Greetings, Supreme Court of Canada watchers and enthusiasts of totally non-binding pro forma parliamentary rites and rituals! Today's hearing is set to kick off at 3:30pm -- check the stickied update at the top of the liveblog for the full schedule, which promises 45 straight minutes of prepared opening statements before the first round of questioning gets underway.
by Kady O'Malley 10/4/2012 7:33:53 PM
Worth nothing: As Justice Minister Rob Nicholson just reminded us all, parliamentary privilege does *not* apply to today's hearing. #SCC
That's because despite appearances, this is *not* a parliamentary committee, but an ad hoc meeting of parliamentarians. #SCC
Following my usual protocol of not liveblogging anything that can easily be found via simple Google search, I'm sparing you Nicholson's recap of the Supreme Court of Canada selection process, as well as the highlights of Wagner's biography. (I will note that I can't recall the last time a committee - ad hoc or otherwise - clapped politely when a witness was introduced, which happened just now.
by Kady O'Malley 10/4/2012 7:39:16 PM
And now, over to constitutional expert Jean-Louis Baudoin, who will spend the next fifteen minutes explaining the selection process in even more exhaustive detail, including, it seems, addressing the initial concerns that it would quickly degenerate into bitter political/partisan acrimony, instead of a "cordial', civil exchange of information. (Spoiler alert: It didn't -- well, not really.
by Kady O'Malley 10/4/2012 7:43:26 PM
Okay, due to technical difficulties, I *will* be tweeting today's #SCC coverage, at least until I can beat Scribblelive into submission.
At the moment, Baudoin is explaining why the #SCC is important (in case one was foggy on that) and the ideal qualifications to sit thereon.
And now, over to #Wagner, who notes, "You only get one chance to make a first impression." Indeed.
#Wagner confesses to a deep love for his home of Montreal, and then moves on to his family: two kids, both lawyers, just like dad.
#Wagner notes that he didn't have to go through a selection process to become a grandfather. Thus far, he says, it seems to be going well.
"My story is that of a happy man," #Wagner muses. He grew up "privileged" by the love and affection of his parents, who died at a young age.
#Wagner had "a very traditional childhood" - he was "curious by nature", a middle child between a brother and sister.
I can report that the MPs in attendance appear thoroughly charmed by #Wagner, smiling upon him like so many indulgent uncles.
Well, except for Stephane Dion, interestingly: he has his quizzical face on, and hasn't unquirked his head yet. #SCC
Meanwhile, #Wagner's opening statement has wended its way to the start of his internship.
"I enjoyed being an attorney, and I was also very pleased to become a judge of the superior court," #Wagner recalls. He really *is* happy.
Working in a large Montreal law firm, #Wagner says, was a good experience, but not necessarily one reflective of *all* lawyers' experiences.
#Wagner elicits gentle chuckles from the ad hoc committee as he recounts his efforts to win elected office within the bar.
#Wagner notes that he was Montreal's representative at an international bar association summit just weeks after the 9/11 attacks.