Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada announces judicial appointments in the province of Quebec
February 6, 2023 – 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.
Marie-Eve Bélanger, Partner at McCarthy Tétrault LLP in Montréal, is appointed a Judge of the Superior Court of Quebec for the district of Montréal. Justice Bélanger replaces Justice L-P. Cullen (Sorel-Tracy), who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective January 1, 2022.
Shaun E. Finn, Partner at BCF Business Law in Montréal, is appointed a Judge of the Superior Court of Quebec for the district of Montréal. Justice Finn replaces Justice M. Yergeau (Montréal), who resigned effective June 1, 2022.
Alexandre Bien-Aimé Bastien, Partner at Shadley Bien-Aimé LLP in Montréal, is appointed a Judge of the Superior Court of Quebec for the district of Montréal. Justice Bien-Aimé Bastien replaces Justice M-A. Paquette (Montréal), who was appointed Chief Justice of the Superior Court on June 2, 2022.
“I wish Justices Bélanger, Finn, and Bien-Aimé Bastien every success as they take on their new roles. I am confident they will serve the people of Quebec well as members of the Superior Court.”
–The Hon. David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
Justice Marie-Eve Bélanger received her Bachelor of Laws from the Université de Montréal. She was called to the Bar of Quebec in 2004.
Justice Bélanger clerked with the Honourable Louis LeBel at the Supreme Court of Canada. She practised litigation at Stikeman Elliott from 2001 to 2005 and in January 2006 joined McCarthy Tétrault, where she became a partner in 2011. Specializing in health law, her practice focused on civil and professional liability as well as disciplinary law. She has appeared numerous times before civil courts, including the Court of Appeal, as well as before quasi-judicial and administrative tribunals.
Justice Bélanger was co-chair of McCarthy Tétrault’s United Way fundraising campaign for many years and chair of the Canadian Bar Association’s Health Law Committee. She has also been very involved in training, encouraging and promoting the success of young lawyers within her firm.
Justice Bélanger`s family and friends are very important to her, and she shares many interests with them, including cooking, alpine hiking, outdoor activities and travel.
Justice Shaun E. Finn has a Bachelor of Arts and a Graduate Diploma in Journalism from Concordia University, a Master of Arts from the University of Montreal (with thesis), a Bachelor of Civil Law and a Bachelor of Laws from McGill University, and a Master of Laws from Laval University (with thesis).
Justice Finn articled and clerked at the Court of Appeal of Quebec (Hon. Louise Mailhot) and appeared as counsel before the Administrative Tribunal of Quebec, the Municipal Court, the Canadian International Trade Tribunal, the NAFTA arbitration tribunal, the Superior Court of Quebec, and the Court of Appeal of Quebec. Prior to his appointment, he was the co-leader of BCF Business Law’s Class Action Defence Group and a partner in the firm’s Montréal-based litigation department. His practice included complex commercial litigation and class actions. In his class action work, he represented corporate and institutional defendants in the areas of product liability, consumer protection, privacy, and securities, among others.
Justice Finn was admitted to the International Association of Defense Counsel in 2022 and was named Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America in 2021. He has also been included in various professional directories. He has published widely on the subjects of class actions, civil procedure, and legal history, and has lectured on class actions, securities litigation, and commercial litigation at the McGill Faculty of Law.
Justice Alexandre Bien-Aimé Bastien holds a Bachelor of Civil Law and a Bachelor of Laws from the Faculty of Law at McGill University, a Certificate of Legal Education from the Hugh Wooding Law School, and a Master of Laws from Harvard University. He was called to the Quebec Bar in 2010 and the New York Bar in 2016.
Justice Bien-Aimé Bastien is fluent in French, English and Haitian Creole. He was a partner with Shadley Bien-Aimé LLP, where he specialized in criminal law. Prior to entering private practice in Montréal, he clerked with the Honourable Thomas A. Cromwell at the Supreme Court of Canada.
Over the years, Justice Bien-Aimé Bastien has taught various courses in criminal matters at the Faculty of Law at McGill University, and he co-authored the book Criminal Procedure: Cases and Materials. He was also an instructor, notably at events organized by the National Judicial Institute and the Association des avocats et avocates de la défense de Montréal. He was a member of the board of directors of CAIJ and the Quebec branch of the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers. He also served for several years on the board of Pour 3 Points, an organization dedicated to training sports coaches so that they can play a transformative role in the lives of the young people they coach.
At the Superior Court level, more than 580 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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