Quebec to have say in naming of next SCOC judge from Quebec after deal with feds

QUEBEC — The federal and Quebec governments have reached what the province is calling a historic deal that ensures it will play an active role in the process of selecting the next Supreme Court of Canada justice from Quebec.

The two governments announced the deal today, which will see an independent advisory board made up mainly of Quebec jurists submit a shortlist of candidates to the federal and provincial justice ministers.

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Quebec Justice Minister Sonia LeBel says she will then consult provincial lawmakers, representatives of the Quebec judiciary and law schools.

According to the agreement, the premier of Quebec will also provide an opinion and forward a recommendation to the prime minister, who will make the final decision weighing the recommendation of the federal justice minister and Quebec's input.

The deal comes as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is looking to replace Justice Clement Gascon, who has announced plans to retire from the country's highest court at the end of September.

LeBel called the deal precedent-setting, saying it would allow the province to take a "direct and significant part" in the judicial appointment.

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