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Hill Life & People

Justice Clément Gascon’s frank admission to mental health challenges leaves a legacy worth celebrating

By Tim Powers      

The openness of the retiring Supreme Court of Canada justice also affords the court an extra degree of credibility in showing how key societal institutions are connected to the rest of us.

Times have changed at the Supreme Court of Canada from the 1980s when Justice Gerald Le Dain took an early retirement from the bench with no public acknowledgement of his mental health challenges or support from the institution, writes Tim Powers. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

OTTAWA—Supreme Court Justice Clément Gascon is a brave man and a role model, whether he views himself as one or not (I don’t know the man, but somehow I doubt he does). To reveal publicly, as he did a week ago, that the reason for his recent disappearance was due in part to a panic attack epitomized leadership. He refused to hide in the shadows, as that is the paralysis that mental health angst can cause.

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