Government of Canada announces judicial appointment in the province of Alberta

News release

April 17, 2019 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Justice Canada  

The Honourable David Lametti, 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 Susan E. Richardson, a Judge of the Provincial Court of Alberta, is appointed a Justice of the Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta, and a Judge ex officio of the Court of Appeal of Alberta. Justice Richardson would fill one of 5 remaining positions allocated under Bill C-44.

Biographies

Justice Richardson was born in Montreal into a military family. She lived in four provinces and two countries until settling as a young adult in Edmonton. For the past eight years, she has served on the Provincial Court of Alberta in the criminal division.

A lifelong learner, she obtained a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Alberta (1987), an LLB from Osgoode Hall (1990), a Master of Arts from the University of Alberta (2008) and a graduate level Strategic Management Certificate from Harvard University (2017). She has been a guest lecturer at the University of Alberta Law School and an active moot court mentor to law students.

Before her appointment to the court, she practiced law for eighteen years, primarily as a Crown prosecutor.  In addition, she completed a one-year secondment to a financial institution and another one-year secondment to Aboriginal litigation services with the federal Department of Justice.

In the community, Justice Richardson has deep roots dedicating her time to organizations that foster social inclusion for immigrants, seniors and adults with developmental disabilities.  After law school, she worked for over a year as a mental health social worker before deciding to article and practice law.

Justice Richardson lives in Edmonton with her partner and their two adult children. 

Quick facts

  • At the Superior Court level, more than 290 judges have been appointed since November 2015. These exceptional jurists represent the diversity that strengthens Canada. Of these judges, more than half are women, and appointments reflect an increased representation of visible minorities, Indigenous, LGBTQ2S and those who self-identify as having a disability.

  • 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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