeal for Ontario and the Supreme Court with respect to his impeccable knowledge of criminal law matters.
Minister Lametti and Justice MacLauchlan, as you know, the Supreme Court of Canada, this year alone, pronounced two significant decisions with respect to life sentences and the extreme intoxication defences, which have received considerable commentary not only in the press but across Canada as well as discussions in the House of Commons.
What attributes and what specific experience level would Justice O'Bonsawin have to replace that considerable expertise of Justice Moldaver?
View David Lametti Profile
Lib. (QC)
Obviously, criminal law is critically important to the docket of the Supreme Court and an expertise in criminal law is also extremely important to the docket of that court. I recall that when I was a clerk many years ago, it was like jumping in feet first to a pool of criminal law water, and I appreciated that experience very much.
Justice O'Bonsawin brings with her a knowledge of critically important parts of the criminal justice system, specifically mental health law, which is, and we understand to be, an increasingly important part of criminal justice, as well as an expertise on the application of Gladue principles, which is also extremely important to the sentencing portions of criminal justice. She also brings with her experience as a superior court justice in which she has had exposure to criminal law cases.
I would add though that it's the court's total responsibility, and not simply of one judge or one justice, to be an expert in criminal law. I'd point out that that court has an accumulated expertise in criminal law. As well, Justice Kasirer, who was a recent appointment, wrote and taught in the early stages of his teaching career in criminal law matters. I believe he wrote one of the decisions to which you just referred from this past summer.
There is an accumulated expertise on the court, and Justice O'Bonsawin is going to add to that expertise in criminal law.
View Larry Brock Profile
CPC (ON)
Thank you, sir.
I also consulted with a number of victims groups across this country with respect to the vacancy in the position for the ombudsman for victims of crime. What specifically will you tell those organizations as to when this vacancy will be filled? The position has been vacant for approximately 11 months. The vacancy with respect to the Supreme Court was filled in less than two or three months, and that one is now 11 months.
What do you say about that, Justice Lametti?
View David Lametti Profile
Lib. (QC)
First of all, the office continues to function and has continued to function over these 11 months. It isn't a case that victims have not been supported. It is only a case of a vacancy of the presidency, the chair.
I appreciate that it is an important vacancy. I know that. As I alluded to in a previous question, I was expecting a renewal of that position. We were proceeding on that and then there was a change in that position. We have proceeded diligently with that process to replace that person. As I said, I hope that the announcement will be able to be made soon.
I can say that the office has remained open throughout this time and victims have been served throughout this time and the office has been very ably run by the number two person in that office. It hasn't been a case that victims have not been served. But I agree. We have pushed as hard as we can to fill that position as quickly as possible and it is proceeding.
View Larry Brock Profile
CPC (ON)
Thank you.
View Randeep Sarai Profile
Lib. (BC)
Thank you, Mr. Brock.
Thank you, Mr. Lametti.
We'll now go over to Madam Brière.
View Élisabeth Brière Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Minister, Chairperson of the independent advisory board, thank you for the work that has been done in the nomination process.
We have a number of reasons to be pleased today with this nomination. First, this is a woman, bringing the number of women on the Supreme Court to four. Second, this is the first indigenous woman to be appointed to the highest court in the land. She is also a Franco-Ontarian and fully bilingual. Finally, she is a legal expert in mental health rights.
As Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, I am pleased to note that the judge has a master's degree and a PhD, and that she has extensive knowledge and expertise in mental health rights.
Mr. MacLauchlan, you mentioned during your remarks that the chief justice was giving you guidance or direction as to what expertise is needed in court.
What is the weight of a candidate's legal and parallel skills?
H. Wade MacLauchlan
View H. Wade MacLauchlan Profile
Hon. H. Wade MacLauchlan
2022-08-24 11:17
It is indeed a combination of factors. Personal skills, experience and professional qualifications must be considered. It important to understand that the Supreme Court of Canada is a court with general jurisdiction. One should always look for judges who are able to exercise expertise in a variety of areas.
You are absolutely right to point to Justice O'Bonsawin's expertise and experience in the field of mental health, especially with respect to the principles the Supreme Court outlined in the Gladue decision. This is a very important aspect of everything we need to consider for the country, as well as for criminal law.
Justice O'Bonsawin also has experience in the areas of labour and employment law, human rights and privacy law. She brings a range of experience to the court. All of that must be considered.
I believe you have done so yourself, but I encourage all Canadians who have not already done so to review the nominations that have been submitted, which are in the public domain, so that they can see what candidates who aspire to be Supreme Court justices must submit and what criteria they must meet.
View Élisabeth Brière Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you.
Minister, do you wish to add anything?
View David Lametti Profile
Lib. (QC)
As Mr. MacLauchlan just said, a set of criteria is considered. A court always has needs, requirements, that must be considered. But you also have to look at a candidate's other assets. You really have to look at the big picture.
You have to look at how the person could contribute to the functioning of the court, as well as to the development of case law, and come to make good decisions, based on case law.
View Élisabeth Brière Profile
Lib. (QC)
We also know that the three levels of courts have similarities, but also important differences.
