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

News Release

August 17, 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. 

Janet Winteringham, Q.C., a partner with Winteringham MacKay Law Corporation, is appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia in Vancouver. She replaces Mr. Justice S.J. Kelleher, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective May 10, 2017. 


Until her appointment to the bench, Madam Justice Janet Winteringham practised criminal and constitutional law at Winteringham MacKay Law Corporation. Her interest in criminal and constitutional matters began at Simon Fraser University, where she majored in criminology, and continued at the University of British Columbia (UBC), where she obtained her LL.B. in 1991. Justice Winteringham’s litigation practice started at a medium-sized firm in Vancouver and consisted predominantly of civil litigation matters. She later cultivated a criminal law practice in a small partnership with J.J. McIntyre. Although the focus of her practice was criminal defence, she regularly acted for the Crown as an ad hoc and special prosecutor. 

In recent years, Justice Winteringham has been involved in several constitutional cases, including a constitutional reference on the criminal prohibition against polygamy, a challenge to the cancellation of the mother-baby program at the Alouette Correctional Centre for Women, and a challenge to section 16 of the Criminal Code. She has also participated in Law Society of British Columbia v. Trinity Western University at each level of court. 

Justice Winteringham has also served as an adjunct professor at UBC, a frequent lecturer at law conferences, and a discussion leader at the Inns of Court session addressing ethical problems in criminal law. In 2012 and 2013, she travelled to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to assist with the training of judges, prosecutors, police and public defenders, as part of a program developed by the Justice Education Society focusing on the investigation, prosecution and defence of offences relating to gender-based violence. 

In 2009, Justice Winteringham was appointed Queen’s Counsel, and in 2014, she was appointed a fellow of the International Society of Barristers. She is a mother of five. 

Excerpts from Justice Winteringham’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 have been 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 15 jurisdictions have been reconstituted. Most recently, Minister Wilson-Raybould announced the composition of five new Judicial Advisory Committees on June 28, 2017.
  • This process is separate from the Supreme Court of Canada judicial appointment process opened on July 14, 2017. 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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