Government of Canada announces judicial appointments in the province of Prince Edward Island

News Release

October 27, 2017 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Justice Canada  

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

Terri A. MacPherson, Q.C., Prothonotary of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal of Prince Edward Island, is appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of Prince Edward Island. She replaces Mr. Justice B. Taylor, who resigned effective August 17, 2017.

James W. Gormley, Q.C., a partner with Stewart McKelvey in Charlottetown, is appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of Prince Edward Island. He replaces Madam Justice T.L. Clements, who has been appointed to the position of Chief Justice.


Until her appointment to the judiciary, Madam Justice Terri A. MacPherson was a senior lawyer employed by the Department of Justice and Public Safety of Prince Edward Island. Most recently, she held the position of Prothonotary of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal of Prince Edward Island.

Justice MacPherson was born and raised in the community of Sherwood, Prince Edward Island. She obtained a B.A. from the University of Prince Edward Island and an LL.B. from the University of New Brunswick. She began her legal career in private practice with the Summerside law firm of Key and McKnight, before beginning work as a provincial Crown prosecutor in 1996. Since that time, she has worked in various positions as a lawyer in the public service. In particular, she has gained extensive experience in the areas of criminal prosecution, child protection, and criminal injuries compensation. Justice MacPherson was a student in the inaugural class of the French immersion program at Stonepark Junior High School, and she has made it a priority throughout her career to obtain proficiency in the French language.

Justice MacPherson has dedicated her professional life to serving the public interest and to upholding the rule of law. She has been an active community volunteer, working with numerous organizations, including the United Way of PEI, the Rehabilitation Council of PEI, and the Law Society of PEI. She resides in the community of Mermaid.

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

Mr. Justice James W. Gormley was born and raised in the village of Murray River, Prince Edward Island. He earned a B.A. (English) from the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI), followed by an LL.B. from Dalhousie University in Halifax, where he worked in the Dalhousie Legal Aid Clinic.

After graduation, Justice Gormley joined the firm of Scales Jenkins & McQuaid (currently Stewart McKelvey) in Charlottetown, where he developed a comprehensive litigation practice in criminal, administrative, and health law. Justice Gormley values the time he has spent in many professional and community volunteer roles. This includes two terms as President of the PEI Branch of the Canadian Bar Association, and terms as President of the UPEI Alumni Association, President of the Canadian Bar Insurance Association, Chair of the Board of Governors of Junior Achievement PEI, and Chair of the Professional Section of the United Way of PEI. The Canadian Bar Association of PEI presented him with its Distinguished Service Award in 2016. Justice Gormley lives with his wife in Murray River.

Excerpts from Justice Gormley’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. Sixteen Judicial Advisory Committees have been reconstituted to date.

  • This process is separate from the Supreme Court of Canada judicial appointment process currently under way. 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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