Thank you, Ms. Campbell.
Let me now turn to the merits for the considerations that the government put in in terms of the nominee himself.
As I've indicated, the quality of the candidates on the short list from the advisory board was outstanding. My task of reviewing the candidates and arriving at a recommendation to the Prime Minister was an incredibly difficult one, to say the least. I recognize this is one of the most, if not the most, important responsibilities that I perform as the Minister of Justice, and I take my responsibilities incredibly seriously.
In terms of the consultations, I consulted with the Chief Justice of Canada, the applicable provincial and territorial attorneys general, members of this committee and the Senate committee on legal and constitutional affairs, the opposition justice critics, and members of cabinet. I then presented the results of these consultations to the Prime Minister, along with my recommendation. While I obviously cannot reveal the content of these consultations or my advice to the Prime Minister, I can say that I am convinced that Justice Rowe would be an outstanding addition to the court and would continue to serve Canadians with great distinction in that role.
In terms of Justice Rowe's qualifications and why the government chose him as its nominee, Justice Rowe has extensive appellate court experience, having been appointed to the Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court in 1999, and then two years later elevated to the Court of Appeal in 2001. He is a jurist of exceptional quality in both the strength of his legal reasoning and the clarity of his writing. His judgments, evidenced by his ability to understand the social context in which legal disputes arise and to appreciate the diversity of views, perspectives, and life experiences are evident.
Born and raised in St. John's, the son of a fisherman, Justice Rowe's varied professional career lends a depth to his decision-making. Before he was appointed in 1999, he had an impressive career as a litigator in Ontario, becoming queen's counsel in 1992. Prior to that, he was a foreign service officer at the department of external affairs. There he worked on critical international disputes with France and the EU concerning Atlantic fisheries alongside such counsel as Ian Binnie, QC. He was then appointed as deputy minister to the premier and the head of the civil service in Newfoundland and Labrador. During this time, he coordinated efforts to achieve a constitutional amendment to create a public non-denominational school system in the province. His wide range of experience in both public practice and the public service will bring a rich and nuanced perspective to the court.
Furthermore, Justice Rowe has an impeccable reputation, both personally and professionally. A man of integrity, his career exhibits a strong commitment to public service and combines rigorous legal knowledge with open-mindedness and respect for others. This includes his activities with Action Canada, a youth leadership development program where he came to know and mentor future leaders from a range of backgrounds and experiences.
Regional diversity was also an important consideration. Hailing from Newfoundland, Justice Rowe brings a unique perspective that has never been present on the Supreme Court of Canada.
It's for all of these reasons the government chose Justice Rowe as the individual best suited to fill the current vacancy on the court and fill the large shoes left by Justice Cromwell. Let me just add that the government is delighted to have nominated someone who would be the first jurist from Newfoundland and Labrador to sit on the Supreme Court. Justice Rowe would continue in a long line of outstanding jurists from Atlantic Canada serving all Canadians on our highest court.
It is with pleasure that I am able to present before this committee, with Ms. Campbell, and we are very open to answering your questions at this time.
Thank you very much.