Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada announces judicial appointments in the province of Ontario

News release

Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada announces judicial appointments in the province of Ontario

March 26, 2024 – 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.

Colin P. Stevenson, Founding Partner at Stevenson Whelton LLP in Toronto, is appointed a Judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario in Toronto. Justice Stevenson replaces Justice A.M. Pollak (Toronto), who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective February 20, 2023.

Gilead Kay, a sole practitioner in North York, is appointed a Judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario, Family Court, in Oshawa. Justice Kay fills the remaining position authorized further to the Budget Implementation Act, 2022, No. 1 (Newmarket – Family Court). The Chief Justice has transferred Justice J.A. Finlayson (Oshawa – Family Court) into this vacancy. The vacancy is therefore located in Oshawa – Family Court.


“I wish Justices Stevenson and Kay every success as they take on their new roles. I am confident they will serve the people of Ontario well as members of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario.”

–The Hon. Arif Virani, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada


Justice Colin P. Stevenson was born in Northern Ireland. He obtained his first law degree from Trinity College, Dublin and his LL.M from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1983. He was called to the Bar in Northern Ireland in 1984 and taught law at University College, Cork from 1983-86. This tenure included a sabbatical as a Visiting Professor at Osgoode Hall Law School in 1985. He was called to the Ontario Bar in 1988.

Justice Stevenson practiced primarily commercial and administrative litigation first at Teplitsky Colson LLP and since 2000 at what is now called Stevenson Whelton LLP.

Justice Stevenson has been very actively engaged in the profession, culminating in his Presidency of the Ontario Bar Association 2019-2020.

Justice Stevenson is the proud father of a son and a daughter who continue to surprise him regularly. In his spare time, he likes to collect participation medals from "age group" triathlons.

Justice Gilead Kay obtained his law degree from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1994 after obtaining his Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Toronto in 1990. He was called to the Ontario Bar in 1996.

Justice Kay started his legal career as Counsel for the Family Responsibility Office (FRO). For the past 25 years, he practiced primarily in the area of Family Law and has experience in all areas of Family Law including Child Protection. He has appeared before all levels of court in Ontario including the Ontario Court of Appeal.

Justice Kay has been a member of the Panel of the Office of the Children’s Lawyer Personal Rights Division for the past 15 years. In addition to his extensive experience as a lawyer, he was also an experienced Family Mediator, Arbitrator and Parenting Coordinator. He was a regular presenter at Continuing Professional Development Programs and a guest lecturer at various Osgoode Hall Law School events and is active in the Family Law community.

Justice Kay loves spending time with his wife, three children and his ungovernable yet loveable dog.

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada has appointed more than 705 judges since November 2015. This includes 81 appointments since the Honourable Arif Virani became 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:

Chantalle Aubertin
Deputy Director, Communications
Office of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General

Media Relations
Department of Justice Canada

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