Robert Taschereau

Patrick Kerwin Thibaudeau Rinfret John Robert Cartwright

Robert Taschereau

Robert Taschereau.png
Robert Taschereau, c.1915
11th Chief Justice of Canada
In office
April 22, 1963 – September 1, 1967
Nominated byJohn Diefenbaker
Appointed byGeorges Vanier
Preceded byPatrick Kerwin
Succeeded byJohn Robert Cartwright
Puisne Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada
In office
February 9, 1940 – April 22, 1963
Nominated byWilliam Lyon Mackenzie King
Preceded byLawrence Cannon
Succeeded byWishart Spence
Member of the Legislative Assembly of Quebec for Bellechasse
In office
Preceded byAntonin Galipeault
Succeeded byÉmile Boiteau
Personal details
Born(1896-09-10)September 10, 1896
Quebec City, Quebec
DiedJuly 26, 1970(1970-07-26) (aged 73)
Montreal, Quebec
Political partyLiberal
Spouse(s)Ellen Donohue (m. 1926) (1903-1977)
Alma materUniversité Laval, Faculté de droit

Robert Taschereau, PC CC (September 10, 1896 – July 26, 1970) was a lawyer who became the 11th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada and who briefly served as acting Governor General of Canada following the death of Georges Vanier in 1967.[citation needed]


He was born in Quebec City. He studied at Laval University and obtained a B.A. degree in 1916 and LL.L. in 1920.[citation needed]

Following a career as a lawyer, Taschereau entered politics as a Liberal and won a seat in the Quebec National Assembly in 1930. He held his seat of the riding of Bellechasse until retiring in 1936.[citation needed]

Supreme Court Judge

On February 9, 1940, he was appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada, filling the vacancy created by the death of his former law partner, Lawrence Cannon.[citation needed]

In 1946, he and fellow Justice Roy Kellock conducted the Royal Commission on Spying Activities in Canada that had been prompted by the Gouzenko Affair.[citation needed]

Taschereau was promoted to Chief Justice in 1963.[citation needed]

According to the Canadian rules of succession, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is second-in-line to the Governor Generalship, and serves in an interim capacity until a new one can be recommended by the Prime Minister and chosen by the Queen.[citation needed]

Taschereau acted as Governor General from Vanier's death on March 5 to April 17, 1967 at which point Prime Minister Lester Pearson and the Queen appointed Roland Michener as the new Governor General.[citation needed]


Taschereau was married to Ellen Donohue, daughter of Joseph Timothy Donohue (co-founder of Donohue Inc.) and Émilie Normandin.[citation needed]

Retirement and honours

Taschereau remained on the Supreme Court until retiring in 1967.[citation needed]

In 1967 he was made a Companion of the Order of Canada.[citation needed]

Robert Taschereau died in 1970 at the age of 73, and was interred in the family plot at the Cimetière Notre-Dame-de-Belmont in Sainte-Foy, Quebec.[citation needed]

His father, Louis-Alexandre Taschereau, had been Premier of Quebec and his grandfather, Jean-Thomas Taschereau, also served on the Supreme Court of Canada as a puisne justice. Robert was more distantly related to Sir Henri Elzéar Taschereau, who replaced Jean-Thomas on the Supreme Court and went on to serve as Chief Justice of Canada.[citation needed]

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Georges Vanier
acting Governor General of Canada or administrator
Succeeded by
Roland Michener