Supreme Court of Canada
Supreme Court of Canada near Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario (iStock photo.)

Justice Russell Brown’s abrupt departure from the Supreme Court of Canada in June has created a vacancy on the court that is expected to be filled imminently. 

Brown, a former Alberta appellate judge, held one of the two court seats traditionally allocated to Western Canada. So the next candidate is expected to come from British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan or Manitoba.  

Most Supreme Court justices are chosen from provincial courts of appeal. Six of the eight current Supreme Court justices served on provincial appellate courts before being appointed to Canada’s highest court.

But the Liberal government’s new requirement that all Supreme Court justices be bilingual has significantly reduced the pool of candidates, sources say.

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Lauren Heuser founded Canadian Affairs in 2023. Her previous roles include chief strategy officer of a Paris-based news service for young people, deputy section editor at the National Post and corporate...