Robert Taschereau

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The Right Honourable
Robert Taschereau
Robert Taschereau.png
Robert Taschereau, c.1915
11th Chief Justice of Canada
In office
April 22, 1963 – September 1, 1967
Nominated by John Diefenbaker
Preceded by Patrick Kerwin
Succeeded by John Robert Cartwright
Puisne Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada
In office
February 9, 1940 – April 22, 1963
Nominated by William Lyon Mackenzie King
Preceded by Lawrence Cannon
Succeeded by Wishart Spence
Member of the Legislative Assembly of Quebec for Bellechasse
In office
Preceded by Antonin Galipeault
Succeeded by Émile Boiteau
Personal details
Born (1896-09-10)September 10, 1896
Quebec City, Quebec
Died July 26, 1970(1970-07-26) (aged 73)
Montreal, Quebec
Political party Liberal
Spouse(s) Ellen Donohue (m. 1926) (1903-1977)
Alma mater Université 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.


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

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.

Supreme Court Judge[edit]

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.

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.

Taschereau was promoted to Chief Justice in 1963.

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.

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.


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

Retirement and honours[edit]

Taschereau remained on the Supreme Court until retiring in 1967.

In 1967 he was made a Companion of the Order of Canada.

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.

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.

External links[edit]

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