Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada announces a judicial appointment in the province of Alberta

News release

Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada announces a judicial appointment in the province of Alberta

May 26, 2021 – 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 Cheryl Arcand-Kootenay, a Judge of the Provincial Court of Alberta in St. Paul, is appointed a Justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta. Madam Justice Arcand-Kootenay replaces Mr. Justice R. Graesser (Edmonton), who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective August 3, 2020.


“I wish Justice Arcand-Kootenay every success as she takes on her new role. I am confident shewill serve the people of Alberta well as a member of the Court of Queen’s Bench.”

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


Justice Cheryl Arcand-Kootenay is a nehiyaw iskwew (Cree woman) from Kipohtakaw (Alexander) First Nation in Treaty 6 Territory. She was born in Edmonton, Alberta and graduated in 1988 from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Arts in political science. She obtained her Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Alberta in 1992 and is currently completing her Masters of Law in Dispute Resolution at Osgoode Hall Law School.

At the time of her appointment, Madam Justice Arcand-Kootenay had served on the Provincial Court of Alberta in the Edmonton Region as a tri-hat Judge (Criminal, Civil, and Family Law) since 2018. Prior to that, she practiced primarily in the areas of child welfare and Aboriginal law. She was Director’s counsel for Akamkisipatinaw Ohpikihawasowin Child and Family Services, a delegated First Nation Agency in Maskwacis, and for the Alexis First Nation. She was also counsel for children as a roster lawyer through the Legal Representation for Children and Youth, Office of the Child and Youth Advocate.

When not working, Justice Arcand-Kootenay enjoys spending time with her family and friends, hiking, golfing and being on the water in the Okanagan. She enjoys running and has completed half marathons, marathons and ultra marathons. She has also participated in triathlons, having successfully completed the Ironman Canada in Penticton in 2008.

Quick facts

  • At the Superior Court level, more than 450 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.

  • The Government of Canada is committed to promoting a justice system in which sexual assault matters are decided fairly, without the influence of myths and stereotypes, and in which survivors are treated with dignity and compassion. Changes to the Judges Act and Criminal Code, which came into force on May 6, 2021, mean that in order to be eligible for appointment to a provincial superior court, candidates must agree to participate in continuing education on matters related to sexual assault law and social context, which includes systemic racism and systemic discrimination. The new legislation enhances the transparency of decisions by amending the Criminal Code to require that judges provide written reasons, or enter them into the record, when deciding sexual assault matters.


For more information, media may contact:

David Taylor
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Justice

Media Relations
Department of Justice Canada

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