Government of Canada announces judicial appointment in the province of Alberta

News Release

June 23, 2017 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Justice Canada  

The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, today announced the following appointment 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. 

Janice R. Ashcroft, Q.C., Senior Legal Counsel with the Alberta Human Rights Commission, is appointed a justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta in Calgary. She fills a new position in Calgary created by section 165 of Bill C-31.


Justice Janice R. Ashcroft earned her B.Ed. with distinction from the University of Alberta, followed by her law degree in 1990 from Queen’s University. She began her legal career in civil litigation, with a focus on family law, before moving to the Alberta Human Rights Commission in 1998. In her role as director’s counsel at the Commission, Justice Ashcroft has appeared at all levels of court, litigating numerous cases affecting the human rights of Albertans and involving significant administrative law issues. In 2011, she was appointed counsel to the Chief of the Commission and Tribunals, the Honourable D. Blair Mason, who was later succeeded by Robert Philp, Q.C. Justice Ashcroft is a frequent speaker at legal education seminars and conferences. She has taught at the University of Calgary Faculty of Law, and was instrumental in developing pro bono legal initiatives to provide individuals with representation before human rights tribunals. In 2014, she was appointed Queen’s Counsel.

Justice Ashcroft was raised in Trochu, Alberta, a small farming community of approximately 800 people. Trochu provided her with many opportunities to develop skills from playing piano to barrel racing. Drawing from this supportive upbringing, she has been continuously involved in her community through volunteer work with a number of local schools and sports teams.

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

Quick Facts

  • Budget 2017 includes 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 will 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.
  • 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 ten jurisdictions have been reconstituted. Most recently, Minister Wilson-Raybould announced the composition of three new Judicial Advisory Committees on April 13, 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:

Kathleen Davis

Communications and Parliamentary Affairs Advisor

Office of the Minister of Justice



Media Relations

Department of Justice Canada


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