OTTAWA -- Canada's justice minister says he didn't personally recommend to Marc Nadon that he resign from the Federal Court of Appeal and rejoin the Quebec bar in order to be eligible to join the Supreme Court.

But Peter MacKay is not refuting a report that says the Prime Minister's Office did just that.

Not being a current member of the Quebec bar turned out to be the main reason Nadon was deemed ineligible for one of three positions on the high court that are reserved for jurists from the province.

MacKay says he did not personally encourage Nadon to resign, pointedly noting that the appointment process predated his taking on the Justice portfolio last July.

The government also commissioned legal opinions from two former Supreme Court justices and a constitutional scholar as they anticipated problems with Nadon's appointment.

While those opinions said Nadon was qualified for the job, they also warned that a quick-fix rejoining of the Quebec bar was not an appropriate course of action.