The Honourable Justice Louis LeBel grew up in Quebec City where both his father and his maternal grandfather were lawyers. As a teenager Louis showed little interest in pursuing law, instead he was attracted by the thought of becoming a doctor but he soon discovered that he was clumsy with his hands and thought better of it. LeBel eventually did turn his attention to legal studies and obtained an LL.M. from the University of Toronto. It was while at law school that Lebel met his future wife, Louise Poudrier, who enjoyed her own successful career as a jurist. Louis LeBel did well as a litigator but admits to having difficulty mailing out invoices and collecting his fees. LeBel practiced with LeBel, Letarte, Bilodeau, Boily in Quebec City and later Désilets, Grondin, LeBel and Associés before being appointed to the Court of Appeal and in 2000 Jean Chrétien named him to the Supreme Court of Canada. An avid reader, gardener and linguist – LeBel taught himself how to read German and Spanish and some Portugese – he spoke to Catherine Clark about his life on Canada’s top bench.
Born into political life in Ottawa, Catherine Clark is no stranger to being in the public eye. As founding host of CPAC’s popular weekly television show Beyond Politics, Catherine interviews Members of Parliament, Premiers and people of influence to reveal the personal, human side of public life. Catherine is also a sought-after public speaker and emcee, and writes the “Giving Back” column for Ottawa at Home Magazine, profiling people who are improving the lives of their fellow citizens.