Government of Canada announces judicial appointments in the province of Ontario

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.

Janet Leiper, a sole practitioner at Janet Leiper Law, is appointed a judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario. She replaces Justice E.P. Belobaba (Toronto), who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective January 1, 2019.

Kelly C. Tranquilli, a partner at Lerners LLP, is appointed a judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario. She replaces Justice J.N. Morisette (London), who resigned effective July 3, 2018.


Justice Leiper, LL.B., LL.M., C.S., graduated from the University of Western Ontario in 1985 and was called to the Bar in Ontario in 1987 practising criminal and public law. Inspired by the mentorship of others, she has served as a mentor and sponsor and has been a frequent writer and contributor to law school faculties, licensing and continuing legal education.

Over the years, Justice Leiper has served as a part time Assistant Crown Attorney, as a legal member, Alternate Chair and Counsel to the Ontario Review Board, Alternate Chair to the Nunavut Review Board, Chair of Legal Aid Ontario, part-time Commissioner of the Ontario Securities Commission and elected bencher, Law Society of Ontario. Justice Leiper implemented the Osgoode Public Interest Requirement, the first of its kind in Canada. From 2009-2014, she served as Toronto’s Integrity Commissioner.

She has been associated with a number of fine law chambers, most recently Bedford Chambers and Courtyard Chambers. Her time spent as a partner with Sydney Ford Clements serves as a highlight to her legal career, as was her partner's appointment to the Ontario Court of Justice in 2004.

She is a recipient of the Laura Legge award from the Law Society of Upper Canada and is the SOAR Medal recipient, along with Valerie Jepson, Toronto’s current Integrity Commissioner.

In 2018-2019, Justice Leiper served as Inquiry Counsel as part of a dedicated team of colleagues for the Collingwood Judicial Inquiry.

Justice Tranquilli received her Bachelor of Journalism (Honours) from Carleton University. After briefly working in journalism and communications, she earned her LL.B. with distinction at Western University, where she received numerous academic awards including civil procedure, tort law, estate law, labour law and legal writing. She received the Ted McGrath award for criminal procedure at her call to the bar in 1998.  

Justice Tranquilli practised civil litigation at Lerners LLP in London, where she was a partner from 2008 until her appointment. Her practice included medical malpractice and personal injury litigation, insurance, appellate law and professional regulation. She remained engaged in legal education, teaching insurance law at Western University Law School for several years and chairing and contributing to continuing legal education programs through the Middlesex Law Association and Advocate’s Society.

She is dedicated to her community, serving as Chair of the London Health Sciences Foundation and on the board of directors of the Grand Theatre. Justice Transquilli and her husband Fred are proud parents of three sons who are always quick to point out when their parents are taking themselves too seriously.

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

Search for related information by keyword: Judicial appointments | Department of Justice Canada | Canada | Justice | general public | news releases

Page details

Date modified: