Incoming Supreme Court of Canada judge Michelle O’Bonsawin says her life experience as an Indigenous person, as a Franco-Ontarian, as a mother and as someone who grew up in a rural community will serve her well on the court.
She says she will also bring to the bench professional experiences in labour law, mental health law and Gladue principles, which require judges to consider the backgrounds of Indigenous people in the criminal justice system.
O’Bonsawin, poised to become the first Indigenous justice on the top court, made the comments at a parliamentary committee meeting Wednesday afternoon.
The question-and-answer session with MPs and senators is her first public appearance since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau nominated her for the role last Friday.
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Justice Minister David Lametti appeared before a House of Commons committee this morning, calling O’Bonsawin’s nomination a historic moment for Indigenous people and all Canadians.