Government of Canada announces judicial appointment in the province of Manitoba

News Release

December 19, 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.

Scott D. Abel, a partner at Paterson Patterson Wyman and Abel, is appointed a judge of Her Majesty’s Court of Queen’s Bench for Manitoba in Brandon. He replaces Mr. Justice J.A. Menzies, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective September 1, 2017.


Justice Scott D. Abel received his LL.B. from the University of Manitoba in 1996 and was admitted to the Manitoba Bar in 1997.

Justice Abel began his legal career at the law firm of Sinclair and Associates in Winnipeg, before moving to Virden and practicing with Sims and Company in Birtle until 2002. In 2002, Justice Abel joined the law firm of Paterson Patterson Wyman and Abel in Brandon, where he was a general practitioner with an emphasis on family law, criminal defence, and civil litigation.

Alongside his practice, Justice Abel has worked extensively with numerous professional organizations on local initiatives aimed at fostering access to justice. He is a former President of the Manitoba Bar Association and former Vice-Chair of the Professional Development Committee of the Canadian Bar Association. He has also served on two committees of the Law Society of Manitoba – the Access to Justice Stakeholder Committee and the Access to Justice Action Committee. Prior to his appointment, he was Vice-President of the Western Manitoba Bar Association.

Outside the practice of law, Justice Abel has volunteered his time by coaching high school basketball, as a director of the Transcona Credit Union, and as a board member of the Virden Community Arts Council.

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

Quick Facts

  • Today’s announcements bring the total number of judicial appointments this year to 100, the most a Minister of Justice has made in one year in over a decade. 

  • Of these appointees, half are women, four are Indigenous, and 16 have self-identified as a member of a visible minority population, LGBTQ2, or a person with a disability. 

  • 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. 


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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