Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada announces judicial appointments in the province of Saskatchewan
October 31, 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.
The Honourable Jillyne M. Drennan, a Judge of His Majesty’s Court of King’s Bench for Saskatchewan in Regina, is appointed a Judge of Appeal of the Court of Appeal for Saskatchewan. Justice Drennan replaces Justice B.A. Barrington-Foote (Regina), who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective April 6, 2022.
John P. Morrall, Associate Regional Crown Prosecutor at the Ministry of Justice and Attorney General of Saskatchewan – Public Prosecutions in Prince Albert, is appointed a Judge of His Majesty’s Court of King’s Bench for Saskatchewan in Regina. Justice Morrall fills the remaining position authorized further to the Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1.
Peter T. Bergbusch, K.C., Partner at Miller Thomson LLP in Regina, is appointed a Judge of His Majesty’s Court of King’s Bench for Saskatchewan in Regina. Justice Bergbusch replaces Justice M. McCreary (Regina), who was elevated to the Court of Appeal effective June 2, 2022.
Holli A. Kuski Bassett, Partner at McDougall Gauley LLP in Regina, is appointed a Judge of His Majesty’s Court of King’s Bench for Saskatchewan in Regina. Justice Kuski Bassett fills one of the two new positions authorized further to the Budget Implementation Act, 2022, No. 1.
The Honourable Dorinda Mae Stahl, a Judge of the Provincial Court of Saskatchewan in La Ronge, is appointed a Judge of His Majesty’s Court of King’s Bench for Saskatchewan, Family Law Division, in Saskatoon. Justice Stahl replaces Justice G.M. Currie (Saskatoon), who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective November 1, 2021.
“I wish Justices Drennan, Morrall, Bergbusch, Kuski Bassett, and Stahl every success as they take on their new roles. I am confident they will serve the people of Saskatchewan well as members of the Court of Appeal and His Majesty’s Court of King’s Bench for Saskatchewan.”
—The Hon. David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
Justice Jillyne M. Drennan was appointed to His Majesty’s Court of King’s Bench for Saskatchewan in June 2022. She received her B.A. in English and Political Studies in 2002, and her L.L.B. in 2005, both from the University of Saskatchewan. She was called to the bar in 2007.
At the time of her appointment to His Majesty’s Court of King’s Bench, Justice Drennan was a lawyer at the Regina Rural Legal Aid Office, where she had served since 2014, becoming the Legal Director in 2019. She also acted as Crown counsel for the Ministry of Social Services, conducting child protection litigation. Her legal career focused primarily in the areas of family law and civil litigation.
Justice Drennan has appeared regularly at all levels of court in Saskatchewan and has worked closely with various community organizations and First Nations groups. She is a past Bencher of the Law Society of Saskatchewan and was also a volunteer with Pro Bono Law Saskatchewan and a liaison with the Integrated Justice Program. She has presented on evidence and advocacy issues at various continuing legal education forums.
Justice John P. Morrall grew up in Saskatoon but also lived in Dijon, France, for two years. He received his LL.B. in 1992 and his B.A. in English (with Distinction) in 1993, both from the University of Saskatchewan. He is fluent in French, having attended the Saskatoon French School in his formative years, as well as receiving continuing instruction from the Centre canadien de français juridique since 2011.
After articling with Gauley and Company in Saskatoon, Justice Morrall began his legal career in private practice in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, with a focus on wills and estates, family law, federal criminal prosecutions, and a general civil practice. In 1997, he joined the Prince Albert prosecution office, where he has worked ever since. In 2014, he became the Associate Regional Crown for the office.
At the time of his appointment, Justice Morrall was in his second term as a Bencher for the Law Society of Saskatchewan representing the Prince Albert region. He has served on the ethics, equity and access, governance and K.C. selection committees as well as the model code subcommittee. In addition to serving as a hearing adjudicator on several occasions, he was elected as Vice-President of the Law Society by his peers in 2021.
Justice Morrall, his wife, Kim, and their four children live busy lives in Prince Albert.
Justice Peter T. Bergbusch, K.C., was raised in Regina. He graduated with a B.A. (Hons.) from McGill University, and obtained his LL.B. from the University of Saskatchewan, College of Law. He was called to the bar in 1996.
