In an anonymous correspondence to Council, the complaint alleged that the judge’s online publications before being appointed created an unprecedented appearance of bias that was harmful to the Supreme Court of Canada as an institution due to blatant partisanship.

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In an anonymous correspondence to Council, the complaint alleged that the judge’s online publications before being appointed created an unprecedented appearance of bias that was harmful to the Supreme Court of Canada as an institution due to blatant partisanship. The complainant stated that he felt that the judge should do the right thing for the institution and step aside in favour of a candidate whose selection would be transparent and based on clear criteria.

The Council noted that the allegation of bias rested on the notion that the judge, before being appointed to the Superior Court, publicly expressed partisan views that were incompatible with the judicial function. However, the judiciary is enriched when individuals from many backgrounds and different segments of society are appointed. The Supreme Court makes it clear that judicial impartiality and neutrality do not mean that a judge must have no prior conceptions, opinions or sensibilities. Rather, they require that the judge’s identity and experiences not close his or her mind to the evidence and issues. The complainant was advised that experience had showed that judges in Canada take their oath of office very seriously and, once appointed, address the issues before them on the basis of the evidence and the arguments presented. The matter was closed.

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