Here come da Judge. – Laugh-In recurring schtick
Before being appointed to the BC Supreme Court in 1971, Thomas Berger was a lawyer and a politician:
- NDP Member of Parliament (1962 – 1963)
- NDP Member of the Legislative Assembly of BC (1966 – 1969)
- Leader of the provincial NDP (1969)
He led the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Inquiry, and in 1977 this Royal Commission recommended against the proposed pipeline and suggested an alternate route, which was approved but has not yet been used.
On Berger’s recommendations, the Government of Canada rejected the Arctic Gas pipeline proposal, established wilderness parks in the Northern Yukon to protect the Porcupine caribou herd and agreed to a moratorium on major development in the region and the settlement of Aboriginal land claims. In 1977, it was unheard of to rule against economic benefit in favour of Aboriginal peoples and the environment, and the outcome is still considered a landmark victory today. – Peter C. Allard School of Law, Alumni Profiles
His legal, political, judicial, and post-judicial careers have been characterized by a consistent focus.
Berger considered teaching and journalism before choosing law, and he made his choice without anticipating the kinds of cases he would take on during his career. “I was animated by a belief,” he writes in his memoirs, One Man’s Justice, “and now it is a profound belief—that the law as enforced in the courts can move us incrementally towards a just society.” – Peter C. Allard School of Law, Alumni Profiles
Thanks to Marilyn Smith for suggesting Judge Berger for this list.