Minister Wilson-Raybould Issues Statement on the retirement of Beverley McLachlin, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada


June 12, 2017 - Ottawa, Ontario - Department of Justice Canada

The Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, informed me this morning of her intention to retire from the Supreme Court, effective December 15, 2017.

It is with tremendous regret and yet profound gratitude that I and all Canadians see her depart from a role she has come to embody and, indeed, define. The daughter of German farmers in Pincher Creek, Alberta, Canada’s first female Chief Justice and our Country’s longest serving one, she inspired me and countless other people in our beautiful country to be their best selves and live their best lives. From her earliest days in a legal profession overwhelmingly dominated by men, Chief Justice McLachlin has blazed trails at every step of her career, including for the past 17-and-a-half years as Chief Justice.

Chief Justice McLachlin has been an outstanding leader – of the Supreme Court itself, of the Canadian judiciary, and of the legal system as a whole. She has guided the development of the law and the Constitution, but never lost sight of the need for the law to remain relevant to the people it is intended to serve. She has been a tireless champion of Canadians’ right to a fair, accessible and efficient system of justice that responds to their needs and aspirations, and to our evolution as a nation and its reconciliation with Canada’s indigenous community. Her place in Canada’s legal history is secure.

It is with deepest gratitude that I congratulate Chief Justice McLachlin on her well-deserved retirement. 


For more information, media may contact:

Kathleen Davis

Communications and Parliamentary Affairs Advisor

Office of the Minister of Justice



Media Relations

Department of Justice Canada


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