Advisory body was ‘very keen’ to have Indigenous Supreme Court candidate: Campbell

OTTAWA — The head of an independent advisory board on Supreme Court appointments says the body was “very keen” to find an Indigenous candidate to fill the latest vacancy.

But Kim Campbell suggests at a House of Commons committee today the need to be functionally bilingual limited the scope of choice.

Campbell, a former prime minister and justice minister, indicates that relatively junior judges or lawyers were among the bilingual Indigenous possibilities for the top court.

From a shortlist drafted by the advisory board, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently named Ontario judge Mahmud Jamal to the Supreme Court.

Campbell says the panel was gratified by the diversity of candidates available to vet.

She says of 18 candidates, seven self-identified as visible minorities, three as being of a specific culture or ethnicity, five as Indigenous, one as LGBTQ and none as having a disability.

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