The Supreme Court of Canada will have a female majority for the first time in its 148-year history. Justin Trudeau, Canadian Prime Minister, announced on October 26th the nomination of Mary Moreau to occupy a seat on said judicial body. In this way, the room will be made up of five women and four men. In a statement, Trudeau said he is convinced that Moreau’s “impressive career in the legal profession and commitment to fairness and excellence” make her “an invaluable choice for the country’s highest court.”
Mary Moreau (Edmonton, 1956), graduated as a lawyer from the University of Alberta in 1970. She has extensive experience in criminal, constitutional and civil law. She was appointed provincial judge in 1994, presiding over the Alberta Court of First Instance since 2017. He also served on the Supreme Court of the Yukon and Northwest Territories.
Moreau comes from the French-speaking minority of the province of Alberta, although he also speaks English. It is no coincidence that during his career he has been in charge of different matters related to linguistic rights. In a questionnaire made public as part of the selection procedure for the seat on the Supreme Court of Canada, Moreau noted that “all Canadians must be able to see themselves reflected in their judicial system to have faith in it.” He also noted that he has experienced challenges because he belongs “to a minority group in a mostly English-speaking province.” The bilingualism of judges of the Supreme Court of Canada has been an unfinished business for decades.
As part of the procedure, Judge Moreau has an appointment this Friday with members of the Justice and Human Rights committee of the Canadian parliament. The date of the inauguration ceremony has not yet been made public. Mary Moreau will fill the seat vacated by Russell Brown. Last June, Brown resigned amid an investigation into him for alleged misconduct at an Arizona resort. Brown has repeatedly denied these allegations.
Recognized in the nation
Various organizations – public and private – celebrate that the Supreme Court of Canada has a majority of women for the first time. The first judge to occupy a seat in this court was Bertha Wilson, in March 1982. In June 2021, Mahmud Jamal became the first judge from a visible and religious minority to reach the highest Canadian court of justice. For her part, Michelle O’Bonsawin made history in September 2022, being the first person of indigenous origin to achieve this.