Government of Canada announces judicial appointments in the province of Saskatchewan

News release

May 21, 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 Jeffery Kalmakoff, a Judge of Her Majesty’s Court of Queen’s Bench for Saskatchewan, is appointed a Judge of Appeal of the Court of Appeal for Saskatchewan, and a Judge ex officio of Her Majesty's Court of Queen's Bench for Saskatchewan. Mr. Justice Kalmakoff would replace Mr. Justice P.A. Whitmore, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective April 8, 2019.

The Honourable Natasha Crooks, a Judge of the Provincial Court of Saskatchewan, is appointed a Judge of Her Majesty’s Court of Queen’s Bench for Saskatchewan. Madam Justice Crooks would replace Madam Justice C.L. Dawson (Regina), who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective November 1, 2018. Madam Justice Crooks is located in Saskatoon as the Chief Justice has transferred Mr. Justice D. Tochor (Saskatoon) into Justice Dawson's vacancy.

Neil Robertson, a sole practitioner in Regina, is appointed a Judge of Her Majesty’s Court of Queen’s Bench for Saskatchewan. Mr. Justice Robertson would replace Mr. Justice B.A. Barrington-Foote (Regina), who was elevated to the Court of Appeal on November 1, 2018.

Beverly L. Klatt, Senior Crown Prosecutor at the Saskatchewan Department of Justice, is appointed a Judge of Her Majesty's Court of Queen's Bench for Saskatchewan. Madam Justice Klatt would replace Mr. Justice Jeffery Kalmakoff (Regina), who was elevated to the Court of Appeal effective May 17, 2019.


Justice Kalmakoff was born in Saskatoon and grew up on a farm near Blaine Lake, Saskatchewan. He obtained an LL.B. from the University of Saskatchewan College of Law in 1993.

Justice Kalmakoff articled with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Justice, then worked for a brief period in private practice with Hnatyshyn Singer in Saskatoon. In September of 1994, he was hired as a Crown Prosecutor by the Saskatchewan Ministry of Justice, and held that position until October of 2009, when he was appointed as a Judge of the Provincial Court of Saskatchewan.

During his time as a Crown Prosecutor, Justice Kalmakoff did primarily trial work. He also served as President of the Saskatchewan Crown Attorneys’ Association from 2003 to 2005, and was a regular lecturer at RCMP Depot, speaking to recruits about the Young Offenders Act and Youth Criminal Justice Act.  From 1995 until 2009, he gave regular presentations on sexual assault law to volunteers at the Regina Women’s Centre Sexual Assault Line.

As a Provincial Court Judge, Justice Kalmakoff served in Estevan from 2009 to 2011, and in Regina from 2011 until May of 2015, when he was appointed to the Saskatchewan Court of Queen’s Bench. He has served as a General Division Judge, based in Regina, since that time.

Justice Kalmakoff has been active in continuing judicial education, serving as chair of the education committees for both the Saskatchewan Provincial Court and the Court of Queen’s Bench during his tenure.

Justice Kalmakoff and his wife, Melanie, have been married for nearly 25 years. They have three children: Samuel (21), Sarah (19), and Natasha (16).

Justice Crooks was appointed to the Provincial Court of Saskatchewan in March 2018. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Regina in 1999 and a Juris Doctor (with distinction) from the University of Saskatchewan in 2004. She articled at the Department of Justice Canada and began her law career there with a general civil litigation practice.

Justice Crooks was appointed to the Parole Board of Canada in 2013 and served as a Board Member until her appointment as a Provincial Court Judge. During that time, she was a member of the Parole Board of Canada’s Executive Committee and Chairperson of the Indigenous Circle, a national committee of the Parole Board of Canada that provides advice on issues that impact Indigenous offenders, victims and communities.

Justice Crooks is Métis and was born and raised in southern Saskatchewan.

A graduate of the University of Regina and Osgoode Hall Law School, Justice Robertson articled with Leslie Shaw and was admitted to the Law Society of Saskatchewan in 1984. 

At the time of his appointment, Justice Robertson had a private practice in municipal law and as an arbitrator.  He also served as an Inquest Coroner and Chair of the Saskatchewan Police Commission.  He previously practiced with Robb & Dowling and as counsel to the Regina Police Service and City of Regina, appearing before all levels of courts.  He received the Queen’s Counsel designation in 2003 and the Fellows designation from the International Municipal Law Association in 2005. 

Justice Robertson has been active throughout his career with professional associations, including as a past president of the Saskatchewan Branch of the Canadian Bar Association, and with community groups. His community service was recognized by the award of the Saskatchewan Volunteer Medal in 2016. 

Justice Robertson has been married for 32 years to Madeleine Robertson, Q.C. with whom he has a son and daughter. 

Justice Klatt was born and raised in Saskatchewan. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in Sociology and Political Science, and, in 1986, obtained a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Saskatchewan.

Justice Klatt articled and spent the first few years in private practice.  In 1991, she was offered a position with the Ministry of Justice and Attorney General as a front-line trial prosecutor in both rural areas and in Regina. In 2003, she accepted a position with Public Prosecutions (Head Office) as an appellate counsel and, in 2010, became Senior Appellate Counsel, arguing cases in the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal and Supreme Court of Canada.

Justice Klatt was Saskatchewan’s representative from Prosecutions in the Federal/Provincial/Territorial forum of criminal law policy, working on criminal law reforms that included self-defence, disclosure, bail and criminal procedure.

Justice Klatt was an executive member with the Canadian Bar Association (Saskatchewan Branch) for many years, lectured and presented at various continuing legal education seminars and conferences and was actively involved in junior mentorship conferences within Public Prosecutions. For the past three years, she was a presenter at the CPLED seminar on Criminal Law.

During her career, Justice Klatt has had the opportunity to sit on various boards and committees as a way of serving the community. She has been an active volunteer in those endeavors.

Justice Klatt lives in Regina with her spouse and their two children.

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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