Government of Canada announces judicial appointment in the province of Alberta

News release

May 1, 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.

David Labrenz, Q.C., appellate counsel at the Department of Justice and Solicitor General of Alberta, is appointed a justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta in Calgary. He fills a new position authorized under Bill C-44, the Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1.

Biography

Justice David Labrenz holds degrees in arts (1983) and law (1986) from the University of Alberta. After articling in Edmonton, he was admitted to the Alberta Bar in 1987. Following a brief period as a general practitioner, Justice Labrenz joined the Alberta Crown Prosecution Service in 1991. As a criminal trial prosecutor of more than 23 years, Justice Labrenz gained extensive criminal trial experience in communities including Peace River, Wetaskiwin, and Lethbridge. In 2010, he was appointed Queen’s Counsel.

Throughout his career, Justice Labrenz has had a significant interest in legal education for prosecutors, the police, and the public. He regularly contributed to prosecutor education by speaking at educational conferences, producing written materials, and mentoring younger lawyers. In 2014, he accepted a nearly two-year secondment position as education counsel at Alberta Justice.

Over the past two years, Justice Labrenz has served as appellate counsel for the Alberta Prosecution Service, appearing regularly in the Alberta Court of Appeal and making several appearances in the Supreme Court of Canada.

In his public life, Justice Labrenz served on the board of directors for the Chamber of Commerce and for Southern Alberta Crime Stoppers, and has been involved in several other prosecution-related committees. 

Excerpts from Justice Labrenz’s Judicial Application are now 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. 

Contacts

For more information, media may contact:

David Taylor
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
613-992-4621

Media Relations
Department of Justice Canada
613-957-4207
media@justice.gc.ca


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