Government of Canada announces judicial appointments in the province of Ontario
June 24, 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.
Mahmud Jamal, Partner at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP in Toronto, is appointed a Justice of Appeal of the Court of Appeal for Ontario. Mr. Justice Jamal replaces Madam Justice G. Pardu, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective January 1, 2019.
The Honourable Vanessa V. Christie, a Judge of the Provincial Court of Ontario, is appointed a Judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario. Madam Justice Christie replaces Mr. Justice G.P. Di Tomaso, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective September 30, 2018.
Justice Jamal was born in Kenya, raised in England, and completed high school in Edmonton. He received a B.A. from the University of Toronto, LL.B. and B.C.L. degrees from the Faculty of Law, McGill University, and an LL.M. from Yale Law School, which he attended on a Fulbright Scholarship. He served as law clerk to Justice Melvin Rothman of the Quebec Court of Appeal and Justice Charles Gonthier of the Supreme Court of Canada.
Justice Jamal, who is bilingual, practised with Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP in the fields of appellate litigation, constitutional and public law, class actions, and commercial litigation. He appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada in 35 appeals addressing a wide range of civil, constitutional, criminal, and regulatory issues. He also appeared before various provincial courts, the Federal Court, Federal Court of Appeal, and Tax Court of Canada, and federal and provincial administrative tribunals.
Justice Jamal was a director of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, The Advocates’ Society, and the Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History. He was a member of the Supreme Court Advocacy Institute and a trustee of the Canadian Business Law Journal. He has taught constitutional law at McGill, administrative law at Osgoode Hall, and published widely in his areas of practice. He was also chair of Osler’s pro bono program and a member of its Partnership Board.
He and his wife, Goleta, are the proud parents of two teenagers.
Justice Christie was born and raised in St. Stephen, New Brunswick. She attended the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, where she obtained her Bachelor of Arts in 1998, remaining on the Dean’s List every year, with a double major in sociology and law and society. She attended York University, Osgoode Hall Law School, from 1998 to 2001, and was called to the bar in October 2002.
In January 2000, Justice Christie began a student placement with Greenspan, Henein and White (now Greenspan Partners LLP). She remained at the firm throughout her career as a lawyer, ultimately becoming partner in January 2013. She appeared as counsel at all levels of court in Ontario (including multiple jury trials), the Court of Appeal for Ontario, and the Supreme Court of Canada. She also appeared as counsel in many other provinces. In her career as a lawyer, Justice Christie was very active in the Ontario Bar Association, sitting on council and the audit and governance committees. She also volunteered regularly with Our Place Community of Hope in Toronto.
Justice Christie was appointed to the Ontario Court of Justice in Gore Bay on Manitoulin Island in September 2017. She presided in three locations every week, including Gore Bay, Wikwemikong, and Espanola. She was involved in the implementation of the first Indigenous court for the Ontario Court of Justice in the Northeast region, which had its first sitting in January 2019, with Justice Christie presiding.
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:
Office of the Minister of Justice
Department of Justice Canada
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