Government of Canada announces judicial appointment in the province of Prince Edward Island

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.

Gregory A. Cann, Q.C., a partner at Cox & Palmer, is appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of Prince Edward Island. He replaces Justice G.L. Campbell, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective January 1, 2018.  


Justice Gregory A. Cann was born in Shawinigan, Quebec and raised in Shawinigan, Montreal and Wolfville, Nova Scotia. He completed an undergraduate degree at Acadia University and graduated from Dalhousie Law School. He articled with the Halifax office of the Department of Justice Canada.

Following admission to the Nova Scotia Bar in 1989, he worked as a prosecutor in Halifax. In 1990, he relocated to Prince Edward Island and was admitted to the P.E.I. Bar in 1991. The same year, he joined the firm of Cox & Palmer, where he maintained a civil litigation practice until being appointed to the judiciary. He received his Queen’s Counsel designation in 2007.

Throughout his career, Justice Cann has remained committed to the legal profession and the education of lawyers. Among other activities, he has served as P.E.I. branch President of the Canadian Bar Association and as a member of Council of the Law Society of Prince Edward Island. For many years, he chaired the Continuing Legal Education Committee and taught the bar admission course.

Justice Cann believes strongly in the importance of mental health and has been an advocate for those struggling with mental illness. He has volunteered with the board of directors of Fitzroy Centre and as the President of the P.E.I. branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association.

He lives in Charlottetown with his spouse, Nancy Birt, Q.C. They are the unabashedly proud parents of three children who have been the center of their lives.

Excerpts from Justice Cann’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 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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