The federal government has appointed a total of 10 new judges, to superior level courts in Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, and to the Federal Court, as well as elevating another to the Federal Court of Appeal.
Justice Donald Rennie was named to the Federal Court of Appeal, to replace Justice J.D. Pelletier, who is now a supernumerary judge.
Rennie was initially appointed to the Federal Court in 2010, after a nearly 30 year-career with the federal Justice Department, rising to the position of assistant deputy attorney general (litigation).
His replacement on the Federal Court is Denis Gascon, a lawyer with Norton Rose Fulbright in Montreal. Gascon was called to the bar in 1989 and his practice focused on competition and international trade law.
Four of the other nine appointments are lawyers who were either Crown attorneys or government counsel, continuing a recent trend by the Conservative government. In Ontario for example, of the 28 new appointments to the Superior Court since December, just over 40 per cent were lawyers with the provincial or federal governments, or in one instance, a military judge.
The latest Ontario appointments include Robert Charney, a lawyer with the Ministry of the Attorney General, will preside in Newmarket. Since 1999, he has been the general counsel of MAG’s constitutional law branch. He replaces Justice Kelly Wright, who has been transferred to replace Justice Edward Then, who is now a supernumerary judge.
Laurie Lacelle, a Crown attorney in Kingston, has been appointed a judge in Cornwall. Lacelle was admitted to the bar in 1998. Her main areas of practice were criminal and constitutional law.
Jennifer Wollcombe, a lawyer with MAG in Toronto, has been appointed to sit in Brampton. She is replacing Justice Richard Lococo, who has transferred to St. Catharines from Hamilton (his vacancy was transferred to Brampton). Wollcombe was most recently a deputy director in the criminal branch of the ministry, in charge of its human resources management portfolio.
Adriana Doyle, a lawyer in Ottawa, is appointed to the family court division, replacing Justice Maria Linhares de Sousa, who is now a supernumerary judge. Doyle was most recently a bencher of the Law Society of Upper Canada and a member of the Ottawa Police Services Board. Her main areas of practice were family law, mediation, and child representation.
David Jarvis, a lawyer with Beard Winter LLP in Toronto, is appointed a family court judge in Newmarket. He replaces Justice Margaret Scott, who is now a supernumerary judge. Jarvis was called to the bar in 1978. He is a former director of the Toronto Collaborative Family Law Group.
In Oshawa, Susan Woodley has been named to the Superior Court. A sole practitioner in Bowmanville, she specialized in estates, trusts, and guardianship law. She replaces Justice Mary Hatton, who is now a supernumerary judge.
Phillip Sutherland has been appointed to sit in Newmarket. The lawyer, with Sutherland Law in Vaughan, was called to the bar in 1989. His main areas of practice were construction law, family law and property law. Sutherland obtained a certificate in alternative dispute resolution from Osgoode Hall Law School in 2005. He is also a member of the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers. Sutherland replaces Justice Fred Graham who has transferred to family court.
In Quebec, Michel Pennou, a Crown prosecutor with the office of the Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions, was appointed to the Superior Court of Quebec in Montreal to replace Justice R. Mongeau, who resigned effective Jan. 13.
Pennou was called to the bar in 1992. He was a Crown prosecutor with the Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions since 2012 and a Crown in the Appeals Division from 2001 to 2012.
Winnipeg lawyer Sandra A. Zinchuk joins the Court of Queen’s Bench of Manitoba to replace Justice B.B. Midwinter of Dauphin, who resigned last September.
Zinchuk joined Monk Goodwin LLP after she was called to the bar in 1995. She was most recently managing partner of human resources. She practised bankruptcy law, insolvency law, and civil litigation.