Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada announces judicial appointments in the province of Ontario
July 2, 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.
William D. Black, Partner at McCarthy Tétrault LLP in Toronto, is appointed a Judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario. Mr. Justice Black replaces Madam Justice F. McWatt (Toronto), who was appointed Associate Chief Justice on December 18, 2020.
Ian R. Smith, Partner at Fenton, Smith Barristers in Toronto, is appointed a Judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario. Mr. Justice Smith replaces Mr. Justice G.E. Taylor (Kitchener), who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective November 22, 2020.
Brian D. Dubé, a sole practitioner in Windsor, is appointed a Judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario. Mr. Justice Dubé replaces Mr. Justice C. Bondy (Windsor), who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective February 8, 2021.
Jill R. Presser, a sole practitioner at Presser Barristers in Toronto, is appointed a Judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario. Madam Justice Presser replaces Madam Justice C.J. Brown (Toronto), who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective February 3, 2021.
P. Tamara Sugunasiri, Case Management Master at the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario in Toronto, is appointed a Judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario. Madam Justice Sugunasiri replaces Mr. Justice J.B. McMahon (Toronto), who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective February 7, 2021.
Tami L. Waters, Principal at Tami L. Waters and Associates in Oshawa, is appointed a Judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario. Madam Justice Waters replaces Madam Justice A.C. Trousdale (Kingston), who elected to become a supernumerary Judge effective November 22, 2020.
“I wish Justices Black, Smith, Dubé, Presser, Sugunasiri, and Waters every success as they take on their new roles. I am confident they will serve the people of Ontario well as members of the Superior Court.”
—The Hon. David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
Justice William D. Black was born and raised in Edmonton. He earned his BA degree from Harvard University in 1983. He attended the University of Toronto Law School, receiving his Bachelor of Law degree in 1987 and was called to the Ontario bar in 1989.
Mr. Justice Black has practiced litigation with McCarthy Tétrault in Toronto since 1989. His practice has involved defending medical malpractice claims and complaints, and a wide array of commercial litigation for both plaintiffs and defendants, in recent years including in particular advising and representing accounting firms. In his 32 years of practice, he has regularly appeared at all levels of court in Ontario. He is recognized as a leading lawyer in various categories by Lexpert, Benchmark and Acritas, and is designated by the Law Society of Ontario as a Certified Specialist in Civil Litigation.
Justice Black taught trial advocacy at the University of Toronto Law School for many years, and has devoted considerable time at McCarthy Tétrault to mentoring younger colleagues, receiving the Robert W. F. Stephenson Legacy Mentor Award in 2014. He is a former trustee of the Toronto Lawyers Association.
Justice Black and his spouse Cindy J. Findlay live in Toronto and are the proud parents of two adult children.
Justice Ian R. Smith was born in Galt, Ontario and educated at Galt Collegiate, Queen’s University and Oxford University. He was called to the Ontario bar in 1991.
Mr. Justice Smith was counsel at the Crown Law Office – Criminal and at the Ontario Securities Commission before entering private practice with Fenton, Smith Barristers in Toronto, where he acted on criminal, regulatory and professional discipline cases. He has litigated at all levels of the Ontario courts and has appeared in the Supreme Court of Canada on more than a dozen occasions. He has taught at the law schools at Queen’s and Western Universities, and in the LL.M. program at Osgoode Hall Law School. He is a frequent speaker at continuing legal education events. Among other publications, he is the co-author of the second edition of Prosecuting and Defending Fraud Cases (2020).
Since 2003, Justice Smith has been an active member of the Pro Bono Inmate Appeal Program, which provides counsel to unrepresented and indigent appellants in the Court of Appeal for Ontario. He has been on the executive of that program since 2016 and has been its Chair since 2018. He has also been a member of the Chair’s Roundtable at the Law Society Tribunal and was formerly a member of the board of Sketch Working Arts, a community arts centre for homeless and street-involved youth in Toronto.
Justice Brian D. Dubé earned a Bachelor of Public Administration (Honours) from the University of Windsor in 1989 and graduated from the Faculty of Law at the University of Windsor in 1992. He was admitted to the Bar of Ontario in 1994.
Mr. Justice Dubé started his career with Donald H. Tait QC and continued as a sole practitioner in close association with colleague and mentor, Andrew J. Bradie, until his recent retirement. For over 27 years, his practice has focused exclusively on criminal defence work. His father, Edward J. Dubé QC, was a founding partner at what is now Mousseau, DeLuca, McPherson, Prince I-LP.
