Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau attends a plenary session during G7 summit in Carbis Bay, Cornwall, Britain, June 13, 2021. Photograph:( Reuters )
"He'll be a valuable asset to the Supreme Court - and that's why, today, I'm announcing his historic nomination to our country's highest court," Trudeau said on Twitter about Mahmud Jamal
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday nominated first judge of colour to country's Supreme Court. Canada's Supreme Court has only ever had white justices in it 146 years of existence.
Prime Minister Trudeau has nominated Mahmud Jamal to the Supreme Court. Jamal has been a judge on Ontario's court of appeal since 2019. He trained as a lawyer and appeared before Supreme Court in 35 appeals addressing a range of civil, constitutional, criminal and regulatory issues.
"He'll be a valuable asset to the Supreme Court - and that's why, today, I'm announcing his historic nomination to our country's highest court," Trudeau said on Twitter.
Trudeau has frequently said there is a need to address systemic racism in Canada.
Jamal was born in 1967 in Nairobi, he emigrated with his family to Britain in 1969 where he said he was "taunted and harassed because of my name, religion, or the color of my skin."
In 1981 the family moved to Canada, where his "experiences exposed me to some of the challenges and aspirations of immigrants, religious minorities, and racialized persons," he said in a document submitted to support his candidacy.
Canada is a multicultural country, with more than 22% of the population comprised of minorities and another 5% aboriginal, according to the latest census.
"We know people are facing systemic discrimination, unconscious bias and anti-black racism every single day," Trudeau said last year.
Jamal will replace Justice Rosalie Abella, who is due to retire from the nine-person court on July 1.
(With inputs from agencies)