Government of Canada announces judicial appointment in the province of Alberta

News release

April 4, 2018 – 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.

L. Bernette Ho, a partner with Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP, is appointed a judge of the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta in Calgary. She replaces Mr. Justice A.D. Macleod, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective August 31, 2017.


Madam Justice L. Bernette Ho was born in the Philippines and is of Chinese descent. Her family immigrated to Canada in 1971, settling first in Calgary and later moving just outside the city. She completed all of her early education in Cochrane, Alberta.

Justice Ho earned a B.A. (Honours) in Communication Studies from the University of Calgary (1992) and an LL.B from the University of Alberta (1995). She was called to the Bar of Alberta in 1996. She articled and continued on as an associate and then partner at the firm Macleod Dixon LLP (now Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP), working on a wide variety of litigation and regulatory matters before acting primarily for provincially regulated employers in relation to employment, human rights, privacy and disability matters. She also acted for energy companies in a wide variety of litigation and regulatory matters, particularly in relation to the electricity industry. While at the firm, she was actively involved in management, including serving on the firm’s Articling Committee and Promotions Committee and acting as the Practice Group Leader for the Calgary Employment and Labour group. She appeared before all levels of court in Alberta, as well as various regulatory tribunals.

Justice Ho has long believed in the value of community service, as demonstrated by her volunteer efforts with such organizations as the Calgary Inter-Faith Food Bank, the Salvation Army, and Theatre Calgary, where she was a member of the Board of Directors. Professionally, Justice Ho has been a volunteer with the Alberta Bar Admission Course and with the Law Society of Alberta, where she served on the Professional Responsibility Committee and the Conduct Committee. At the time of her appointment, she was a member of the Board of Directors for the Legal Education Society of Alberta.

Excerpts from Justice Ho’s judicial application are available.

Quick Facts

  • In 2017, the Minister of Justice made 100 appointments and elevations – the most a Minister of Justice has made in one year in at least two decades.
  • 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. 
  • The Government of Canada is committed to promoting access to justice for all Canadians. To improve outcomes for Canadian families, Budget 2018 proposes $77.2 million over four years to support the expansion of unified family courts, beginning in 2019-2020. This investment in the family justice system will create 39 new judicial positions in Alberta, Ontario, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador.
  • In addition, Budget 2018 proposes funding for a further seven judicial positions in Saskatchewan and Ontario, at a cost of $17.1 million over five years.
  • The funding outlined in Budget 2018 comes on top of resources allocated under Budget 2017, which created 28 new judicial positions across the country.
  • Additionally, the Government will ensure that a robust process remains in place to allow Canadians to voice their concerns and submit complaints about judicial conduct to the Canadian Judicial Council and the Office of the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs. This investment of $6 million over two years, beginning in 2018-2019, will support the judicial discipline process through which allegations of judicial misconduct are investigated.
  • 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:

David Taylor
Office of the Minister of Justice

Media Relations
Department of Justice Canada

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