Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada announces judicial appointments in the province of Ontario

News release

September 23, 2022 – 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.

Lisa Brownstone, Chief Legal Officer at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario in Toronto, is appointed a Judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario in Toronto. Justice Brownstone replaces Justice L.G. Favreau (Toronto), who was elevated to the Court of Appeal on December 17, 2021.

Joan M. Barrett, Deputy Director at the Ministry of the Attorney General of Ontario in Toronto, is appointed a Judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario in Toronto. Justice Barrett replaces Justice M.A. Penny (Toronto), who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective December 31, 2021.

Michael Bordin, Partner at Gowling WLG in Hamilton, is appointed a Judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario in St. Catharines. Justice Bordin replaces Justice R.B. Reid (St. Catharines), who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective December 4, 2021.

Faisal Mirza, Lawyer at Faisal Mirza Professional Corporation in Mississauga, is appointed a Judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario in Brampton. Justice Mirza replaces Justice D.F. Baltman (Brampton), who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective February 8, 2022.

Julie Richard, Partner at Richard & Chamaillard Law in Kirkland Lake, is appointed a Judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario in North Bay. Justice Richard replaces Justice D.J. Nadeau (North Bay), who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective January 11, 2022.

Quote

 “I wish Justices Brownstone, Barrett, Bordin, Mirza and Richard 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 of Justice of Ontario.”

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

Biographies

Justice Lisa Brownstone was born in Winnipeg and graduated from the University of Manitoba before obtaining her LL.B. from the University of Toronto. She spent her articling year clerking for Justice Gerald Le Dain of the Supreme Court of Canada and, on his retirement, Justice Peter Cory. She was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1990 and completed her formal studies with an LL.M. from Yale University.

Justice Brownstone spent much of her career as counsel at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, culminating in her service role as Chief Legal Officer. She led a team of exceptional legal professionals, prosecuted discipline cases, and appeared on many applications and appeals, including constitutional cases, at all levels of court. Prior to her work at the College, she was an associate at Teplitsky Colson, where she practised commercial litigation, after serving as counsel at the Ontario Law Reform Commission.

Justice Brownstone was a regular speaker on issues of professionalism, advocacy and administrative law. She taught trial advocacy at the Osgoode Intensive Trial Advocacy Workshop for 20 years. She served as Associate Chair of the University Tribunal of the University of Toronto, where she presided over disciplinary appeals. She received the Ontario Bar Association’s Award of Excellence in Constitutional, Civil Liberties and Human Rights Law in 2019.

Justice Brownstone lives in Toronto with her husband, but their two fabulous children have left home. In her spare time, she is an avid reader and traveler.

Justice Joan M. Barrett is the youngest of five children born to immigrant parents of Irish descent. Following her call to the Ontario bar in 1997, she joined the Ministry of the Attorney General, where she practised as Crown counsel for 25 years. Since 2014, she has been the Deputy Director of the Special Prosecutions Unit at the Crown Law Office – Criminal, overseeing cases involving market frauds, white collar crime, and national security. 

Justice Barrett has appeared before every level of court. She has argued murder appeals and cases involving complex constitutional issues before the Supreme Court of Canada and the Ontario Court of Appeal. She has also prosecuted dozens of trials, including police corruption cases. Throughout her career, she has been active in continuing legal education. She was an Adjunct Professor at Osgoode Hall Law School, teaching a course on mental health and criminal justice to upper year and LL.M. students. She is the co-author of a leading Canadian text on mental disorders and has authored several other legal publications.

Justice Barrett has been active elsewhere in the legal community, including as a Director on the Advocates’ Society Board where she was Chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Steering Committee and Vice-Chair of the Education Committee. She also has served as an advocacy advisor to the Supreme Court Advocacy Institute. In her free time, she volunteers with the Adult Downhill Disabled Skiing Association.

Justice Barrett enjoys cycling and spending time with her husband and their large extended families. 

Justice Michael Bordin who was born in Montebulluna, Italy, and raised in Niagara Falls, Ontario, has made Hamilton his home since 1996. He obtained his Honours BA in English from McMaster University in 1993, graduated from Western Law School in 1996, and was called to the bar in 1998.

