Should Supreme Court judges all be bilingual?

The battle over language in the top court heats up

The battle over NDP MP Yvon Godin’s private member’s bill to require Supreme Court of Canada judges to be bilingual is heating up as the Senate prepares to vote on it. The legislation passed in the House last month by a narrow margin, opposed by the Toires but supported by all three opposition parties. Former Supreme Court justice John Major leading the charge against the proposed law, arguing the most competent judges should be appointed even if they speak only one official language. “The chances are,” Major said of candidates from the West, “the most competent judge will have spent a
lifetime in English.” But retired Supreme Court justice Claire L’Heureux-Dubé supports the bill, as do Quebec Premier Jean Charest and Official Languages Commissioner Graham Fraser.

Ottawa Citizen

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