Government of Canada announces judicial appointment to the Federal Court of Appeal

News release

September 21, 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 Marianne Rivoalen, Associate Chief Justice of Her Majesty’s Court of Queen’s Bench for Manitoba (Family Division), is appointed a judge of the Federal Court of Appeal. She replaces Justice J.M. Woods, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective April 1, 2018.


Justice Marianne Rivoalen was appointed to the Court of Queen’s Bench of Manitoba (Family Division) on February 2, 2005. She became the Court’s Associate Chief Justice on May 22, 2015, after acting in that role for two years. Madam Justice Rivoalen received a B.A. (mathematics) from the Université de Saint-Boniface in 1984 and an LL.B. from the Université de Moncton Law School in 1988. She was called to the Manitoba Bar in 1989.

Upon her appointment to the bench, Madam Justice Rivoalen was Senior Counsel and Team Leader with the Department of Justice Canada’s Aboriginal Law Services Group, responsible for its lawyers in Manitoba handling Indian Residential School litigation. Before that, she had a broad litigation and advocacy practice in both official languages with two Winnipeg firms. She also served as an arbitrator with the Manitoba Labour Board and as a Deputy Chief Commissioner of Manitoba’s Residential Tenancies Commission.

Madam Justice Rivoalen has devoted considerable volunteer time to her community, particularly with respect to the protection of the French language, equality and women’s rights. She is a former president of the Association des juristes d’expression française du Manitoba, the Sociéte Franco-Manitobaine and Pluri-Elles. She was a member of the boards of directors of Réseau action-femmes, the Miriam Centre and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. She also served as Vice-President and member of the Board of Governors of the Université de Saint-Boniface. She received the Manitoba Bar Association Equality Recognition Award in 2003, the Femme remarquable de l’année 2001 award from La Fédération nationale des femmes canadiennes-françaises, and the Prix Réseau in 2001.

During her 13 years on the bench, Madam Justice Rivoalen has been active in committee work. She served as chair of the Canadian Judicial Council’s Committee on Inter-Jurisdictional Child Protection and as a member of its Education Committee.

Quick facts

  • Since taking office, the Minister of Justice has made over 200 judicial appointments, including 100 in 2017 – the most a Minister of Justice has made in one year in at least two decades. Of the individuals appointed, over half are women, eight are Indigenous, 18 have self-identified as a member of a visible minority population, 12 identify as LGBTQ2, and three identify as 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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