Government of Canada announces judicial appointment in the province of British Columbia
September 15, 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 Barbara L. Fisher, a judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia, is appointed a justice of the Court of Appeal for British Columbia. She replaces Madam Justice N. Garson, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective August 11, 2016.
Madam Justice Barbara L. Fisher received her LL.B. from the University of Victoria in 1981. She served as law clerk for the Honourable Nathaniel Nemetz, Chief Justice of British Columbia, before being admitted to the British Columbia Bar in 1983. She was appointed to the Supreme Court of British Columbia in November 2004.
Justice Fisher began her legal career at what was then Davis & Company, practising mainly civil litigation. She then served as Legal Officer to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of British Columbia. Following this, she served as General Counsel to the Ombudsman for British Columbia, General Counsel to the Information and Privacy Commissioner of British Columbia, and one of the first commissioners to be appointed to the British Columbia Treaty Commission. She returned to private practice in 1998, joining the firm of Blake, Cassels & Graydon, where she practised primarily in the areas of administrative and Aboriginal law. She appeared before various tribunals and in both trial and appellate courts.
Justice Fisher also contributed to the legal profession in other ways, as Chair of the Board of Directors of the Legal Services Society of British Columbia, Chair of the Hospital Appeals Board, and member of the Forest Appeals Commission. She has been an instructor in the faculties of law at the University of British Columbia and the University of Victoria and has contributed to numerous continuing legal education programs.
As a justice on the British Columbia Supreme Court, Justice Fisher has been deeply involved in judicial education – locally, as a long-time member of the Education Committee; nationally, with the National Judicial Institute; and internationally, as part of a justice initiative in Ethiopia sponsored by the Justice Education Society of British Columbia.
- 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:
Communications and Parliamentary Affairs Advisor
Office of the Minister of Justice
Department of Justice Canada
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