Government of Canada announces judicial appointments in the province of Alberta

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 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.

Michael J. Lema, General Counsel with the Department of Justice Canada, is appointed a justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta in Edmonton. He replaces Madam Justice M. Moreau, who was appointed Chief Justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta effective October 12, 2017.

Grant S. Dunlop, Q.C., a partner at Ogilvie LLP, is appointed a justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta in Edmonton. He fills a new position authorized under Bill C-44, the Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1.


Justice Michael J. Lema holds degrees in commerce (1983) and law (1986) from the University of Alberta. After articling with Bryan & Company in Edmonton, he was admitted to the Alberta Bar in 1987. He practised commercial law with Duncan Collins (later Blake Cassels & Graydon) in Calgary, before joining the Department of Justice Canada in Edmonton in 1992. At the Department, he focused largely on litigation and advisory matters for the Canada Revenue Agency and the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy, making appearances before all levels of court, including the Supreme Court of Canada. He was appointed General Counsel in 2016.

Justice Lema was a member of departmental committees responsible for reviewing and approving factums in a wide range of practice areas, risk assessments, and recommendations on appealing adverse decisions. He provided advice on creditors’ rights and tax issues to Department colleagues across Canada. He was a frequent contributor to professional development events, both inside the Department and for external organizations. He was a guest lecturer at the University of Alberta Faculty of Law and Department of Civil Engineering on such topics as creditors’ rights, taxation, and construction-contract issues, appellate advocacy, and effective legal writing.

Justice Lema served on the board of directors of the Canadian Cancer Society (Alberta and Northwest Territories Division) in Edmonton and Calgary, helped raise funds for the United Way and Sign of Hope campaigns in Edmonton for many years, and helped launch the Expo Science Katherine O’Connell (school science fair) at École Notre Dame in Edmonton.

Justice Lema lives in Edmonton with his partner, their children, and a large collection of backpacks, lunch kits, ski gear, soccer balls, and hockey sticks.

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

Justice Grant S. Dunlop holds a B.A. (1985) and an LL.B. (1988), both from the University of Alberta. Prior to his appointment, he had spent his entire legal career at  Ogilvie LLP in Edmonton, where he was an articling student, an associate, and since 1999, a partner. Justice Dunlop maintained a litigation practice that included directors’ and officers’ liability, employment, construction, banking regulation, professional liability, estates, patents, public utilities, schools, elections, and airports. In addition, Justice Dunlop drafted agreements for insurance reciprocals and engaged on his clients’ behalf with provincial insurance regulators across Canada.

From 1993 to 2011, Justice Dunlop was a member of the Joint Legislative Review Subcommittee established by the Canadian Bar Association and the Law Society of Alberta, drafting comments on bills under consideration by the Legislative Assembly of Alberta. He has lectured on board governance and directors’ and officers’ duties for a variety of audiences, including the University of Alberta and subsections of the Canadian Bar Association. In 2005, he taught a course in business law in the Faculty of Professional Education at Concordia University College of Alberta. Justice Dunlop was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2016.

Justice Dunlop has volunteered as the Chair of the Legal Division of the United Way of the Alberta Capital Region Campaign, President of Northern Light Theatre, member of the Edmonton Community Lottery Board, workshop facilitator with the Board Development Program of Alberta Community Development, and board member of the Comedy Arts Festival.

Excerpts from Justice Dunlop’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

Search for related information by keyword: Law | Department of Justice Canada | Canada | Justice | general public | news releases

Page details

Date modified: