Justice Nicholas Kasirer is to take part this afternoon in a question-and-answer session with MPs, senators and representatives from the Bloc Quebecois, Greens and the People’s Party of Canada. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

New Supreme Court judge set to answer questions from MPs, senators

OTTAWA — Canada’s soon-to-be newest member of the Supreme Court of Canada is set to publicly answer questions from federal politicians today.

Justice Nicholas Kasirer is to take part this afternoon in a question-and-answer session with MPs on the House of Commons justice committee, senators from the Senate legal-affairs committee, and representatives from the Bloc Quebecois, Greens and the People’s Party of Canada.

Genevieve Cartier, dean of the law faculty at the University of Sherbrooke, will moderate the back-and-forth.

The special meeting comes two weeks after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau nominated Kasirer to fill a vacancy created by the coming retirement of Justice Clement Gascon.

Kasirer has served on the Quebec Court of Appeal for a decade, is an expert in civil law, and also spent 20 years as a professor of law at McGill University, including as dean of the law faculty.

Before the special meeting with Kasirer, Justice Minister David Lametti and former prime minister Kim Campbell, chair of the government’s Supreme Court appointment advisory body, will testify before the Commons justice committee about why Kasirer was chosen to sit on the high court.

In his application for the position, which was made public earlier this month, Kasirer stressed his specialty in Quebec civil law but described himself as a generalist as a judge.

He also wrote that he believed Canadians want judges “who are modest of temperament” and see their “most significant contribution to the law” as being ahead of them, rather than as something they already have ”as a trophy on an office shelf.”

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