Government of Canada announces judicial appointments in the province of Quebec

News Release

November 29, 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.

The Honourable Suzanne Gagné, a judge of the Superior Court for the district of Québec, in and for the Province of Quebec, is appointed a judge of the Court of Appeal in and for the Province of Quebec. She replaces Madam Justice J. Dutil, who elected supernumerary status effective September 1, 2017.

The Honourable Carl Thibault, a judge of the Court of Quebec, is appointed a judge of the Superior Court for the district of Québec, in and for the Province of Quebec. He replaces Mr. Justice B. Moulin, who elected supernumerary status effective August 17, 2017.

Isabelle Breton, a partner at Cain Lamarre in Amos, is appointed a judge of the Superior Court for the districts of Abitibi, Rouyn-Noranda and Témiscamingue, in and for the Province of Quebec. She replaces Madam Justice A.U.K. Quach, who was transferred to the district of Montreal upon request of the Chief Justice on September 29, 2017.

Biographies

Madam Justice Suzanne Gagné received an LL.B. from Université Laval in 1994 and was admitted to the Quebec Bar in 1995. She practised in several different areas of law, first with the firm of Guy Bertrand & Associates from 1995 to 2002, and then with the firm of Létourneau Gagné from 2002 to 2015, where she focused her practice on civil and commercial litigation. In 2012, the Barreau du Québec awarded her the distinction of “Lawyer Emeritus” in recognition of her excellence in professional practice and her standing within the legal profession.

Alongside her professional activities, Justice Gagné has also contributed to several organizations, including serving on the Grand Jury of Forces Avenir and chairing the board of the Société du Grand Théâtre de Québec from 2010 to 2015.

She was appointed a judge of the Superior Court of Quebec in June 2015. Since then, she has presided in all of the Court’s divisions, including the Criminal and Penal Division. As a lawyer and now as a judge, she has been particularly committed to issues of access to justice and case management.

Called to the Bar in 1996, Mr. Justice Carl Thibault began his legal career in Rimouski, with the firm of Casgrain Desrosiers Lévesque Bujold. In 1999, he moved to Quebec City and joined the Bureau d’aide juridique de Québec, in the criminal and penal law section. Beginning in 2003, he was privileged to pursue his career alongside two exceptionally skilled jurists: Me Claude C. Gagnon, today a judge of the Quebec Court of Appeal, and Me François Huot, today a judge of the Superior Court of Quebec. He took up the challenge of leading their firm, which had earned a solid and enviable reputation in criminal and penal law, under the name of Thibault Roy Avocats until October 5, 2016, when he was appointed a judge of the Court of Quebec, Criminal and Penal Division.

Justice Thibault taught criminal law at the École du Barreau de Québec from 2007 to 2016. He was also involved with the Conseil du Barreau de Québec and served on numerous Barreau committees. From 2000 to 2002, he was an executive member of the Young Bar Association of Quebec City.

From 1996 to 1999, outside of his professional activities, he served on the board of the Mont-Comi ski hill in Rimouski; was a member of the board of the Foyer de Rimouski and vice-president of the Fondation du Foyer de Rimouski; and was a director of the Rimouski Young Chamber of Commerce.

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

Madam Justice Isabelle Breton obtained her law degree from the Université de Montréal in 1993. Since being called to the Quebec Bar in 1994, she has worked in private practice in Amos. In 2005, she joined the firm of Cain Lamarre, where she practised in the fields of municipal, banking, civil and family law. Throughout her legal career, Justice Breton has lectured extensively on municipal law. 

Alongside her professional activities, Justice Breton has been active within the Barreau de l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue since 1999. She has served as secretary, first counselor and bâtonnière (president). In recognition of her contributions over the years, she received the Award of Merit of the Barreau de l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue in 2017.

The mother of two children, Justice Breton has always been actively involved in her community. She is a founding member and a past president of the organization Femmes en affaires d’Amos-région (Women in Business in the Amos Region). She was a member of the Board of Directors of the Chambre de commerce et d’industrie du Centre-Abitibi for several years. In addition, she has served on the Board of Directors of the Cégep de l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue since 2013.

Excerpts from Justice Breton’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.

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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