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

News release

May 1, 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.

Catherine Dagenais, Partner at Dentons in Montréal, is appointed a Judge of the Superior Court of Quebec for the district of Montréal. Justice Dagenais replaces Justice M.-A. Blanchard (Montréal), who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective October 31, 2023.


“I wish Justice Dagenais every success as she takes on her new role. I am confident she will serve Quebecers well as a member of the Superior Court of Quebec.”

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


Justice Dagenais holds a Bachelor of Civil Law from the Université de Montréal, where she was awarded the Faculty of Law medal—first in the Faculty—and the Governor General’s Award—for the highest average in her university. She also obtained a Master of Laws from the University of Oxford. She was called to the Barreau du Québec in 1997. 

Justice Dagenais was a law clerk to the Honourable Michel Bastarache at the Supreme Court of Canada. She then practised litigation and international arbitration at the law firms McCarthy Tétrault, White and Case (Paris) and Norton Rose Fulbright. She was also a legal advisor to the United Nations Mission in Kosovo. Since 2010, she has been working at the law firm Dentons, where she has acquired versatile experience in civil and commercial litigation, constitutional and administrative law, as well as in construction law and alternative dispute resolution.

Justice Dagenais is committed to the justice community. She was a legal advisor at the Barreau du Québec and she was also a member of the Construction and Infrastructure Section Committee of the Canadian Bar Association. Throughout her career, she has focused on access to justice and has been actively involved with Justice Pro Bono.

Justice Dagenais plays a variety of sports; she also enjoys spending time with her family and in the great outdoors.

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada has appointed more than 730 judges since November 2015. This includes 103 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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