Kim Campbell, Jody Wilson-Raybould laud process for selecting Rowe for Supreme Court

Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould says the Liberal government is going to stick with the selection process that led to the nomination of Newfoundland and Labrador justice Malcolm Rowe to the Supreme Court of Canada.

The Liberal government revealed changes to the way it would appoint Supreme Court justices in August, saying it wanted to bring more openness and transparency to the process, while also encouraging more diversity and requiring functional bilingualism among judges on the high court.

Wilson-Raybould says a modern and dynamic Supreme Court needs a nomination process to match.

She and former prime minister Kim Campbell, who led the non-partisan advisory board tasked with coming up with a shortlist of candidates, were appearing before a parliamentary committee Monday to explain the process and defend the place of Rowe among the contenders.

Campbell said that a little under half of the 31 applicants for the vacant Supreme Court of Canada posting were women and most had a working knowledge of French.  

MPs and senators will get the chance to put their questions directly to Rowe at the University of Ottawa on Tuesday.

The previous Conservative government had a small group of MPs from all parties narrow the short list and then allowed a larger parliamentary committee to grill nominees during a televised hearing, but that process went back behind closed doors after the Supreme Court nixed the appointment of Marc Nadon.

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