How does the current selection process, which has been implemented over the past few years, assess the skills and abilities required to serve as a judge on the nation's highest court?
View David Lametti Profile
Lib. (QC)
I will say the following before I yield the floor to Mr. MacLauchlan.
We look for sound judgment in a person. The Supreme Court sits to resolve, in some cases, conflicts between appellate courts on questions of law. It must set standards based on decisions that serve as precedents.
I think a person's judgment and wisdom are very important. In my opinion, they are the most important priorities.
H. Wade MacLauchlan
View H. Wade MacLauchlan Profile
Hon. H. Wade MacLauchlan
2022-08-24 11:22
If I may, I would like to underline or add a point.
View Randeep Sarai Profile
Lib. (BC)
Mr. MacLauchlan, unfortunately we're out of time in this round.
View Élisabeth Brière Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you.
View Randeep Sarai Profile
Lib. (BC)
Thank you, Madam Brière.
Next we'll go to Monsieur Fortin.
You have two and a half minutes.
View Rhéal Fortin Profile
BQ (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Minister, you said earlier that you consulted the Liberalist yesterday in anticipation of the questions I would ask.
What did you find out about Justice O'Bonsawin?
View David Lametti Profile
Lib. (QC)
I first want to clarify that I did not consult the Liberalist. I went to the Elections Canada website, which is in the public domain and where people's contributions are made public.
A small amount of donations, particularly in terms of dollars, were made to the Liberal Party in 2011 and 2012 by the candidate. Neither I nor the board knew that. We did not consider that during the selection process.
Honestly, it wasn't until yesterday when I saw your name on the list of participants that I knew I should have the answer to this question.
View Rhéal Fortin Profile
BQ (QC)
I am wondering what kind of a reputation I am getting.
If I understand correctly, Ms. O'Bonsawin's name is not on the list of volunteers for the Liberal Party.
View David Lametti Profile
Lib. (QC)
I did not look at the list of volunteers during the process. So I don't have an answer to that question.
View Rhéal Fortin Profile
BQ (QC)
You don't know.
Is that right?
View David Lametti Profile
Lib. (QC)
As I said, I consulted the Elections Canada website.
View Rhéal Fortin Profile
BQ (QC)
Thank you, Minister.
I will change the subject.
Earlier, my NDP colleague Ms. Idlout asked you a question about bilingualism. I saw that she was concerned about the fact that some indigenous candidates do not speak French. Yet we know that, in Canada, bilingualism is based on French and English. I understand her concern.
I would like to hear your thoughts on this issue.
Is it still necessary to speak English and French to hold a seat on the highest court in the country or do you think that French could give way to an indigenous language?
View David Lametti Profile
Lib. (QC)
As you know, I clerked for Justice Cory at the Supreme Court in 1989 and 1990.
I have also been involved in writing Supreme Court briefs and arguments. I know that every word is chosen with great care, in French and in English. In my opinion, it is very important that a Supreme Court justice be able to understand the spoken or written language without translation. So I think—
View Rhéal Fortin Profile
BQ (QC)
I'm sorry for being impolite by cutting you off, but I have only two and a half minutes.
View David Lametti Profile
Lib. (QC)
—that it is essential.
View Rhéal Fortin Profile
BQ (QC)
It is essential.
My colleague put a question to you earlier, but I'm not sure you understood it.
View Randeep Sarai Profile
Lib. (BC)
Thank you, Monsieur Fortin. We're over time now.
View Rhéal Fortin Profile
BQ (QC)
I am not sure you have understood mine either.
Will French give way to an indigenous language?
View David Lametti Profile
Lib. (QC)
No. It is essential.
View Rhéal Fortin Profile
BQ (QC)
Thank you, Minister.
View Randeep Sarai Profile
Lib. (BC)
Next we'll go again to Madam Idlout, please, for two and a half minutes.
View Lori Idlout Profile
NDP (NU)
View Lori Idlout Profile
2022-08-24 11:25
Thank you so much. I will be speaking in English and hope my intervention can be interpreted into Inuktitut.
As I was saying, Canada is founded on indigenous lands, the lands of the first nations, Métis and Inuit, who had their own lives before colonialism. Justice O'Bonsawin's appointment really opens up the opportunity for a pluralistic legal system to be established and recognized.
I'm wondering if you could respond to this question. What next steps can be taken to ensure that this is not a one-time appointment of an indigenous judge so we can make sure there's actual reconciliation with indigenous peoples, whose lands have been stolen in Canada and whose lives need to be revitalized, as you've said?
View David Lametti Profile
Lib. (QC)
Qujannamiik, Ms. Idlout, for the question. I apologize if I mischaracterized or misunderstood your previous question. I truly apologize.
The idea of reconciliation through the justice system has to happen at many levels. First of all, with respect to the current legal system of superior courts, provincial courts, territorial courts, courts of appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada, we need to continue to appoint diverse people, including indigenous people. I have done this since I was named minister in 2019. I have done a great deal of outreach to try to encourage candidates to apply and to help candidates understand that they have something to bring to the bench. It's very important that their experiences be brought to the bench. In a way, that makes interpretation of the common law and the civil law much more diverse and much more pluralistic in and of itself.
