Today in Canada's Political History - March 4, 1982: Justice Minister Jean Chrétien Announces the appointment of Bertha Wilson to the Supreme Court of Canada

History was made on this date in 1982 with the announcement by Justice Minister Jean Chrétien of the appointment of Ontario’s Bertha Wilson to Canada’s Supreme Court. She was the first woman ever called upon to serve on the nation’s highest court. Wilson would remain on the court until her retirement in 1991. Her public service continued when she was named to the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, holding that post until 1996. Madam Justice Wilson passed into history in 2007 at the age of 83.

Arthur Milnes is an accomplished public historian and award-winning journalist. He was research assistant on The Rt. Hon. Brian Mulroney’s best-selling Memoirs and also served as a speechwriter to then-Prime Minister Stephen Harper and as a Fellow of the Queen’s Centre for the Study of Democracy under the leadership of Tom Axworthy. A resident of Kingston, Ontario, Milnes serves as the in-house historian at the 175 year-old Frontenac Club Hotel.