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The sigh of relief on the Atlantic coast could be heard all the way to Ottawa on October 17, 2016. On that day, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the nomination of Justice Malcolm Rowe of the Newfoundland and Labrador Court of Appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada seat vacated by Justice Thomas Cromwell. Justice Cromwell’s replacement was to be the first appointed pursuant to a new process put in place by the Trudeau government. When that process was unveiled on August 2, 2016, Trudeau announced that the position would be open to any qualified Canadian lawyer or judge who was functionally bilingual and “representative of the diversity of our great country.” A further clarification stated that “[a]pplications are being accepted from across Canada in order to allow for a selection process that ensures outstanding individuals are considered for appointment to the Supreme Court of Canada,” confirming that Atlantic Canadians did not have a lock on the position.

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