Government of Canada announces judicial appointment in the province of Manitoba

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.

The Honourable R. Kenneth (Ken) Champagne, a judge of the Provincial Court of Manitoba, is appointed a judge of Her Majesty’s Court of Queen’s Bench for Manitoba in Winnipeg. He replaces Mr. Justice D.N. Abra, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective July 10, 2017.


Justice R. Kenneth (Ken) Champagne is Métis and lives with his wife and two children in his home community, where the family volunteers actively at community events. Justice Champagne has maintained a lifelong commitment to Aboriginal communities through sport.

Justice Champagne has had a distinguished career as a provincial court judge, including a seven-year term as Chief Judge. He was deeply involved in all areas of the administration of justice, with a focus on increasing and improving access to justice. In 2016, he was presented the President’s Award of Excellence by the Manitoba Bar Association for his demonstrated excellence and commitment to the law, the legal profession and the community at large.

Justice Champagne began his legal career in 1994 as a Crown attorney with Manitoba Justice. His work involved regular travel to remote First Nation communities in Northern Manitoba. Prior to his appointment to the Provincial Court of Manitoba in 2005, he worked in Winnipeg as senior Crown counsel.

Justice Champagne received his B.A. from the University of Winnipeg and his LL.B. from the University of Manitoba. Throughout his legal career, he has been committed to legal education and has been a regular presenter for many professional and student organizations. He has fostered strong relationships with Aboriginal communities and was honoured with an Eagle Feather for his work with the Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Community Justice Workers Program. He recently served as a member of the United Nations Expert Group on Restorative Justice.

Excerpts from Justice Champagne’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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