Canada Defined by Inclusion

Canada defines itself by bridges, not walls. This is the sentiment of Canada’s Supreme Court Chief Justice, Beverley McLachlin, who will step down from her position at the end of this year. McLachlin said “Canada still defines itself by inclusion, by what it embraces, not exclusively by what it rejects.”

McLachlin spoke at the University in Edmonton in September with a message of inclusion and cooperation, amid a world increasingly rattled with politicians spouting ideas of exclusion.

“Diversity, to me, is not a good or an end in itself. It’s a fact,” said McLachlin.

McLachlin is a veteran in Canada’s judicial system.  She spent 28 years on the Supreme Court, 17 of those were as chief justice.  Incidentally, she was the first woman chief justice to be appointed in the Commonwealth.  Throughout her tenure she has shaped the way the Canadian legal system deals with issues from gay rights and the rights of indigenous people to the right to a fair and timely trial.

Her views have kept her out of the traditional right or left of politics, especially on issues of free speech and the right to die.  She has also brought the court system more transparent with social media accounts such as Twitter and by allowing live streaming of many court proceedings.

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