Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada announces judicial appointments in the province of Alberta
August 6, 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 L. Bernette Ho, a Justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta in Calgary, is appointed a Justice of Appeal of the Court of Appeal of Alberta. Madam Justice Ho replaces Mr. Justice J. D. B. McDonald (Calgary), who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective August 31, 2018.
The Honourable Anne Kirker, a Justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta in Calgary, is appointed a Justice of Appeal of the Court of Appeal of Alberta. Madam Justice Kirker replaces Mr. Justice B.K. O’Ferrall (Calgary), who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective March 3, 2021.
Colin C.J. Feasby, Q.C., Partner at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP in Calgary, is appointed a Justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta. Mr. Justice Feasby replaces Madam Justice L.B. Ho, who is elevated to the Court of Appeal of Alberta effective August 4, 2021.
Eleanor J. Funk, a sole practitioner in Calgary, is appointed a Justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta. Madam Justice Funk replaces Mr. Justice J. Hopkins (Red Deer), who passed away on May 23, 2021.
“I wish Justices Ho, Kirker, Feasby, and Funk every success as they take on their new roles. I am confident they will serve the people of Alberta well as members of the Court of Appeal and Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta.”
—The Hon. David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
Justice L. Bernette Ho was appointed to the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta (Calgary) in 2018. She came to Canada when she was six months old and her parents emigrated from the Philippines, where they were both born of Chinese descent. She completed all of her early education in Cochrane, Alberta. She earned a B.A. (Honours) in Communication Studies from the University of Calgary (1992) and an LL.B from the University of Alberta (1995). She was called to the Bar of Alberta in 1996.
Madam Justice Ho spent her entire law practice with one firm, Macleod Dixon (now Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP), where she focused on energy regulatory matters, including oil and gas and electricity, as well as employment, arbitration and administrative law and commercial litigation. During her 23 years with the firm, she was also heavily involved with several of its community projects, including the Partnership in Education program, a Calgary Board of Education led initiative which paired private entities with schools. She was also the firm’s representative to the Law Society of Alberta’s Justicia Project, which aimed at retaining women lawyers and promoting diversity.
Justice Anne Kirker was appointed to the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta (Calgary) in 2018. She had been working full time as a nurse after earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Alberta in 1987. She obtained her law degree from the University of Calgary in 1991.
Madam Justice Kirker had spent 26 years in private practice as a civil litigator, handling complex commercial and professional liability matters. Her work on behalf of other lawyers and law firms in the professional negligence arena exposed her to a vast array of legal issues arising from family, personal injury, real estate, corporate commercial, conflict of laws, contracts, insurance, wills and estates, tax and a few criminal matters. Justice Kirker worked on cases that went to the Supreme Court of Canada, including a jurisdictional challenge engaging principles of private international law and issues of corporate separateness. She was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2012.
In 2004, Justice Kirker made Lexpert’s Top 40 under 40 lawyers in Canada, and between 2011 and 2017, she was recognized by her peers as one of the Best Lawyers in Canada, winning Lawyer of the Year in 2012 in the area of insurance law, in 2014 for legal malpractice law, in 2016 for appellate practice, and in 2017 for corporate commercial litigation. She was named one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women by the Women’s Executive Network in 2014 and inducted as a Fellow by the American College of Trial Lawyers in 2016. She was especially honoured to serve as a Bencher of the Law Society of Alberta from 2012 to 2016, and as its President from 2016 to 2017.
Justice Colin C.J. Feasby, Q.C., received his B.A. from Bishop’s University, his LL.B from the University of Alberta where he was the valedictorian of his graduating class, and his LL.M and J.S.D. from Columbia University. He served as law clerk at the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench and Court of Appeal and was called to the Alberta Bar in 1999.
Mr. Justice Feasby practised at the Calgary office of Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP and was office managing partner from 2017 to 2020. He had a busy corporate and commercial litigation practice. He also maintained an active pro bono public interest practice, where he represented clients in important cases involving freedom of expression, freedom of religion, the rights of self-represented litigants, access to justice, and the right to vote. Justice Feasby has appeared in proceedings in many jurisdictions across the country, including before the Supreme Court of Canada, and has published on a range of commercial and constitutional law issues. He is a leading expert on the subject of law and democracy and is regularly cited by courts and academic authorities in Canada and elsewhere.
Justice Feasby’s community involvement has been focused on youth and sports. He has been involved with youth basketball for many years as a coach and administrator. He was a fundraiser and advisor to Right to Play in Alberta and a member of the Board of Directors of Children First Canada.
Justice Feasby and his wife, Becky, are proud parents of two university students.
Justice Eleanor J. Funk was born in Winnipeg and grew up in Edmonton . She completed her post-secondary studies at the University of Alberta, obtaining a Bachelor of Arts in 1992 and a Bachelor of Laws in 2000. She was called to the Alberta Bar in 2001.
Madam Justice Funk moved to Calgary to start her articles with the City of Calgary Law Department, where she gained experience in civil litigation and administrative, municipal, and quasi-criminal law. Shortly after being called to the bar, she joined the federal Department of Justice, where she represented the Crown, mostly in drug prosecutions under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. Her career has focused in the area of criminal law, including a brief self-directed research sabbatical in the Dominican Republic. Since 2007, she has been self-employed as a criminal defence lawyer, with a strong interest and focus on constitutional issues. She had the privilege of appearing before all levels of court in Alberta and Saskatchewan, the Provincial Courts of BC and Manitoba, and the Supreme Court of Canada.
Justice Funk thoroughly enjoyed volunteering as a mentor through the Law Society’s Mentor Express Program and the Canadian Bar Association’s Mentor Program. Each year, she was one of many volunteer guest instructors at the University of Calgary’s trial advocacy course for third-year law students.
In her free time, Justice Funk enjoys taking cooking and Spanish classes and the company of friends and family. Most often, when not working, she can be found in the great outdoors, in the company of her beloved dog.
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 that 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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