First group of 2015 judges announced

On Friday, the federal government announced a slew of judicial appointments in Ontario, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia, as well as the Federal Court and the Tax Court of Canada.

In Ontario, former Superior Court regional Justice Francine Van Melle has been transferred back to regular judicial complement in Brampton, Ont., to replace Justice Peter Daley, who has now been appointed a regional senior judge.

Justice Michael Gibson, an Ottawa-based military judge, has also been appointed to the Superior Court to replace Justice John Murray, who resigned at the end of last year. Before his appointment as military judge in 2013, Gibson was a legal counsel with the Judge Advocate General in Ottawa. He was also a defence counsel, JAG directorate of defence counsel services in Hull, Que., and deputy judge advocate at the Canadian Forces Base in Trenton, Ont.

The Feb. 6 announcement also included four appointments from the bar in Ontario.

Windsor, Ont., sole practitioner Kirk Munroe is replacing former Superior Court Justice Thea Herman, who resigned her post in Toronto in December 2013. Herman’s vacancy was transferred to Windsor. Munro, who practised criminal law since 1996, is the past-president of the Essex Law Association, the Windsor Criminal Lawyers’ Association, and the Florida Association of Criminal Defence Lawyers.

Also joining the bench from the bar in Ontario is former family lawyer Richard Bennett from Mississauga, Ont. He will replace Justice Sherrill Rogers, who became a supernumerary judge in November 2014.

Laura Fryer, also a family lawyer who practised with Fryer & Associates in Markham, Ont., now replaces Justice D. Roger Timms at the family court branch. Timms chose to become a supernumerary judge in November 2014.

James F. Diamond, formerly a lawyer at Levine Sherkin Boussidan Barristers in Toronto, is replacing Justice Wailan Low, who has been a supernumerary judge since April 2014.

In New Brunswick, Dalhousie, N.B., lawyer Larry Landry has been appointed a judge of the Court of Queens Bench to replace Justice Hugh McLellan of Saint John, N.B., who became a supernumerary judge in May 2013. Landry has practised civil litigation, municipal, criminal, family, and corporate law. He is a former chairman of the New Brunswick Review Board.

In Nova Scotia, Justice Elizabeth Van den Eynden, a former judge of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia, has been elevated to the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal to fill the void left by Justice Jamie Saunders, who became a supernumerary judge at the end of last year.

The two other appointments in Nova Scotia come straight from the bar. C. LouAnn Chiasson was a lawyer with Weldom McInnis in Dartmouth, N.S. She now replaces Justice Deborah Gass at the family division of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia. Gass became a supernumerary judge in January.

Jeffery Hunt, formerly a lawyer at Patterson Law in Truro, N.S., has been appointed to the trial division of the N.S. Supreme Court. That vacancy was created as a result of Van den Eynden’s appointed to the Court of Appeal. Hunt, who was called to the bar in 1992, practised civil litigation, insurance, and criminal law.

The Federal Court of Canada also gets one more judge. Justice Richard Bell, who was a judge of the Court of Appeal of New Brunswick, now moves to the Federal Court to replace Justice Dolores Hansen, who became a supernumerary judge in December 2014.

Bell was appointed to the Court of Appeal of New Brunswick in 2007. A year earlier, he had been appointed to the N.B. Court of Queen’s Bench.

There are two additions to the Tax Court of Canada.

Dominique Lafleur, a lawyer with KPMG in Montreal, now sits on the court in lieu of Justice Lucie Lamarre, who was appointed associate chief justice of the Tax Court. Lafleur, who joined KPMG in 2014, previously worked at Heenan Blaikie LLP in Montreal.

Sylvain Ouimet, a Department of Justice lawyer, joins the Tax Court to replace Justice Paul Bédard, who resigned in August 2014. Ouimet had been a taxation lawyer with the DOJ’s Ottawa and Montreal offices since 2002. Prior to that, he had been a completion law officer for Industry Canada in Gatineau, Que.

All of the appointments are effective immediately.

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