Government of Canada announces judicial appointment in the province of Quebec

News release

November 9, 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.

The Honourable Jean-Sébastien Vaillancourt, a judge of the Court of Quebec, is appointed a judge of the Superior Court of Quebec for the district of Montreal. He replaces Justice J.L. Brunton, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective July 1, 2018.


Justice Jean-Sébastien Vaillancourt obtained an LL.B. from the Université de Montréal in 1994 and was called to the Quebec Bar in 1995. He began his legal career practicing family law with the firm of Parizeau, Peryer Avocats in 1995.

In 1999, he joined the Centre communautaire juridique in Longueuil, where he practised family and civil law. In 2009, he was appointed the director of the Longueuil legal aid office (civil section), while continuing to maintain a litigation practice before the Court of Appeal, Superior Court and Court of Quebec, as well as before a number of administrative tribunals. In 2015, he was appointed Deputy Director General of the Centre communautaire juridique de la Rive-Sud.

In 2016, Justice Vaillancourt was appointed a judge of the Court of Quebec for the district of Longueuil. Since his appointment to the bench, he has been a member of the civil chamber, as well as of various committees of the Court of Quebec.

Justice Vaillancourt was extensively involved in his community and with the Barreau until his appointment to the bench. In addition to serving on the boards of several organizations, he served as bâtonnier of Longueuil in 2012-2013, a member of the General Council of the Barreau du Québec from 2011 to 2013, and a member of several statutory committees of the Barreau du Québec and the Barreau de Longueuil. He also taught civil liability at the Quebec bar school and has been a speaker and author on civil procedure and family law.

Throughout his time as a lawyer and judge, he has been committed to promoting access to justice. During his term as bâtonnier of Longueuil, he adopted the theme of “Justice for All.” Since his appointment to the Court of Quebec, he has participated regularly in information sessions on small claims offered to citizens. 

Quick facts

  • Since taking office, the Minister of Justice has made over 230 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, 20 identify as visible minorities, 13 identify as LGBTQ2, and three identify as persons with disabilities.

  • 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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