Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada announces judicial appointments in the province of Ontario
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 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 Jonathon C. George, a Judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario in London, is appointed a Justice of Appeal of the Court of Appeal for Ontario. Justice George replaces Justice M. Jamal, who was elevated to the Supreme Court of Canada effective July 1, 2021.
The Honourable Lise G. Favreau, a Judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario in Toronto, is appointed a Justice of Appeal of the Court of Appeal for Ontario. Justice Favreau replaces Justice D.M. Brown, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective September 14, 2021.
Michael J. Valente, Partner at Scarfone Hawkins LLP in Hamilton, is appointed a Judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario. Justice Valente replaces Justice J.W. Sloan (Kitchener), who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective March 13, 2021.
“I wish Justices George, Favreau, and Valente every success in their new roles. I know they will serve the people of Ontario well as members of the Court of Appeal and Superior Court of Justice.”
The Hon. David Lametti
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
Justice Jonathon C. George was appointed to the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario in 2016. He graduated from the University of Western Ontario in 1999 and was admitted to the Ontario Bar in 2001.
At the time of his appointment to the Superior Court of Justice, Justice George was a judge of the Ontario Court of Justice in London. He articled and practised law at Robbins, Henderson and Davis from 2001 to 2012, building a criminal defence practice. As an Ojibway of Pottawatomi descent, he has represented members of the First Nations community, including as legal counsel to the Kettle and Stony Point Chief and Council. As special duty counsel with Legal Aid Ontario, he provided summary legal advice to those in the Kettle and Stony Point First Nation. He has also been co-counsel for the Kettle and Stony Point First Nation, involved in complex land claim negotiations.
Justice George has been on the panel for the Ontario Children's Lawyer. He has served on the boards of directors for St. Clair Child and Youth Services in Sarnia and the Canadian Mental Health Association in Lambton-Kent. He was also a member of the Lambton County Youth Justice Steering Committee and chair of the Kettle and Stony Point Constitutional Development Committee.
Justice Lise G. Favreau was appointed to the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario in 2017. She earned her B.A. in English literature at McGill University and her LL.B. at the University of Toronto.
Justice Favreau, who attended high school and CEGEP in French, is fluently bilingual. At the time of her appointment to the Superior Court of Justice, she was working at the Crown Law Office – Civil at Ontario’s Ministry of the Attorney General, where she represented the Crown at all levels of court, including the Ontario Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada. She practised civil litigation with Blake, Cassels & Graydon in Toronto from 1996 to 2003. Her practice included administrative law, tort law, class proceedings, health law, and environmental law.
Justice Favreau has been a frequent speaker, including in the areas of administrative law, civil litigation, and ethics. She has also been a dedicated mentor to younger lawyers and students.
Justice Michael J. Valente received his LLB from the University of Ottawa in 1982 after studying and working abroad. He was called to the Ontario Bar in 1984. In 1999, he received his LLM from Osgoode Hall Law School with a specialty in bankruptcy and insolvency.
Justice Valente began his career in the Niagara Peninsula, where he carried on a general litigation practice and benefited from the on-the-job education he received from his many mentors during those formative years. For the past 31 years, he was a partner of Scarfone Hawkins LLP, where his practice focused on commercial litigation with a special interest in bankruptcy and restructuring work. His greatest pleasure during his years of practice is to have played a small part in the development of the careers of young lawyers who have gone on to be excellent practitioners in both the public and private sector. He has been a regular contributor to continuing education seminars and is a proponent of legal education.
Justice Valente currently lives in Hamilton with his spouse, who is also a lawyer, and their two daughters, who provide a daily reality check. When not working, he enjoys travelling with his family off the beaten track, cooking, skiing, and spending time at the family cabin.
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.
For more information, media may contact:
Office of the Minister of Justice
Department of Justice Canada
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