Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada announces judicial appointments in the province of Ontario
October 10, 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.
The Honourable Renee M. Pomerance, a Judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario, is appointed Regional Senior Judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario for the Southwest Region. Justice Pomerance replaces Justice Bruce G. Thomas, who returned to the regular complement of active Judges effective June 1, 2023.
The Honourable W. Danial Newton, a Judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario, is appointed Regional Senior Judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario for the Northwest Region. Justice Newton replaces Justice B.R. Warkentin, who returned to the regular complement of active Judges effective January 1, 2023.
“I wish Justices Pomerance and Newton every success as they take on their new roles. I am confident they will serve Ontarians well as Regional Senior Judges of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario.”
—The Hon. Arif Virani, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
Justice Renee M. Pomerance received a Bachelor of Science (Honours – with distinction) in 1984 and a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) in 1987 from the University of Toronto. She was admitted to the Bar of Ontario in 1989.
At the time of her appointment to the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario in 2006, Justice Pomerance practised with Crown Law Office - Criminal, Ministry of the Attorney General of Ontario (1989-2006) with leaves of absence to act as counsel to the Honourable Peter Cory (2002-2003), and to act as Senior Advisor at the National Judicial Institute, Ottawa (2003-2004). Her practice expertise is in the areas of criminal law, constitutional law, and judicial education.
Justice W. Danial Newton received a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) from the University of Western Ontario in 1979 and a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1982. He was admitted to the Bar of Ontario in 1984.
At the time of his appointment to the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario in 2014, Justice Newton was a partner with the firm CARREL+Partners LLP in Thunder Bay where he practised civil litigation.
Justice Newton was elected a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers in 2012. He was a Clinical Instructor at Lakehead University Faculty of Law, a director of The Advocates’ Society, and a certified Advocacy Trainer. He was also a member of the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association, and a member and past director of the Thunder Bay Law Association.
The Government of Canada has appointed more than 655 judges since November 2015. The Honourable Arif Virani has made 30 appointments since becoming Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada on July 26, 2023. 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
Department of Justice Canada
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