Justice Bergbusch is fluent in French and English. He articled at the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal then joined Balfour Moss LLP, becoming a partner in 2001. He continued in private practise with Miller Thomson LLP, a national law firm, following the firms’ merger in 2011. Over his career, he had a broad civil litigation practice, including trials in His Majesty’s Court of King’s Bench, many appeals before the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal, and appearances before the Supreme Court of Canada and courts of other provinces. His practice focused on shareholder and contract disputes, professional negligence claims, class actions, and occupational health and safety investigations. From 2004 to 2009, he sat on the Automobile Injury Appeals Commission, hearing appeals concerning no-fault benefits. He was appointed King’s Counsel in 2019.
Justice Bergbusch was active in the legal community as a member of the CBA National Resolutions Committee and the Board of Governors of the Saskatchewan Trial Lawyers Association and as president of L’Association des juristes d’expression française de la Saskatchewan. He volunteered as a director of Habitat for Humanity Regina Inc. from 2006 to 2015, serving as board chair for four years. He was also a director of SaskEnergy Incorporated from 2006 to 2008.
Justice Bergbusch married Deanna in 1991 and they are proud parents of a son and daughter.
Justice Holli A. Kuski Bassett was born and raised in Regina. She received her Bachelor of Business Administration degree (with Distinction) from the University of Regina in 2007 and her Bachelor of Laws degree (with Great Distinction) from the University of Saskatchewan in 2008 through the joint B.B.A./LL.B program. She was called to the Bar of Saskatchewan in 2009.
Justice Kuski Bassett began her legal career in private practice with MacPherson Leslie & Tyerman LLP in Regina in 2008. She joined McDougall Gauley LLP as an associate in 2010 and became a partner in 2017. Her career centered on civil litigation in all areas and aspects, with a focus on contentious estate disputes and corporate commercial litigation. She represented clients before all levels of court in Saskatchewan.
In both her professional and private life, Justice Kuski Bassett has prioritized helping others and contributing to her community. Among other things, she has volunteered on the boards of directors for the Sofia House and for the FASD Network and is a former member of 100 Women Who Care. She was actively involved with the Saskatchewan Branch of the Canadian Bar Association, most recently as the new Treasurer and as Chair of the 2022 Mid-Winter Meeting. She is a former member of the Dean’s Advisory Council at the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Law.
Justice Dorinda Mae Stahl was born and raised in Saskatoon. She earned her B.A. (Hons) in 1996, an M.A. in 2002, and an LL.B. (with Distinction) in 2005, all from the University of Saskatchewan. She was called to the bar in 2006.
Justice Stahl was appointed a Judge of the Provincial Court of Saskatchewan, La Ronge, in November of 2021. Her legal career began in private practice, where she focused primarily on family law, civil litigation, and criminal law. From 2014 to 2016, she was seconded to the Public Prosecution Service of Canada. She moved to Public Prosecutions with the Government of Saskatchewan as a Crown Prosecutor in 2008 and became Senior Crown Prosecutor in 2015.
From 2000 to 2008, Justice Stahl taught as a sessional lecturer at the First Nations University of Canada and at the Department of Indigenous Studies, University of Saskatchewan. Between 2008 and 2016, she taught as a sessional lecturer at the College of Law. From 2018 to 2020, she also worked as a creator, content developer, and author in the overhaul of the Canadian Centre for Professional Legal Education bar course. Her teaching and work reflected her interest and passion in education, mentorship, and truth and reconciliation.
Justice Stahl is married and is mother to one adult son who is a member of the Sucker Creek First Nation, Alberta. She has her Teacher’s Certificates in both tap and jazz from the Canadian Dance Teacher’s Association, Stage Division, and spends her spare time working, teaching, and volunteering in Saskatchewan’s dance community.
At the Superior Court level, more than 575 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.
To support the needs of the courts and improve access to justice for all Canadians, the Government of Canada is committed to increasing the capacity of superior courts. Budget 2022 provides for 22 new judicial positions, along with two prothonotaries at the Tax Court of Canada. Along with the 13 positions created under Budget 2021, this makes a total of 37 newly created superior court positions. Since Budget 2017, the government has funded 116 new judicial positions.
Changes to the Questionnaire for Federal Judicial Appointments were announced in September 2022. The questionnaire continues to provide for a robust and thorough assessment of candidates but has been streamlined and updated to incorporate, among other things, more respectful and inclusive language for individuals to self-identify diversity characteristics.
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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