Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada announces judicial appointments in the province of Ontario

News release

December 11, 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.

The Honourable Patrick J. Boucher, Regional Senior Justice of the Ontario Court of Justice in Sudbury, is appointed a Judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario. Mr. Justice Boucher replaces Madam Justice L. Gauthier (Sudbury), who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective August 29, 2017.

John Krawchenko, a sole practitioner at Krawchenko Law in Hamilton, is appointed a Judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario. Mr. Justice Krawchenko replaces Madam Justice J.A. Milanetti (Hamilton), who resigned effective February 29, 2020.

Byrdena MacNeil, Solicitor for the City of Hamilton, is appointed a Judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario. Madam Justice MacNeil replaces Mr. Justice H. Arrell (Hamilton), who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective June 30, 2020.


 “I wish Justices Boucher, Krawchenko and MacNeil every success as they take on their new roles. I am confident they will serve Ontarians well as members of the Superior Court of Justice.”

—The Hon. David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada


Justice Patrick J. Boucher is bilingual and was born in Kapuskasing, Ontario.  He received his B.A. (Hons) from McGill University and his LL.B. from the University of Ottawa. 

Mr. Justice Boucher entered private practice and spent most of his time in family and criminal litigation in Cochrane North. During that time, he was an active volunteer in the community, including at the Clinique juridique Grand Nord Legal Clinic as well as the health care recruitment and retention committee. After his appointment to the Ontario Court of Justice in 2009, Justice Boucher was a local administrative judge, a director of the Association of Ontario Judges, an education chair for the Northeast, and a member of the Chief Justice’s Judicial Pre-trial Best Practices Working Group. After his appointment as Regional Senior Justice for the Northeast in 2015, he was an active member of several of the Chief Justice’s executive committees and worked on educational programming for the Court. 

Justice Boucher was a member of the Ontario Judicial Council and the Ontario Judicial Appointments Advisory Committee.

Justice Boucher has been happily married to Francine for 28 years, and  they are the proud parents of three children. In his spare time, he enjoys reading and cooking for his family.

Justice John Krawchenko received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Manitoba in 1983 and his Bachelor of Laws from Robson Hall, University of Manitoba, in 1986. He was called to the Ontario Bar in 1988 and started his own firm in Hamilton, Ontario, in 1991.

Mr. Justice Krawchenko was appointed as a Deputy Judge of the Superior Court of Justice Small Claims Court in 1999 and as Administrative Deputy Judge for the Hamilton Small Claims Court in 2013. His areas of practice include family law, wills and estates, estate litigation, civil litigation, and real estate law. He is a past president of the Hamilton Law Association and the 2019 recipient of their Emilius Irving Award, recognizing his outstanding contributions to the legal community.

In 2019 Justice Krawchenko also became the vice chair of the Federation of Ontario Law Associations. He is a frequent presenter at continuing education events in the areas of estates and trusts, real estate, and the Small Claims Court. He has also been an active participant and leader in community organizations outside the legal profession.

Justice Krawchenko resides in Hamilton with his wife and is the proud father of three accomplished children.

Justice Byrdena MacNeil received her LL.B. from Queen’s University Law School in 1994 after completing her undergraduate studies at the University of Toronto, where she earned a Bachelor of Music in Performance (Piano) degree. She obtained her LL.M. in Administrative Law from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1999. Called to the bar in 1996, Madam Justice MacNeil has worked both in private practice and in municipal government, focusing on civil litigation and administrative law, including human rights law, privacy law, and public health law.

Justice MacNeil commenced her practice at Shibley Righton LLP in Toronto as a civil litigator. While there, she worked with the Education and Public Law Group and had a varied practice that primarily involved representing school boards and other educational organizations. In 2006, she joined the City of Hamilton Legal Services Division as a civil litigator. In addition to representing the City in legal proceedings, she provided advice on municipal, regulatory, administrative, operational and enforcement matters.

Justice MacNeil has appeared before numerous tribunals, the Superior Court of Justice, and the Court of Appeal for Ontario. She has also spoken at conferences, written several articles, and presented to client departments on legal issues of interest to them.

Prior to attending university, she had received her ARCT in Performance (Piano) from the Royal Conservatory of Toronto. Justice MacNeil is the proud parent of two children, both of whom are in university, one pursuing an undergraduate degree and the other in a doctoral program.

Quick facts

  • At the Superior Court level, more than 420 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, LGBTQ2+, 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:

Rachel Rappaport
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Justice

Media Relations
Department of Justice Canada

Search for related information by keyword: Judicial appointments | Department of Justice Canada | Canada | Justice | general public | news releases

Page details

Date modified: