Government of Canada announces judicial appointment in the province of British Columbia 

News release

May 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 Thomas J. Crabtree, a Judge of the Provincial Court of British Columbia, is appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia in Chilliwack. He replaces the late Mr. Justice B.M. Joyce, who had elected to become a supernumerary judge effective April 4, 2016.


Justice Thomas J. Crabtree was born in London, England and grew up in the Upper Fraser Valley of British Columbia. He is a graduate of the University of Victoria Law School and was called to the British Columbia Bar in 1984. Justice Crabtree practiced in the Fraser Valley for the better part of 15 years, assisting clients in a broad range of legal matters. In 1999, Justice Crabtree was appointed to the Provincial Court of British Columbia, where he served the court and the people of British Columbia for just over 19 years. In 2010, Justice Crabtree was appointed Chief Judge and served in this capacity until his appointment to the Supreme Court of British Columbia. 

During Justice Crabtree’s term as Chief Judge, a number of initiatives were undertaken in an effort to enhance the effectiveness and accessibility of the court. A lasting highlight during this period was the opportunity to engage with communities throughout the province and support the development of five Indigenous courts (North Vancouver, Duncan, Kamloops, Merritt and Prince George), as well as a new child protection initiative in New Westminster. The latter initiative was an enhanced court-based mediation process guided by Elders for Indigenous families and children. Throughout his career, Justice Crabtree has been committed to judicial education. He has been a regular presenter and contributor to judicial education programs and served as a governor of the National Judicial Institute.

Justice Crabtree’s commitment to public service has been inspired by his parents, his wife Brenda and their two children.

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
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Media Relations
Department of Justice Canada

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