Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada announces judicial appointments in the province of British Columbia
August 14, 2023 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Justice Canada
The Honourable Arif Virani, 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.
David K. Jones, Partner at Bernard LLP in Vancouver, is appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia in Vancouver. Justice Jones replaces Justice G.C. Weatherill (Vancouver), who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective August 7, 2022.
Jennifer Lynn Whately, Manager, Litigation, Enforcement at the British Columbia Securities Commission in Vancouver, is appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia in Vancouver. Justice Whately replaces Justice R.A. Skolrood (Vancouver), who was elevated to the Court of Appeal effective October 20, 2022.
“I wish Justices Jones and Whately every success as they take on their new roles. I am confident they will serve British Columbians well as members of the Superior Court of British Columbia.”
–The Hon. Arif Virani, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
Justice David K. Jones was born and raised in Vancouver. He earned a B.A. and M.A. from Simon Fraser University, a LL.B. from the University of Victoria, and a LL.M. from the University of Wales. He was called to the Bar of British Columbia in 1995.
Justice Jones started practicing law with Campney & Murphy, and for the last 20 years he was a partner with Bernard LLP. His commercial litigation practice focused on maritime law, environmental law, and occupational health and safety. He has appeared in all levels of court in British Columbia, and administrative tribunals including the Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada, the Environmental Appeal Board, and the Workers Compensation Appeal Tribunal.
Justice Jones was an active member of the Canadian Maritime law Association and the National Maritime Law Section of the Canadian Bar Association, serving on the Executive of both associations for many years. He has authored numerous articles on a wide variety of marine and environmental issues for local marine industry publications. Since 2007, he has been a contributor to CLEBC’s Due Diligence Deskbook, annually updating the Fisheries and Oceans chapter.
An avid sailor, Justice Jones has sailed extensively offshore and in local waters. He, his wife and two teenage sons enjoy exploring the British Columbia coast on their sailboat. He also enjoys skiing, bicycling, and walking his two dogs.
Justice Jennifer Lynn Whately was born in Victoria, but grew up in the small northern town of Smithers, B.C. She received her B.A in English at the University of Victoria in 1995, and returned to attend the University of Victoria, Faculty of Law, in 1998. She earned her J.D. in 2002, and moved to Vancouver to clerk for several justices of the BC Supreme Court. She was called to the bar of British Columbia in 2004.
Justice Whately practiced as a civil litigator in downtown Vancouver for several years before making the move to the Enforcement division of the BC Securities Commission in 2010. She prosecuted insider trading, fraud and other securities misconduct before the Commission’s administrative tribunal, and appeared as counsel for the Executive Director and the Commission at the Court of Appeal, and the Supreme Court of Canada. She also served as internal advice counsel for the Investigations branch, and as legal counsel in Corporate Finance Legal Services, sitting on committees tasked with national securities policy development. Most recently, she became Manager of Litigation at the Commission.
Justice Whately was on the board of directors of Growing Chefs, a not-for-profit organization aimed at connecting school kids, chefs and growers in order to foster food knowledge and sustainable food practices. She stayed involved with her alma mater, serving on a UVic Senate committee for several years, as well as guest lecturing on securities enforcement at the Peter A. Allard School of Law at UBC.
Justice Whately is an avid dance and musical theatre fan. She maintains a busy second full time job as a dance mom. She lives in Vancouver with her husband Chris, and is the proud mother of Sam and Tessa.
The Government of Canada has appointed more than 630 judges 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 racialized persons, 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 and Attorney General of Canada
Department of Justice Canada
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