Government of Canada announces judicial appointments in the province of British Columbia

News Release

April 12, 2017 - Ottawa, Ontario - Department of Justice Canada

The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, today announced the following appointments under the new judicial application process announced on October 20, 2016. The new process emphasizes transparency, merit, and diversity, and will continue to ensure the appointment of jurists who meet the highest standards of excellence and integrity.

John James Lyon Hunter, Senior Litigation Counsel at Hunter Litigation Chambers in Vancouver, is appointed a judge of the Court of Appeal for British Columbia. He replaces Mr. Justice E.C. Chiasson, who reached the mandatory age of retirement effective December 11, 2015.

Andrew Phillip Avtar Mayer, Vice President Commercial and Regulatory Affairs and General Counsel with the Prince Rupert Port Authority, is appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia in Prince Rupert. He will replace Mr. Justice R.T.C. Johnston, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective December 12, 2016.  Due to an internal transfer by the Chief Justice, the vacancy is located in Prince Rupert. 


As the first member of his family to graduate from university, Mr. Justice John J.L. Hunter went on to obtain degrees from Yale College, the London School of Economics and the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law. Justice Hunter served as law clerk for the Chief Justice of British Columbia before being called to the B.C. bar in 1977.  In 2002, Justice Hunter co-founded Hunter Voith Litigation Counsel and subsequently Hunter Litigation Chambers, a firm nationally recognized for its pro bono work. Over the course of his career in law, Mr. Justice Hunter has practised corporate-commercial litigation,  Aboriginal, constitutional and administrative law in the trial and appellate courts of this country.

Called to the bars of British Columbia, the Yukon and Ontario, Justice Hunter regularly appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada, including his noted appointment as an amicus curiae in the 2014 Senate Reform Reference. A frequent lecturer on appellate practice, legal ethics and aboriginal law, Justice Hunter served as an Adjunct Instructor at the University of British Columbia and taught National Judicial Institute programs on judicial decision making and judicial ethics. Concomitant with his practice, Justice Hunter published numerous articles in the areas of appellate court litigation and Aboriginal law. He served as President of the Law Society of British Columbia and of the Federation of Law Societies of Canada. In 2015, he received the distinction of being elected to the Board of Regents of the American College of Trial Lawyers.

Excerpts from Mr. Justice Hunter’s judicial application will be available shortly.

Prior to his appointment, Mr. Justice Andrew Phillip Avtar Mayer acted as General Counsel and Vice President of Commercial and Regulatory Affairs at the Prince Rupert Port Authority. His work with the Port Authority was significant and diverse, including conducting complex, multi-party corporate-commercial negotiations, advising the Port Authority on regulatory matters, and acting as lead negotiator in consultations with First Nations. As General Counsel, Justice Mayer developed expertise in corporate and commercial law, administrative law, Aboriginal law, and marine and environmental law. Prior to going in-house with the Port Authority in 2008, Justice Mayer practiced primarily in the areas of marine and environmental law, and civil litigation with Campney and Murphy (2000-2002) and Bernard LLP (2002-2008), both in Vancouver. He has appeared before all levels of court in British Columbia and the Federal Court of Canada.  

Born in Chemainus, British Columbia, in an Indo-Canadian family with six children, Justice Mayer obtained his B.A. in Classical Studies from the University of British Columbia, diploma in Shipping and Marine Operations from BCIT and went on to earn his law degree from the Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University, which included studies at the National University of Singapore Law School. During the course of his career, Justice Mayer has regularly published, including contributing to a peer reviewed legal textbook and authoring a number of journal articles in the areas of environmental, marine and transportation law. He has been recognized for his expertise in these areas and until his appointment served as a Director and Committee Chair for the Canadian Maritime Law Association, on the Law Committee of the Association of Canadian Port Authorities, and previously the Canadian Bar Association’s Maritime Law Section and as a Director of the International Sailors’ (ISS) Canada. A father of four, Justice Mayer is an active member of his community in Prince Rupert, having volunteered with a number of community organizations and is active in the outdoors of northwest BC. 

Excerpts from Justice Mayer’s judicial application can be accessed at the following link.

Quick Facts

  • Budget 2017 proposes additional funding of $55 million over five years beginning in 2017-2018 and $15.5 million per year thereafter for 28 new federally-appointed judges. Of these new positions, 12 would be allotted to Alberta and one to the Yukon, with the remaining 15 being assigned to a pool for needs in other jurisdictions.

  • To ensure a judiciary that is responsive, ethical and sensitive to the evolving needs of Canadian society, the Canadian Judicial Council will receive $2.7 million over five years and $0.5 million ongoing thereafter. This will support programming on judicial education, ethics and conduct, including in relation to gender and cultural sensitivity.

  • Today’s appointments are separate from the Budget 2017 announcement.

  • Federal judicial appointments are made by the Governor General, acting on the advice of the federal Cabinet and recommendations from the Minister of Justice.

  • The Judicial Advisory Committees across Canada play a key role in evaluating judicial applications. There are 17 Judicial Advisory Committees, with each province and territory represented.

  • Significant reforms to the role and structure of the Judicial Advisory Committees, aimed at enhancing the independence and transparency of the process, were announced on October 20, 2016.

  • The Judicial Advisory Committees in seven jurisdictions, including Alberta, were reconstituted and announced on January 19, 2017.

  • This process is separate from the Supreme Court of Canada judicial appointment process announced on August 2, 2016. Nominees to the Supreme Court of Canada are selected by the Prime Minister from a thoroughly vetted list of candidates.


For more information, media may contact:

David Taylor

Director of Communications

Office of the Minister of Justice



Media Relations

Department of Justice Canada


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