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

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.

The Honourable Michael Tomka, a Judge of the Provincial Court of Saskatchewan in Swift Current, is appointed a Judge of His Majesty's Court of King's Bench for Saskatchewan in Saskatoon. Justice Tomka replaces Justice N. Bardai (Saskatoon), who was elevated to the Court of Appeal for Saskatchewan effective April 18, 2024.


“I wish Justice Tomka every success as he takes on his new role. I am confident he will serve the people of Saskatchewan well as a member of His Majesty's Court of King's Bench for Saskatchewan.”

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


Justice Michael Tomka received his law degree from the University of Saskatchewan in 1997 and was called to the bar of Saskatchewan in 1998. 

Justice Tomka was appointed to the Provincial Court of Saskatchewan in 2021. He was initially appointed to the Meadow Lake Provincial Court, which includes circuit points in remote Indigenous communities. He proudly served the northwest region of the province for over two years before moving to be the resident judge in Swift Current in September 2023. Prior to his appointment to the Provincial Court of Saskatchewan, he was in private practice at McKercher LLP (2018-2021). From 2013 to 2018, Justice Tomka was of Associate General Counsel at Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) overseeing the company’s litigation and legal departments in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Ontario. He served as a Crown Prosecutor with Public Prosecutions from 2010 to 2012 and was an in-house litigator at SGI from 2007 to 2010. He started his legal career at Olive Waller Zinkhan & Waller (1999-2007) eventually becoming a partner of the law firm. During his career, he has worked extensively in civil litigation and practiced criminal law as both a prosecutor and defense lawyer.

Justice Tomka has volunteered his time to the Provincial Court’s Criminal Justice Committee, the Bar Judicial Council for the Canadian Bar Association, as well as Saskatchewan Squash and the University of Regina Alumni Association.

Justice Tomka and his wife, Bonnie, are the proud parents of two young children aged six and seven.

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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