Harper refused call from Supreme Court chief justice on Nadon appointment

Justice Marc Nadon is pictured October 2, 2013 in Ottawa.
Justice Marc Nadon is pictured October 2, 2013 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

OTTAWA – The Prime Minister’s Office says Stephen Harper refused to take a call from the country’s chief justice about who should be allowed to sit on the Supreme Court of Canada.

The call was placed just as the federal Department of Justice was researching whether the government could name Marc Nadon, a semi-retired Federal Court of Appeal judge, to the top court.

The PMO says Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin put in a call to then-justice minister Peter MacKay to discuss the appointment, which the high court has since disallowed.

MacKay then called Harper to give him a heads-up, warning him not to discuss the matter with McLachlin because the call would be “inadvisable and inappropriate.”

The PMO says the prime minister agreed, and did not take the call.

The Department of Justice sought outside advice before Harper named Nadon to the court, mainly because Nadon did not come from either the Quebec Superior Court or the Quebec Court of Appeal, nor was he a member of the Quebec bar at the time.

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The appointment was challenged in court and Nadon was deemed ineligible for the appointment.

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