Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada announces a judicial appointment in the province of Ontario
November 28, 2022 – 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.
Linda A. McKenzie, a sole practitioner in St. Catharines, is appointed a Judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario, Family Court Branch, in Welland. Justice McKenzie replaces Justice T. Maddalena (Welland), who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective July 4, 2022.
“I wish Justice McKenzie every success as she takes on her new role. I am confident she will serve Ontarians well as a member of the Superior Court of Justice.”
–The Hon. David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
Justice Linda A. McKenzie was born in Montreal and raised in the small town of Rosemere, Quebec. She lived for several years in St. John’s, Newfoundland, where she attended Memorial University of Newfoundland for two years. She returned to Montreal and graduated from Concordia University in 1985 with a degree in communications. She graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1988 and was called to the bar in 1990.
Justice McKenzie has spent her entire legal career practising family law. She initially worked at Morgan, Dilts & Toppari before setting up practice with her husband, John. After taking two years off work when her children were young, she became in-house counsel with the Children’s Aid Society of Niagara for a year. She then went back into private practice and began the most fulfilling part of her career, as a panel member with the Office of the Children’s Lawyer.
Justice McKenzie has been an active member of her community. She was a member of the board of the Niagara Area Business Women’s Network and the Business and Professional Women’s Club of St. Catharines. She participated in many fundraising activities and was a speaker at many Lincoln County Law Association conferences, as well as serving on the board of the Association for several years.
Justice McKenzie lives in the Niagara Region with her husband and their two very active children. In her spare time, she enjoys travel, biking, hiking and curling. She enjoys planning get-togethers, both small and large, with family and friends.
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 associate judges 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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