Government of Canada announces judicial appointment in the province of British Columbia

News release

June 4, 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.

Elizabeth McDonald, Counsel at Justice Canada, is appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia. Madam Justice McDonald replaces Madam Justice D.J. Dardi, who resigned effective December 31, 2018.


Justice McDonald was born and spent her early years in Seattle, Washington. She lived and studied in Ontario, Alberta, and California, but was mainly raised in Coquitlam, British Columbia. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Simon Fraser University in 1995 and a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of British Columbia in 1998. She was called to the British Columbia Bar in 1999.

Throughout the course of her legal career, Justice McDonald practiced in a wide range of areas—initially as an associate lawyer at Davis & Company in bankruptcy and insolvency and then at Fraser Milner Casgrain in the area of construction law. She joined the Department of Justice Canada in 2002 where, as counsel and senior counsel, she conducted varied and complex commercial, tax, and collections litigation. She co-chaired a national legal committee at the Department of Justice providing advice on litigation across Canada. She has represented clients in all levels of the Courts in British Columbia and the Federal and Tax Courts of Canada, and she has responded to numerous leave applications in the Supreme Court of Canada.

Mentorship has figured prominently throughout Justice McDonald’s career, and she has actively guided and trained junior counsel. Within her community, she has volunteered in numerous capacities, most extensively in early childhood education. She enjoys traveling, hiking, and snowshoeing with her husband and their two teenaged 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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