Justice Bordin practised criminal law and began developing a commercial litigation practice in his articles and early years at Ross & McBride LLP. In 2005, he became a founding partner at Evans Sweeny Bordin LLP, where he grew his wide-ranging commercial and civil litigation practice and developed a focus on professional liability and negligence. In 2019, he became a partner at Gowling WLG, and for three years was the Advocacy Department Head and member of the Hamilton Office Management Committee.

Justice Bordin is a Certified Specialist in Civil Litigation. He has extensive and varied trial and appellate experience, including a successful appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada in 2019. He was a regular chair, speaker, and author for continuing education programs. He served for many years as a trustee of the Hamilton Law Association and as the Association’s President in 2016-17. Justice Bordin has been a longtime co-chair of the Association’s annual Commercial Litigation Seminar and has served on educational and social committees for many years. He has volunteered his time on not-for-profit boards and local committees. He has been an avid supporter of youth sport as coach, sponsor, driver and regular spectator for over two decades.

Justice Bordin and Lauren are proud parents and step-parents of five wonderful daughters.

Justice Faisal Mirza earned B.A. (Hons.) and M.A  degrees from the University of Toronto and a LL.B  from Osgoode Hall Law School.  He completed his articles of clerkship at Greenspan, Humphrey, Lavine before being called to the bar in 2002. 

Justice Mirza was a trial and appeal defence lawyer for 20 years. He frequently argued criminal and constitutional law cases at the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada. He was an Adjunct Professor at Osgoode Hall Law School and the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, where he co-taught advanced criminal law courses.  He was also an Instructor in National Security and the Law at the University of Toronto. He is the author of Criminal Jury Charge Practice and several articles about criminal procedure and sentencing.

Justice Mirza has volunteered with leading organizations to promote equality in the law and legal profession. He is a past president of the Canadian Muslim Lawyers Association and was co-founder of the Muslim Legal Support Centre. He was a director of The Advocates’ Society, which partnered with the Ontario Court of Appeal to establish the Advocacy Skills Training Series for members of diversity associations. He has often participated in education and mentorship programs with the Criminal Lawyers’ Association and the South Asian Bar Association.

Justice Mirza was a co-founder of the Sentencing and Parole Project, which provided culturally competent reports and education about anti-Black racism for justice system participants. In 2020, he was appointed by the Prime Minister as a Member of the National Security Intelligence Review Agency, which reviewed the lawfulness of all Government of Canada national security and intelligence activities. He was the recipient of the Ontario Bar Association Criminal Justice Award and the South Asian Bar Association Award for Diversity. He has consistently been recognized by the Best Lawyers in Canada in the areas of criminal defence and appeals.

Justice Julie Richard was born and raised in Shediac, New Brunswick. She completed a B.A. in Political Science, specializing in International Relations, at the University of New Brunswick and the University of Wales in Swansea (UK) in 2001. She then taught kindergarten in Hong Kong before obtaining her law degree at l’Université de Moncton in 2006. She was called to the New Brunswick bar in 2007 and the Ontario bar in 2010. In 2020, she obtained an LL.M. from Osgoode Hall in Toronto.

Justice Richard began her career at Stewart McKelvey in commercial and civil litigation before moving on to the Constitutional Law Unit of the Office of the Attorney General of New Brunswick, where she focused mainly on Aboriginal law and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In 2010, she relocated to Kirkland Lake, Ontario, where she opened a law practice offering services in civil litigation, municipal law, estates law, family law, employment law, and real estate in both French and English with her long-time student, associate and partner. During her career, she represented many children as a panel member of the Office of the Children’s Lawyer. She was appointed Deputy Judge in 2022.

Justice Richard chaired the Kirkland Lake Festivals Committee, sat on the executive of the Kirkland Lake Golf Club, sat on the executive of the Temiskaming Law Association, and was a member of Mediators Beyond Borders International, the ADR Institute of Ontario, and the ADR Institute of Canada.

Justice Richard is the proud mother of two daughters.

Quick facts

  • At the Superior Court level, more than 550 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, 2SLGBTQI+, 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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