Government of Canada announces judicial appointment in the province of Alberta

News release

December 13, 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 Jolaine Antonio, a judge of the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta, is appointed a Justice of Appeal of the Court of Appeal of Alberta in Calgary. She replaces Justice S. Martin, who was appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada on December 18, 2017.


Justice Jolaine Antonio earned a B.Sc. with Distinction (Astrophysics) from the University of Calgary in 1991. She received an LL.B. from Dalhousie University in 1994, along with awards in constitutional law and legal writing. In 2015, she was honoured to receive the Women in Law Leadership Award. She was appointed to the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench in 2016.

Throughout her legal career, Justice Antonio appeared before administrative tribunals, the trial courts of Nova Scotia, Alberta, British Columbia and the Northwest Territories, the Tax Court of Canada, and the trial and appellate divisions of the Federal Court. She gained extensive experience as appellate counsel, having made dozens of appearances in the Supreme Court of Canada and countless appearances in the Alberta Court of Appeal.

As a practicing lawyer, Justice Antonio’s greatest expertise was in the field of criminal law and related topics, but also worked in administrative law, tax law and civil litigation. As a justice, she has presided over cases in all areas under the Court’s jurisdiction.

At the invitation of organizations including the National Judicial Institute, the National Criminal Law Program, the University of Calgary, the Canadian Bar Association, the Legal Education Society of Alberta, and the prosecution services of Alberta and Canada, Justice Antonio has spoken widely on advocacy skills and substantive law.

Outside her professional commitments, Justice Antonio has coached the University of Calgary’s Gale Cup Moot team from 2008-2013, and helped them to achieve some of the best results in the team’s history. She also has a long history of volunteering in the amateur arts and science outreach.

Quick facts

  • Since taking office, the Minister of Justice has made over 240 judicial appointments, including over 100 in 2018 – 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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