Government of Canada announces judicial appointment in the province of Saskatchewan
May 11, 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.
Krista L. Zerr, Regional Crown Prosecutor in the Saskatoon Regional Office of the Saskatchewan Ministry of Justice, is appointed a judge of Her Majesty’s Court of Queen’s Bench for Saskatchewan in Saskatoon. She replaces Mr. Justice R.S. Smith, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective December 31, 2017.
Madam Justice Krista L. Zerr was born and raised in Wynyard, Saskatchewan. She attended the University of Saskatchewan, earning her B.A. in 1989 and her LL.B. in 1992. In 1994, Justice Zerr joined the Public Prosecutions Division of the Saskatchewan Ministry of Justice. After approximately sixteen years of front-line prosecution work, she transitioned into a variety of leadership positions, including Associate Regional Crown Prosecutor for Saskatoon, Director of High-Risk Violent Offenders for Saskatchewan, and, most recently, Regional Crown Prosecutor for Saskatoon. Throughout her career, she provided presentations on criminal law topics to judges, fellow prosecutors, defence counsel, police officers, and community organizations. In addition, she worked collaboratively with other justice professionals on programs and initiatives designed to improve the administration of justice.
In 2015, she received the Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Public Service in recognition of her contributions to the Serious Violent Offender Response project. Beginning in 2013, she was a faculty member of the Law Society of Saskatchewan’s Trial Advocacy Skills Course.
Justice Zerr is grateful for the steady support and careful mentorship she received throughout her career with Public Prosecutions. She sincerely hopes that, during her time there, she has been able to give back at least some of what she was given.
Justice Zerr lives with her partner, Sarah, in Saskatoon.
Excerpts from Justice Zerr’s judicial application will be available shortly.
- 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.
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