Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada announces judicial appointments in the province of Ontario
November 6, 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 Sally A. Gomery, a Judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario in Ottawa, is appointed a Judge of the Court of Appeal for Ontario in Toronto. Justice Gomery replaces Justice M.H. Tulloch (Toronto), who was appointed Chief Justice of Ontario on December 15, 2022.
The Honourable Jonathan Dawe, a Judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario in Toronto, is appointed a Judge of the Court of Appeal for Ontario in Toronto. Justice Dawe replaces Justice M.-L. Benotto, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective January 1, 2023.
“I wish Justices Gomery and Dawe every success as they take on their new roles. I am confident they will serve Ontarians well as members of the Court of Appeal for Ontario.”
—The Hon. Arif Virani, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
Justice Sally A. Gomery received degrees in common law and civil law from McGill University. She was admitted to the Ontario bar in 1995.
At the time of her appointment to the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario in 2017, Justice Gomery was a partner with Ogilvy Renault (now Norton Rose Fulbright) in Ottawa. She was previously an associate with McCarthy Tétrault in Montreal after she articled at the Supreme Court of Canada.
Justice Gomery was recognized for her exceptional written and oral advocacy skills. During 26 years as a civil litigator, she handled a wide array of disputes, but was particularly active in the areas of insurance, medical malpractice and health sector regulation, and class action defence. She was the head of her firm’s Business Ethics and Anti-Corruption team.
Justice Jonathan Dawe received a B.Sc. from McGill University (1987) and began doctoral studies in theoretical particle physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He graduated as Bronze Medallist from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law in 1994 and clerked at the Supreme Court of Canada before receiving his LL.M. from Yale Law School in 1996. He was admitted to the Ontario bar in 1997.
At the time of his appointment to the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario in 2018, Justice Dawe practised criminal law for more than twenty years, first in the criminal law group at Sack Goldblatt Mitchell LLP, and then at his own law firm, Dawe & Dineen. He served as Associate Commission Counsel to the judicial inquiry in Manitoba into the wrongful conviction of James Driskell from 2006 to 2007. His legal practice focused mainly on criminal appeals.
Justice Dawe participated in numerous significant appeals in the Ontario Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada. He spent many years as an adjunct professor at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, teaching courses on criminal procedure and the Charter.
Justice Dawe is an avid baseball fan, kayaker, and guitar player. He grew up in and around Vancouver, and now lives in Durham Region with his wife and their two university-age children.
The Government of Canada has appointed more than 665 judges since November 2015. The Honourable Arif Virani has made 42 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
- Date modified: