Born in Pincher Creek, Alberta, she received a B.A. and a M.A. in philosophy and a LL.B from the University of Alberta. She was called to the Bar of Alberta in 1969 and to the Bar of British Columbia in 1971. She practiced law from 1969 until 1975. From 1974 until 1981 she was an Associate Professor and Professor with tenure at the University of British Columbia.
In 1981 she was appointed to the County Court of Vancouver and then to the Supreme Court of British Columbia. In 1985 she was appointed to Court of Appeal of British Columbia and in 1988 was appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of British Columbia. She was appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada on March 30, 1989 and was made Chief Justice of Canada on January 7, 2000.
She is the Chairperson of the Canadian Judicial Council, Advisory Council of the Order of Canada, and Board of Governors of the National Judicial Institute. She is a Member of the Privy Council of Canada.
She was awarded over twenty one Honourary Doctor of Laws degrees.
She has one son by her first marriage to Roderick McLachlin, who died in 1988. She re-married in 1992 to Frank McArdle.
|Chief Justice of Canada|
January 7, 2000 – present