Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada announces a judicial appointment in the province of Nova Scotia

News release

April 22, 2024 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Justice Canada  

The Honourable Arif Virani, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, today announced the following appointment 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.

Shannon B. Mason, Managing Lawyer of the Nova Scotia Legal Aid Conflict Office in Sydney, is appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia in Sydney. Justice Mason replaces Justice K.C. Haley (Sydney), who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective February 12, 2023.


“I wish Justice Mason every success as she takes on her new role. I am confident she will serve the people of Nova Scotia well as a member of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia.”

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


Justice Shannon B. Mason obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree, double major in Political Science and English, from Cape Breton University in 2000. She obtained a Bachelor of Laws degree in 2003 from the University of New Brunswick. She was called to the Nova Scotia Bar in 2004.

Justice Mason started her legal career in private practice with H.F. MacIntyre & Associates. In 2005, she accepted a position with Nova Scotia Legal Aid (NSLA), practicing family law and criminal law. She became the Managing Lawyer of the NSLA Conflict Office in 2014 and was awarded the designation of senior staff counsel in 2022. She has practiced child protection law almost exclusively since 2014. She has served as Chair of NSLA’s Children and Family Services Act Best Practices Committee. She has appeared in all levels of court in Nova Scotia.

Justice Mason has been an active member of the legal community. At the time of her appointment, she was serving her second term on the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society (NSBS) Council. She also sat on the NSBS Complaints Investigation Committee, the Professional Standards (Family Law) Committee, and the Distinguished Service Award Committee. She was also an active member of the Cape Breton Barristers’ Society, having served as a past President. She also sat on the Supreme Court Family Division Liaison Committee, the Court Administration Collaboration Committee, and the Library Committee.

Justice Mason has been a long-standing board member of the Elizabeth Fry Society of Cape Breton.

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada has appointed more than 715 judges since November 2015. This includes 92 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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