Government of Canada announces judicial appointment in the province of Saskatchewan

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.

The Honourable Lian M. Schwann, a judge of the Court of Queen’s Bench for Saskatchewan, is appointed a judge of the Court of Appeal for Saskatchewan. She replaces Madam Justice J. Ryan-Froslie, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective May 5, 2017.


Madam Justice Lian M. Schwann was appointed to the Saskatchewan Court of Queen’s Bench in March 2011. She received her B.A. (Social Science and Education) in 1976 from Carroll College in Helena, Montana, and an LL.B. from the University of Saskatchewan in 1980. She was admitted to the Bar of Saskatchewan in 1981 and appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2007.

Justice Schwann began her legal career as an associate with McDougall Gauley from 1980 to 1984. She was a senior Crown counsel with the Civil Law Division for the Saskatchewan Ministry of Justice from 1984 to 2007, and the Registrar of the Court of Appeal for Saskatchewan and Registrar in Bankruptcy from 2007 until her appointment to the judiciary. In these various capacities, she appeared before all levels of court in Saskatchewan, as well as before several boards and tribunals. Her main areas of practice were bankruptcy and insolvency, health, environmental, natural resource, privacy and governmental law.

While in practice, Justice Schwann served in various capacities with the Canadian Bar Association. She was chair of the Saskatchewan Crown Counsel Association, and a member of the Justice Employment Equity Committee from 2001 to 2005. In addition, Justice Schwann was also a sessional lecturer at the First Nations University of Canada at the University of Regina, teaching a class in environmental and public health law and ethics. Throughout her career, she has been a frequent presenter at seminars, workshops and in-service training events, as well as a lecturer and panelist at numerous conferences.

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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