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

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.

Colin D. Clackson, Q.C., Lawyer at WMCZ Lawyers in Saskatoon, is appointed a Judge of Her Majesty's Court of Queen's Bench for Saskatchewan . Mr. Justice Clackson replaces Mr. Justice Ron C. Mills (Saskatoon), who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective December 1, 2020.

Leah Schatz, Q.C., Partner at MLT Aikins LLP in Saskatoon, is appointed a Judge of Her Majesty's Court of Queen's Bench for Saskatchewan. Madam Justice Schatz replaces Madam Justice D.L. Wilson (Saskatoon), who resigned effective April 30, 2020.

Quote

 “I wish Justices Clackson and Schatz continued success as they take on their new roles. I am confident they will serve the people of Saskatchewan well as members of the Court of Queen’s Bench.”

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

Biographies

Justice Colin D. Clackson, Q.C., was born and raised in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. He attended the University of Saskatchewan, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics in 1980 and his law degree in 1983.

Mr. Justice Clackson moved to Grande Prairie, Alberta, to article and practise with his brother at Kay, Dobko and Company. He returned to Saskatoon in 1987 to work with MacDermid Lamarsh. In 1996, he and three colleagues started a new law firm in Saskatoon, then known as Wallace Meschishnick Clackson Zawada, which continues to thrive. From the start of his career, Justice Clackson focused exclusively on litigation. Over the years, he has practised in the areas of personal injury, criminal defence and family law, but mostly in commercial litigation and insurance defence. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2015.

Justice Clackson, a firm believer in getting involved, has volunteered his time to many professional and community organizations over the course of his career. He served on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Defence Lawyers Association (CDL) for 15 years, during which he occupied all executive positions. Prior to his involvement in the CDL, he was a member of the Saskatchewan Trial Lawyers Association of Saskatchewan, where he served on the board of directors and again occupied all executive positions. He was also a member of the Kinsmen Club of Saskatoon and spent many years on the board of the Kinsmen Foundation planning its annual Telemiracle show.

Justice Clackson and his wife Lorraine are blessed with three exceptional children, now adults with families of their own. He enjoys golfing and photography and recently became the proud owner of a telescope.

Justice Leah Schatz, Q.C., received her LL. B. from the University of Saskatchewan in 1993 and was admitted to the Saskatchewan Bar in 1994.

Madam Justice Schatz was a partner with the firm MLT Aikins LLP between 2007 and the date of her appointment, practising labour and employment law. She joined the firm as an associate in 2004. Between 2000 and 2004, she was in-house counsel for the Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations. She articled with the firm Gauley & Co., and remained there as an associate until 2000, practising in the family, labour and employment, and civil litigation areas. She was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2016.

Justice Schatz has actively volunteered and held leadership positions in various professional and community organizations, including the Canadian Bar Association, the Canadian Cancer Society, the Canadian Mental Health Association, St. Anne’s Senior Citizens’ Village Corporation, and St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation. She has been a frequent speaker at legal education programs.

Justice Schatz has a deep love for the Canadian Rockies. She enjoys spending time outdoors and especially on the water. She is married with two adult children.

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, 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

Contacts

For more information, media may contact:

Rachel Rappaport
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Justice
613-992-6568
rachel.rappaport@justice.gc.ca

Media Relations
Department of Justice Canada
613-957-4207
media@justice.gc.ca

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