Nestled in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies in southern Alberta lies the small town of Pincher Creek.  With a population of just under 4,000, Pincher Creek has the distinction of being the “Wind Capital of Canada.”  It is perhaps better known as the birthplace and hometown of the Right Honorable Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, the longest serving Chief Justice of Canada’s Supreme Court.

Despite being told by her 8th grade teacher that her aptitude for reading wouldn’t do her much good as a girl, Chief Justice McLachlin went on to study philosophy and eventually law at the University of Alberta.  Upon graduating with high honors, she spent six years in private practice and then turned to academia, teaching at the University of British Columbia for seven years.  At age 37, she received her first judicial appointment to the Vancouver County Court.  Could she have imagined the significance of this life changing moment?  Over the next eight years, from 1981 to 1989, Justice McLachlin was on the rise!  She was appointed to the Supreme Court of British Columbia, the British Columbia Court of Appeals, made Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of British Columbia, and in March 1989, she was appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada. Her highest honor came in the year 2000 when she was appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, a role she held for 17 years, making her the longest serving Chief Justice in Canada’s history.    

Chief Justice McLachlin’s legacy cannot be adequately cataloged.  During her tenure on the Supreme Court, she authored over 400 majority opinions on the most consequential matters of legal interpretation under Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, including assistance in dying, the criminalization of prostitution, equality, free speech, and aboriginal rights.


Truth Be Told: The Story of My Life and My Fight for Equality, Beverley McLachlin

Full Disclosure: A Novel, Beverley McLachlin

Her Honor: Stories of Challenge and Triumph from Women Judges

The Persons Case

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