I'm proud of the diversity in our appointments. I'm also proud of the fact that there are a number of very good indigenous jurists who are now sitting on superior courts and courts of appeal. As we say in French, la relève is strong. I think this will continue to improve, and an appointment such as today's will help to inspire others and build confidence so they will apply, whether it's for an elevation to a court of appeal or possibly the Supreme Court, or whether it's to a superior court or a provincial or territorial court to begin with. I think all of that is good and important. It's hard work. It is incremental. It's hard to see the progress and sometimes I get very frustrated, but it is moving in the right direction.
Also, as I mentioned, we have an obligation, and I have an obligation as minister, to help revitalize indigenous normative systems, legal systems. They have always been there and have always played a role, particularly in the day to day. It is important to recognize that but also to support it. It goes along with the revitalization of indigenous languages and the protection of indigenous languages, because the two often go hand in hand. I will continue to look for ways to do that, but there I'm really following the leadership of indigenous nations, people and experts in terms of how we make that happen.
View Randeep Sarai Profile
Lib. (BC)
Thank you, Madam Idlout.
Next we'll go to Ms. Findlay.
Thank you, Ms. Findlay, for joining us today. You have five minutes.
View Kerry-Lynne Findlay Profile
CPC (BC)
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
Thank you to Minister Lametti and to Chairperson MacLauchlan.
I'm following up on the questions of my colleague, Mr. Fortin, and other colleagues. I would like to ask each of you to confirm whether you or anyone on your behalf or part of your committee consulted, not just Liberalist, but anything as to the political affiliations of the candidates you vetted.
View David Lametti Profile
Lib. (QC)
I can confirm that I did not and nobody did on my behalf until, as I said, I anticipated the question of Mr. Fortin today.
H. Wade MacLauchlan
View H. Wade MacLauchlan Profile
Hon. H. Wade MacLauchlan
2022-08-24 11:30
The committee absolutely did not. No.
View Kerry-Lynne Findlay Profile
CPC (BC)
Thank you.
I think a lot of us in the legal profession have a great deal of respect for Justice Moldaver and are sorry to see him go. He was both learned and congenial in the way he approached his important position. It has been mentioned before that he was a leading specialist in criminal law, and although mental health absolutely is an aspect of criminal law, my understanding is that criminal cases constituted 55% of the cases that the Supreme Court of Canada heard in 2021.
Given the importance of criminal law in the court, I'm interested, Minister Lametti, on how this gap of knowledge and skill set with Justice Moldaver's retirement was taken into consideration in appointing a nominee.
View David Lametti Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you.
I believe that Mr. MacLauchlan will answer that directly in a moment, but it certainly was something raised by the chief justice in his consultation with Mr. MacLauchlan and the committee.
What I can say is what I said before. I understand the percentage of the court's docket that is criminal law, and I understand how important that is. I certainly understand, as Minister of Justice, the precedential value of those decisions that come from the Supreme Court. You've seen that in recent weeks and months when we were sitting.
As I've said before, there is other latent expertise on the bench to begin with. There are other justices who have experience in criminal law as well as their accumulated experience as judges at the superior court, the court of appeal and now Supreme Court levels. Justice O'Bonsawin brings that with her as a former sitting superior court judge, but also with an expertise in dimensions of criminal law that are increasingly important.
I'm confident that she will add to the criminal law capabilities of the court, and I'm confident generally in the criminal law capabilities of the court.
H. Wade MacLauchlan
View H. Wade MacLauchlan Profile
Hon. H. Wade MacLauchlan
2022-08-24 11:32
Let me accept the point of the question insofar as it recognizes the very significant contributions over time of Justice Michael Moldaver at the Supreme Court of Canada, as well as in his earlier judicial appointments, which go back to 1990. Justice Moldaver has been a leader in the criminal law field, including in the professional education—
View Kerry-Lynne Findlay Profile
CPC (BC)
With respect, Mr. Chair, we only have so much time. We don't need to go over the past justice's credentials. I've already acknowledged—
H. Wade MacLauchlan
View H. Wade MacLauchlan Profile
Hon. H. Wade MacLauchlan
2022-08-24 11:33
That was the premise of the question, but let me definitely recognize the point that the minister has made and indeed that the chief justice made when we met with him, that judges throughout Canada, whether they're on the superior courts, on the courts of appeal or on the Supreme Court of Canada, are in fact dealing with roughly half of their docket in the criminal law field.
The other eight justices now currently on the Supreme Court of Canada, as we've seen in their work over even the past 12 months, are very deeply involved in the criminal law field. With this appointment, we should, with confidence here in this committee and as Canadians, appreciate that the Supreme Court of Canada has a lot of strength in its current membership, and that Justice O'Bonsawin will add to that strength.
View Kerry-Lynne Findlay Profile
CPC (BC)
All right. Thank you.
Am I correct, Minister Lametti—
Results: 301 - 360 of 117604 | Page: 6 of 1961

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