Richard Wagner
Wagner in 2012
18th Chief Justice of Canada
Assumed office
December 18, 2017
Nominated byJustin Trudeau
Appointed byJulie Payette
Preceded byBeverley McLachlin
Puisne Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada
In office
October 5, 2012 – December 18, 2017
Nominated byStephen Harper
Appointed byDavid Johnston
Preceded byMarie Deschamps
Succeeded bySheilah Martin
Puisne Justice of the Quebec Court of Appeal
In office
February 3, 2011 – October 5, 2012
Nominated byStephen Harper
Appointed byDavid Johnston
Preceded byLise Côté
Succeeded byDominique Bélanger
Personal details
Born (1957-04-02) April 2, 1957 (age 64)
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Spouse(s)Catherine Mandeville
Children2[1]
Parent(s)
Alma materCollège Jean-de-Brébeuf (DEC)
University of Ottawa (BSocSc, LLL)

Richard Wagner PC (French pronunciation: ​[vɑɡnɛːʁ] vahg-NAIR;[2] born April 2, 1957) is a Canadian jurist serving as the 18th and current Chief Justice of Canada since 2017. He previously served as a Puisne Justice of the Quebec Court of Appeal (2011–2012) and of the Supreme Court of Canada (2012–2017).

On January 23, 2021, Wagner assumed the role of Administrator of the Government of Canada, following a workplace review of Rideau Hall and the resignation of Julie Payette as Governor General of Canada. He served as Administrator until the appointment and installation of Mary Simon as Governor General on July 26, 2021.[3][4] Serving for six months, Wagner is the longest-serving Administrator of Canada in history.

Early life

Wagner was born in Montreal, Quebec, the son of Gisèle (née Normandeau) and Claude Wagner, a former member of Parliament and senator.[5] He studied at the Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf in Montreal before receiving a bachelor of social science in political science from the University of Ottawa in 1978. He received his Licentiate in Law (LL.L.) – a civil law equivalent of the Bachelor of Laws (LLB) or Juris Doctor (JD) – from the same institution in 1979.[5]

Career

In 1980, Wagner was called to the Quebec Bar, and began practice at the Montreal law firm Lavery, de Billy (formerly Lavery, O'Brien and Lavery, Johnston, Clark, Carrière, Mason & Associés). His practice centred on real estate, commercial litigation and professional liability insurance.[5]

He was appointed to the Quebec Superior Court for the district of Montreal on September 24, 2004. On February 3, 2011, he was elevated to the Court of Appeal of Quebec.

Supreme Court of Canada

On October 2, 2012, Prime Minister Stephen Harper nominated him to the Supreme Court of Canada to replace retiring Justice Marie Deschamps.[6] His appointment was confirmed on October 5, 2012.[7]

On December 3, 2012, a ceremony was held for Wagner's appointment in the Supreme Court of Canada courtroom. The event was attended by outgoing chief justice Beverley McLachlin, the federal minister of justice and attorney general, Rob Nicholson and the Quebec deputy minister of justice, Nathalie G. Drouin.[8]

On December 12, 2017, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appointed Wagner as Beverly McLachlin's successor as chief justice of Canada.[9][10]

On January 23, 2021, Wagner became Administrator of the Government of Canada following the resignation of Governor General Julie Payette in response to a workplace harassment investigation. By virtue of Royal Letters Patent issued in 1947, the Chief Justice of Canada is the ex-officio principal deputy to the Governor-General, and may act as governor general when the office is vacant.[11][4] Only justices of the Supreme Court of Canada are authorized to perform federal viceregal duties on an acting basis. He ceased to hold office as Administrator on July 26, 2021, following Mary Simon 's assumption of office as Governor General of Canada.

Personal life

Wagner is a Roman Catholic.[12] Wagner's father Claude was also a jurist. His grandfather was a German Jewish immigrant originally from Bavaria. Wagner has two children who are also lawyers.[1]

Honours

Scholastic

Honorary degrees
Location Date School Degree Gave Commencement Address
 Ontario June 19, 2019 University of Ottawa Doctorate Yes [13]
This list is incomplete; you can help by adding missing items. (November 2020)

Memberships and fellowships

Country Date Organization Position
 United States American College of Trial Lawyers Honorary Fellow [14]
This list is incomplete; you can help by adding missing items. (November 2020)

See also

References

  1. ^ a b MacCharles, Tonda (December 12, 2017). "Justin Trudeau names Richard Wagner new Chief Justice of Canada". Toronto Star. Archived from the original on December 12, 2017. Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  2. ^ "Richard Wagner sworn in as Supreme Court chief justice - YouTube". www.youtube.com. Retrieved January 25, 2021.
  3. ^ Graham Slaughter (January 21, 2021). "Canada's top judge is now Governor General, but expert urges speedy replacement". CTVNEWS.
  4. ^ a b Platt, Brian [@btaplatt] (January 25, 2021). "For clarity's sake, I asked PCO to confirm Payette is fully and completely out of the role and that CJ Richard Wagner has been sworn in as administrator. PCO confirms that's the case, says Wagner was sworn in on Saturday, Jan. 23. t.co/hZW2cv66b4" (Tweet). Archived from the original on January 25, 2021. Retrieved June 14, 2021 – via Twitter.
  5. ^ a b c Quebec Court of Appeal. The Honourable Richard Wagner. Retrieved October 2, 2012. Archived May 17, 2014, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ CBC News (October 2, 2012). "Quebec judge Richard Wagner nominated to Supreme Court" Archived October 3, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved October 2, 2012.
  7. ^ The Canadian Press. "CBC News - MP questions 'introduce' Supreme Court nominee Wagner Montreal judge is Conservative government's 5th appointment". CBC News. CBC News. Archived from the original on December 11, 2012. Retrieved October 5, 2012.
  8. ^ "Supreme Court welcomes Justice Wagner to bench". CBC.ca. December 3, 2012. Archived from the original on December 4, 2012. Retrieved December 3, 2012.
  9. ^ "Prime Minister names the Honourable Richard Wagner as new Chief Justice of Canada". pm.gc.ca (Press release). PMO. December 12, 2017. Archived from the original on July 23, 2019. Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  10. ^ "News Releases - SCC Cases (Lexum)". scc-csc.lexum.com (Press release). December 12, 2017. Archived from the original on December 12, 2017. Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  11. ^ Burke, Ashley (January 21, 2021). "Payette stepping down as governor general after blistering report on Rideau Hall work environment". CBC News. Retrieved January 21, 2021.
  12. ^ "Richard Wagner". Canadian Who's Who 2014-2015. Toronto: Third Sector Publishing, 2015.
  13. ^ "WAGNER, Richard". Office of the President. Retrieved January 25, 2021.
  14. ^ "Honorary Fellows". www.actl.com. Retrieved January 25, 2021.
Order of precedence Preceded byJustin Trudeauas Prime Minister Order of Precedence of Canadaas Chief Justice Succeeded byEdward Schreyeras Former Governor General