Ottawa police called off a search for Supreme Court of Canada Justice Clément Gascon on Wednesday, saying he had been located just hours after issuing a public appeal for assistance.
Just weeks ago, the Supreme Court announced that Justice Gascon would retire in September after five years serving on the high court, citing "personal and family reasons."
On Wednesday evening, the Ottawa Police Service asked the public for help to locate the 58-year-old Justice Gascon. He was last seen wearing a black business suit on Wednesday afternoon near the Supreme Court in downtown Ottawa, and his family had expressed concern for his well-being. He was later found safe and sound, police said, without further explanation.
His scheduled Sept. 15 departure has created an opening for a judge from Quebec on the nine-member court.
In announcing his retirement, Chief Justice Richard Wagner praised Justice Gascon’s thoughtful, rigorous and collegial approach, saying it helped the court get to the heart of complex issues.
“He has served Canadians with integrity and wisdom,” Justice Wagner said in a news release. “All of his colleagues will miss his commitment and friendship.”
Justice Gascon was appointed to the Quebec Superior Court in 2002, specializing in commercial law matters such as restructurings and bankruptcies. He joined the Quebec Court of Appeal 10 years later and was named to the Supreme Court by Stephen Harper in June, 2014.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau officially launched the selection process to replace Justice Gascon in mid-April.
With files from Canadian Press