Prof Likes Turpel-Lafond’s Odds Of Landing On SCOC

Wednesday, October 19, 2005 at 14:10



A political analyst says he won’t be surprised if the Supreme Court of Canada’s selection committee picks a well-known female judge from Saskatoon to serve on the bench.


Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technology instructor Ray Davie has taught political science in the past and says politics will be a factor when the high court chooses a successor to one of its outgoing justices this winter.


Alberta-based justice Tom Major retires in December, and there is growing speculation an Aboriginal judge will be named as his replacement.


The names of Saskatchewan-based legal minds like Don Worme, Gerry Morin and Murray Sinclair have been bandied about, but Davie feels provincial court judge Mary-Ellen Turpel-Lafond has the best shot.


Davie points out Turpel-Lafond’s experience and willingness to deal with offenders who suffer from Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder has earned her national attention. Davie also notes there is a growing awareness in Canada’s legal community of the connection between criminal activity and FASD.


Having said that, he also believes the one thing that might keep an Aboriginal judge off the Supreme Court is the fact people with appeal court experience are usually selected for this type of position.


However, Davie notes there is political pressure to select a judge from the West and that bodes well for the potential candidates from Saskatchewan.