Chief Injustice

Bill C-45, the Canadian government’s omnibus budget bill, subtitled the Jobs and Growth Act, authorized the Chief Justice of Canada’s Supreme Court, Beverley McLachlin, to receive a $370,300 salary this year. Yes, $370,300. 

Canada's Chief Justice to receive $370,300 this year. Photo Agência Brasil/Gervásio Baptista

Canada’s Chief Justice to receive $370,300 this year. Photo Agência Brasil/Gervásio Baptista

In a time of purported national financial uncertainty, the Chief Justice of Canada will receive 65%* more money than the head of the US Supreme Court. US Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., will receive $223,500 this year. He’s not had a raise in the past four years.

John G. Roberts, Jr., Chief Justice US Supreme Court earned $223,500 in 2012.

The Canadian government approved this amount in a section of Bill C-45, titled The Judges Act. The Bill was swiftly put through Parliament and made into law on December 14, 2012. With nary a mention of this in the media, it seriously raises the question of the media’s ability and efficacy.

Recently, cries of “corrupt Indians” rang loudly and prominently through the newspapers, television, online, and on radio when the Government of Canada disclosed that the Attawapiskat First Nation in previous years was not handling their financial accounting in a proper manner.

As Chief Theresa Spence of the Attawapiskat First Nation languishes on a hunger strike, wanting to discuss some fundamental changes with the government and Bill C-45, she may receive some consolation to know that one Canadian Chief is receiving a healthy salary without the people clamouring.

* This figure has been updated to reflect the actual percentage.

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