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

News release

October 19, 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 introduced 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.

Steven Wilson, a Master of the Supreme Court of British Columbia, is appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia in Kelowna. He replaces Justice P.J. Rogers, who resigned effective September 1, 2017.

Biography

Justice Steven Wilson was born in Belper, England and moved to North Vancouver in 1980 as a teenager. He attended the University of British Columbia, where he earned a B.Comm. and an LL.B. in 1991. After articling in Vancouver, he was called to the British Columbia Bar in 1992. He relocated to Kelowna in the Okanagan to join Pushor Mitchell LLP in 1994.

While in practice, Justice Wilson maintained a general commercial and civil litigation practice involving realization work, including foreclosures, insolvencies and workouts. He handled real estate litigation, insurance work, defending claims against municipalities including large multiparty construction litigation files, shareholder disputes and other general civil litigation matters. He was accepted as an expert in British Columbia practice and procedure by the Superior Court of California, San Mateo County.

In November 2015, Justice Wilson was appointed a Master of the British Columbia Supreme Court, based in Kelowna. In that role, he heard many interim applications in family matters, foreclosures and other civil cases.

Throughout his career, Justice Wilson made a concerted effort to give back to community organizations in the Kelowna region. He served as president of the John Howard Society of the South and Central Okanagan for over 14 years. During this time, the organization built two apartment buildings, Cardington and New Gate, providing over 75 accommodation units for people at risk of homelessness. He was also president of the Kelowna Community Resources Society and Chair of the Kelowna Youth Soccer Association, where he coached numerous soccer teams.

Justice Wilson has been married to Lesley since 1994. They have three sons and a granddaughter.


Quick facts

  • Since taking office, the Minister of Justice has made over 220 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.

Contacts

For more information, media may contact:

Célia Canon
Communications Advisor
Office of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
613-862-3270

Media Relations
Department of Justice Canada
613-957-4207
media@justice.gc.ca


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