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

News release

December 20, 2021 – Ottawa, Ontario
Department of Justice Canada

The Honourable David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, today announced the following appointment 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.

Michel H. Bourque, a sole practitioner in Calgary, is appointed a Justice of the Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta. Justice Bourque replaces Justice A. Kirker (Calgary), who was elevated to the Court of Appeal of Alberta effective August 4, 2021. 

Quote

 “I wish Justice Bourque every success as he takes on his new role. I am confident he will serve the people of Alberta well as a member of the Court of Queen’s Bench.”

The Honorable David Lametti
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Biography

Justice Michel H. Bourque was born and raised in Moncton, New Brunswick.  He holds an undergraduate degree in finance (1993) and an LL.B. (1996), both from the Université de Moncton. He also received an LL.M. in taxation from Osgoode Hall Law School (2009).    

Fluently bilingual, Justice Bourque first clerked for former Chief Justice of New Brunswick W.L. Hoyt and then for Justice Gerald J. Rip of the Tax Court of Canada. As counsel, he has focused on tax litigation since 1998, practising in several Calgary law firms and as a sole practitioner. In 2018, he was appointed general editor of Federal Income Tax Litigation in Canada, a LexisNexis Canada publication.

Justice Bourque is particularly committed to volunteer work in support of Calgary’s LGBTQ2S+ communities. From 2007 to 2010, he served on the board of the AIDS Calgary Awareness Association. Since 2011, he has been an advisor to the Calgary Chinook Fund, an endowment fund of the Calgary Foundation established to provide ongoing long-term funding of LGBTQ2S+ charities in Calgary. For the last two years, Justice Bourque has served as the Chair of the Board of Directors of Centre for Sexuality, an Alberta-based not-for-profit organization that aims to normalize sexual health in Canada by providing evidence-informed, non-judgmental sexual and reproductive health programs and services.

Finally Justice Bourque recently completed four years of service as President of the Mount Royal Community Association, where he lives with his spouse, Bryan Clarke, and their dog Toby.

Quick facts

  • At the Superior Court level, more than 495 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.

Contacts

For more information, media may contact:

Chantalle Aubertin
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Justice
613-992-6568
Chantalle.Aubertin@justice.gc.ca

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

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