Prime Minister Stephen Harper will have another opportunity to put his stamp on the country’s most influential court now that Supreme Court Justice Louis LeBel of Quebec has announced he will leave on Nov. 30, his 75th birthday, when his retirement is mandatory.
Justice Louis LeBel has written to federal Justice Minister Peter MacKay to officially notify the government that he will retire from the top court on Nov. 30, 2014, when he reaches the mandatory retirement age of 75, Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin announced Friday.
LeBel is one of the two current Quebec judges on the Supreme Court, which has been without its full complement of three Quebec justices since last summer.
The top court in March rejected the Conservative government’s selection of Marc Nadon for the Supreme Court, ruling he is ineligible to sit as one of the three Quebec judges.
The Conservative government has since engaged in an extraordinary public spat with McLachlin, suggesting she acted inappropriately by trying to call Prime Minister Stephen Harper to discuss the nomination process for the eligibility of a Federal Court judge on the top court, when a case on the matter could go before the court.