Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada announces judicial appointments in the province of Saskatchewan
November 19, 2020 – 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 judicial application process established in 2016. This process emphasizes transparency, merit, and the diversity of the Canadian population, and will continue to ensure the appointment of jurists who meet the highest standards of excellence and integrity.
Melanie A. Baldwin, Q.C., Registrar and Executive Legal Officer for the Court of Appeal of Saskatchewan in Regina, is appointed a Judge of Her Majesty's Court of Queen's Bench for Saskatchewan. Madam Justice Baldwin replaces Mr. Justice J.A. Tholl (Regina), who was elevated to the Court of Appeal effective January 29, 2019.
Cara Haaf, Partner at Scharfstein Gibbings Walen Fisher LLP in Saskatoon, is appointed a Judge of Her Majesty's Court of Queen's Bench for Saskatchewan. Madam Justice Haaf replaces Mr. Justice G.D. Dufour (Saskatoon), who resigned effective February 1, 2020.
“I wish Justices Baldwin and Haaf continued success as they take on their new roles. I am confident they will serve Saskatchewaners well as members of the Court of Queen’s Bench.”
—The Hon. David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
Justice Melanie A. Baldwin, Q.C., graduated, with distinction, from the University of Saskatchewan College of Law in 1992 and was called to the Bar in 1993.
Madam Justice Baldwin articled and worked as an associate lawyer at Olive Waller Zinkhan & Waller in Regina, in a general practice with an emphasis on labour and employment law, family law, and civil litigation. In 1997, she joined the Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board as the Board’s Registrar and Legal Counsel. In 2008, she was appointed Registrar and Executive Legal Officer of the Court of Queen’s Bench for Saskatchewan and, in 2011, she was named to the same position with the Court of Appeal. She received a Queen’s Counsel designation in 2015.
Justice Baldwin has been a member of the Law Foundation of Saskatchewan since 2015 and is presently the Foundation’s Chair. She is a former president of Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers. She is a certified mediator and has lectured on such topics as administrative law, labour law, and chambers advocacy. She has also led and participated in seminars relating to practice in the Court of Appeal for Saskatchewan. She has volunteered in her community, including time spent on the boards of Regina Education and Action on Child Hunger and Regina Pioneer Village.
Justice Baldwin plays the French horn, and she and her sons, who are Ukrainian dancers, have performed locally and internationally with the Poltava Ensemble of Song, Music and Dance. She lives in Regina with her husband and two sons.
Justice Cara Haaf was raised in Tisdale, Saskatchewan. She received a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Saskatchewan in 2002, articled in Melfort, Saskatchewan, and was called to the bar in 2003.
After completing articles, Madam Justice Haaf returned to Saskatoon; she joined Scharfstein Gibbings Walen Fisher LLP as an associate in 2007, and became a partner in 2013. She appeared at all levels of court in Saskatchewan, practising mainly in the area of family law.
Justice Haaf volunteered extensively in the service of her profession. With the Canadian Bar Association, she was most recently the chair of the Alternative Dispute National Section. She served on the Children’s Law Committee, working to promote the legal interests of children. For the past several years, she assisted with the CPLED/PREP program to educate articling students in various areas; she has also been a guest lecturer at the College of Law. She was elected a bencher of the Law Society of Saskatchewan in 2018 and served on the Ethics and Competency committees. She also volunteered her time with CLASSIC, the poverty law clinic in Saskatoon, to mentor law students and assist their clients. Her volunteer work in the community includes her roles as chair of the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Network of Saskatchewan board, vice chair of the John Bosco Wilderness Camp board, and, most recently, board member for the Friendship Inn, a community centre providing free meals and programming to members of the community.
Justice Haaf enjoys travelling, skiing, and spending time at the lake with her husband and their two sons.
At the Superior Court level, more than 415 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 provides 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.
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.
For more information, media may contact:
Office of the Minister of Justice
Department of Justice Canada
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