Government of Canada announces judicial appointment in the province of Nova Scotia

News release

August 31, 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.

John Bodurtha, director and senior counsel with the Department of Justice Canada, is appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia in Halifax. He replaces Justice G.G. McDougall, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective May 14, 2018.


Justice John Bodurtha was born and raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He received his law degree from Dalhousie University and was admitted to the Nova Scotia Bar in 1996. He spent a year with Nova Scotia Legal Aid before joining the Tax Law Services section in the Atlantic Regional Office of Justice Canada as a tax litigator in 1997. He has appeared before the Tax Court of Canada, the Federal Court, and the Federal Court of Appeal. Until his appointment, he was director of the Tax Law Services section in the Atlantic Regional Office. He was a member of various committees within the office and national departmental committees.

Justice Bodurtha was an active member of the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society. He was elected to Council in 2015 for the Halifax District and, after going through a selection process, was appointed Second Vice-President in 2017. Upon his appointment, he was First Vice-President of the Society. At the Society, he served on various committees, including the Executive, Finance, Governance and Nominating, and Complaints Investigation committees. He served as co-chair of the Racial Equity Committee and was the Society’s representative on the Advisory Committee on Provincial Judicial Appointments.

Justice Bodurtha’s volunteer activities include being a long-standing member of the Board of Directors for Dalhousie Legal Aid, a board member for Halifax City Soccer Club, and a past member of the Board of Directors for Phoenix House (a Halifax-based charitable organization focusing on at-risk youth).

Justice Bodurtha is an avid soccer player and coach, as well as a semi-retired ultimate Frisbee player. Justice Bodurtha and his spouse, Kandace, enjoy the household entertainment provided by their two sons, two cats, and their recently acquired puppy.

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 will provide funding of $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 provided 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.
  • In addition, the Government will invest $6 million over two years, beginning in 2018-2019, to support the judicial discipline process through which allegations of judicial misconduct are investigated. In this way, 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.
  • 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:

Célia Canon
Communications Advisor
Office of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Media Relations
Department of Justice Canada

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