Justice Dubé is past President and has been a member of the Board of Children First since 2008. In this capacity and others, he has been involved in the research, counselling and treatment of those with mental health issues, especially children and adolescents struggling with autism.
Justice Dubé and his wife, Nina, are the proud parents of four teenage children, two sons and two daughters.
Justice Jill R. Presser graduated from McGill University with her LL.B. in 1994 and was called to the Ontario Bar in 1997.
Madam Justice Presser is the principal lawyer at Presser Barristers, focussing on appellate criminal defence, mental health, digital privacy, and artificial intelligence law. She regularly appears in courts at all levels, including the Supreme Court of Canada. She was a staff lawyer to the Honourable Stephen Goudge on the Inquiry into Pediatric Forensic Pathology in Ontario, and prosecuted for the Attorney General of Ontario (part time, 2001 – 2007). Justice Presser was an adjunct Professor at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law (2011-2016). She has published and spoken extensively at legal and judicial education programs on criminal law, mental health law, artificial intelligence and the law, privacy and surveillance, and women in the law. She is co-author of A Guide to Mental Disorder Law in Canadian Criminal Justice (LexisNexis 2020), as well as co-editor and contributing author to Litigating Artificial Intelligence (Emond, May 2021). She has also written numerous articles and book chapters, including “Mom’s Rea: Motherhood, Criminal Defence, and Guilt” in Women in Criminal Justice (Durville Publications, 2018).
Justice Presser is Vice-Chair of the Pro Bono Inmate Appeal Duty Counsel Program in the Court of Appeal for Ontario. She is the founding co-chair of the “Criminal Law and Technology Committee” of the Criminal Lawyers’ Association, and a long-standing member of its Litigation and Mental Health Committees.
Justice Presser and her husband are the very proud parents of two accomplished university students.
Justice P. Tamara Sugunasiri was born and raised in Toronto. She earned her BA in Philosophy from the University of Toronto. She then pursued an MA in Philosophy from the University of Windsor before obtaining a law degree there. She was called to the Ontario bar in 2000.
At the time of her appointment, Madam Justice Sugunasiri was a Case Management Master at the Superior Court of Justice in Toronto and Hamilton where she presided over civil and bankruptcy matters. She has spoken extensively at legal conferences and is the co-editor of the Ontario Superior Court Practice. She is a member of the court’s Equity, Diversity and inclusion Committee. In 2020, she founded an Access to Justice Award at Windsor Law to recognize a first-year student who demonstrates a commitment to improving access to justice in Ontario.
Prior to her appointment in 2017 as a Master, Justice Sugunasiri was Senior Counsel at the Department of Justice in Toronto. She practiced in the areas of civil and commercial litigation, administrative and constitutional law and taught civil litigation at Humber College. She also served as Discipline Counsel at the Law Society of Ontario. She has volunteered for various legal and non-legal organizations and has served on several boards including the South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario.
Justice Sugunasiri is inspired every day by her wife and kids. She loves to travel, cook, garden, bike and play sports.
Justice Tami L. Waters was born and raised in Oshawa, Ontario. She attended Niagara University in Lewiston, N.Y. on an athletic/academic scholarship where she completed both a Bachelor of Science in Commerce and a Master of Science in Education. After a career as an educator, she obtained her Bachelor of Laws from the University of Windsor where she was involved in the Women and the Law program, serving to highlight gender-specific issues in law, Student Government and the University of Windsor Mediation Service. She was called to the Bar in Ontario in 2003.
Madam Justice Waters started her law career in labour, notably as legal counsel for the United Food and Commercial Worker’s Union. She transitioned early in her career to family law and has had her own private practice since 2005, with offices in both Toronto and Oshawa. Throughout her legal practice, she has covered a broad range of family law issues and acted as counsel in contentious parenting, support, and property disputes. She was a panelled Dispute Resolution Officer with the Superior Court of Justice.
In addition to her practice, Justice Waters has been actively involved in her community in many capacities, specifically, serving as a long-standing supporter and Board Member of Denise House women’s shelter.
Justice Waters is an avid golfer and women’s hockey devotee and, with her wife, Patricia, is a proud canine parent to their boxer.
At the Superior Court level, more than 475 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:
Office of the Minister of Justice
Department of Justice Canada
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