Government of Canada announces judicial appointment to the Tax Court of Canada

News release

December 11, 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.

Gabrielle St-Hilaire, an associate professor at the University of Ottawa, is appointed a judge of the Tax Court of Canada. She replaces Justice R. Favreau, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective February 26, 2018.

Biography

Justice Gabrielle St-Hilaire received a B.Ed. in 1980 and a B.A. in 1986, both from the University of Manitoba. Between 1980 and 1987, she taught mathematics and chemistry in Manitoba high schools. In 1987, she left Winnipeg to study at the University of Ottawa, where she earned an LL.B. and an M.B.A. After completing her law studies, Justice St-Hilaire clerked for judges of the Tax Court of Canada.

In 1991, Justice St-Hilaire began her career as a professor and later as Vice-Dean of the French Common Law Program at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law. She taught tax law and corporate law there for more than 26 years and received awards for her excellence in teaching. From 2001 to 2003, Justice St-Hilaire took a leave of absence from the university to work as legal counsel with the Tax Litigation Section of the Department of Justice Canada. For over a decade, she was also a part-time member of the Health Professions Appeal and Review Board and the Health Services Appeal and Review Board, two Ontario-based administrative tribunals.

Concerned by access to justice issues, Justice St-Hilaire co-supervised students assisting self-represented taxpayers in appeals brought before the Tax Court of Canada, under the auspices of a Pro Bono Students Canada project. She also volunteered and supervised students completing tax and benefit returns for low-income taxpayers through the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program. Justice St-Hilaire also served as treasurer of the board of directors of the Canadian Journal of Women and the Law, trustee of the Research and Education Charitable Trust of the National Association of Women and the Law, and member of the board of directors of the Association of French Speaking Jurists of Ontario. 

Quick facts

  • Since taking office, the Minister of Justice has made over 240 judicial appointments, including more than 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.

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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