Government of Canada announces judicial appointment to the Federal Court

News Release

June 9, 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.  

Roger R. Lafrenière, a prothonotary with the Federal Court, is appointed a judge of the Federal Court. He replaces Mr. Justice R.B. Camp, who resigned effective March 10, 2017. 

Biography 

Prior to his appointment to the judiciary, Justice Roger R. Lafrenière was a prothonotary with the Federal Court for over 18 years. In that role, he frequently delivered seminars to judges, lawyers, and other legal professionals on topics including Aboriginal law, case management, and class actions. Colleagues and litigants alike benefitted from his expertise in dispute resolution and his deep knowledge of the Federal Courts Rules. Justice Lafrenière has served on numerous Federal Court committees, helping to achieve greater access to justice through the more efficient and proportional use of court time. For instance, as a member and then chair of the Court’s Aboriginal Law Bar Liaison Committee, Justice Lafrenière helped create and implement user-friendly guidelines for Aboriginal litigation. 

Raised in Sainte-Anne-des-Chênes, Manitoba, Justice Lafrenière was an active member of the vibrant Francophone community of his birth. His paternal great-grandfather was one of the early Métis settlers of Manitoba. Fully bilingual, Justice Lafrenière was called to the Manitoba Bar in 1983 and the Ontario Bar in 1996. He spent five years in private practice before joining the federal Department of Justice in Winnipeg. His work with the Department of Justice later took him to Ottawa, Toronto, and back to Manitoba, where he was named Regional Director of the Winnipeg office. He was appointed prothonotary of the Federal Court for Toronto in 1999 and was assigned to Vancouver in 2005. 

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

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 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.

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Contacts

For more information, media may contact:
Kathleen Davis
Communications and Parliamentary Affairs Advisor
Office of the Minister of Justice
613-992-4621

Media Relations
Department of Justice Canada
613-957-4207
media@justice.gc.ca


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