Government of Canada announces judicial appointments in the province of Alberta

News release

March 8, 2019 - Ottawa, Ontario - Department of Justice Canada  

The Honourable David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, today announced the following appointments 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.

David Vaughan Hartigan, a Crown prosecutor for the Alberta Crown Prosecution Service, is appointed a judge of the Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta. He replaces Justice S.D. Hillier (Edmonton), who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective April 19, 2018. Due to an internal transfer, this vacancy is located in Lethbridge.

Anna Loparco, a partner at Dentons LLP, is appointed of the Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta. She replaces Justice K.P. Feehan, who was elevated to the Court of Appeal on January 29, 2019.


Justice Hartigan was born and raised in Lethbridge, Alberta. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from the University of Lethbridge in 1990, and his Bachelor of Laws from the University of Alberta in 1993. He was called to the Alberta Bar in 1994.

Justice Hartigan joined the Alberta Crown Prosecution Service as a Crown prosecutor with the Lethbridge Crown office in 1995, and became the Chief Crown Prosecutor for regulatory prosecutions in the province in 2005.  In 2009, he returned home to the Lethbridge Crown office, becoming Assistant Chief Crown in 2013, and Chief Crown prosecutor in 2017. In 2013, he received the Native Counselling Services of Alberta Award in Recognition of Outstanding Contributions to the Aboriginal Community.

In addition to practicing law, he designed and taught courses for Athabasca University and Lethbridge College, in the areas of Charter and Civil Rights Law and Corrections Law.

He is married with two daughters.

Justice Loparco obtained her Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Alberta in 1995,and graduated from McGill Law School with degrees in Common Law and Civil Law (with great distinction) in 2002. She obtained her MBA from McGill University in 2003. She articled at FMC LLP in Montreal and Edmonton, and became a member of the Alberta, Quebec and New York bars. She continued to practice with the successor firm Dentons LLP, where she worked for 15 years and was a partner.

As a civil litigator, she practiced in a broad range of areas of law including intellectual property, constitutional, education, administrative, professional liability, corporate commercial, insurance, and privacy. She has appeared before every level of court and authored various publications, including on the topics of the role of expert witnesses and the role of child’s counsel. Justice Loparco has represented numerous children as well as individuals with mental illnesses in protection proceedings, child and sexual abuse claims.

Justice Loparco has been involved in the community as past Chair of the Mediation and Restorative Justice Centre and the CBA Intellectual Property North section, as well as with numerous other organizations including Association des juristes d’expression française de l’Alberta, Heart and Stroke Foundation, Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation, University of Alberta Hospital Foundation, University of Alberta Centre for Constitutional Studies, Alberta Trial Lawyers’ Legal Women’s forum, and the CBA Anti-counterfeiting and Trade Offences Committee.  She regularly volunteers as Pro Bono Alberta duty counsel and amicus counsel.

She is the daughter of Italian immigrants and is fluent in French and Italian. Justice Loparco spends her free time with her family and close friends and has two teenaged daughters with her husband, Gary.  

Quick facts

  • Since 2016, the Government of Canada has made over 250 judicial appointments.

  • Canada’s judiciary is internationally renowned and respected for its independence and diversity. In October 2016, the government introduced important reforms to the appointments process, aimed at strengthening the selection process. Of the individuals appointed under the new process, 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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