The Judge — When Claire L'Heureux-Dubé was named to the Canadian Supreme Court — as only the second woman in history — she soon added to her reputation as the adjudicator with the most dissenting opinions in the nation’s history. She said she knew in an instant that the nation’s highest court would consider the case of Hudson v. Spraytech & ChemLawn, in which the town had prevailed at local court, Superior Court and The Court of Appeals.
“I couldn’t live without justice and the courage of my opinions,” said Claire. “This case had all the earmarks of a case that needed to be heard.”
It was Claire who immediately seized on Stewart Elgie’s discussion of the Precautionary Principle. By including this “better safe than sorry” edict in her unanimous 9-0 decision in favor of Hudson, she made the Precautionary Principle a compulsory part of Canadian law. To many in the chemical pesticide industry, the judge was overreaching.
“I am glad they are mad, because I believe it was a good decision,” she said.