Government of Canada announces judicial appointments in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador

News release

May 22, 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.

The Honourable Gillian D. Butler, a Judge of the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador, is appointed a Judge of Appeal of the Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador and a Judge ex officio of the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador, effective May 1, 2019. Madam Justice Butler replaces Mr. Justice C. White, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective May 1, 2019.

Glen L.C. Noel, Q.C., a partner at Cox & Palmer in St. John’s, is appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador and a Judge ex officio of the Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador. Mr. Justice Noel replaces Mr. Justice Peddle (Gander), who resigned effective January 31, 2019.


Justice Butler was born in St. John’s and raised with middle-class values. She received her B. Comm. (Hons) degree from Memorial University of Newfoundland and her LL.B. from the University of Alberta. After her 1980 call to the bar, she dedicated 27 years in private practice to family law, civil litigation, and alternative dispute resolution.

At various times within this period Justice Butler also chaired the Newfoundland and Labrador Human Rights Commission and acted as an adjudicator for both the provincial and federal human rights tribunals. She was a frequent presenter for the Law Society of Newfoundland and other professional associations at continuing legal education programs within and outside the province. She successfully argued two cases before the Supreme Court of Canada.

Justice Butler was appointed to the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador in March 2007 and served at the judicial district of Corner Brook, the Family Division in St. John’s, and the General Division in St. John’s. She was Chair, Co-Chair and member respectively of the Court’s Access to Justice, Education, and Rules committees. On a national level, Justice Butler is Vice President of the Canadian Chapter of the International Association of Women Judges.

The various stages of Justice Butler’s legal career have enabled her to play a role in the evolution of the law to fit the needs and reasonable expectations of modern society. Short of her family, nothing excites her more.

Justice Noel was born and raised in St. Anthony, Newfoundland and Labrador. He attended Grenfell College in Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador, before earning a B.A. from Memorial University in 1987 and an LL.B. from Dalhousie Law School in 1990. He served articles under Edward Roberts, Q.C., and was called to the bar in 1991. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2018.

He practised his entire career at Cox & Palmer and its predecessor firms in civil litigation, alternative dispute resolution, and appellate advocacy, including appearing before the Supreme Court of Canada. He was consistently recognized by his peers as a leading practitioner in insurance law, commercial insurance litigation, and personal injury law.

Justice Noel has had extensive involvement in the legal profession and community, including most recently as chair of the Law Society Discipline Committee and member of the Judicial Council of the Provincial Court of Newfoundland and Labrador. He was an elected bencher (2002–10) and past president of the Law Society of Newfoundland and Labrador. He has been an instructor at the Bar Admission Course and presented numerous continuing legal education seminars to members of the bar. In other community activities, he has been a member of the Hockey NL Constitutional Committee and the St. John’s Minor Hockey Association Executive and Honorary Solicitor to the Canadian Cancer Society (NL).

Despite a demanding career, he has completed 25 Tely 10 races and several marathons, including Boston and Chicago, and he intends to run in Berlin this fall.

His wife, Nadine, and their two adult children are the loves of his life.

Quick facts

  • At the Superior Court level, more than 300 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.


For more information, media may contact:

Rachel Rappaport
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Justice

Media Relations
Department of Justice Canada

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