Maisonneuve first francophone Ontario Court chief justice

Ontario’s Provincial Court will soon have a new judge at its helm. The court’s current Associate Chief Justice Lise Maisonneuve will replace Chief Justice Annmarie Bonkalo on May 3, the Ministry of Attorney General announced.

Associate Chief Justice Lise Maisonneuve takes over the top job on May 3Maisonneuve will be the first francophone chief justice of the Ontario Court of Justice and the second woman to take the office. The Provincial Court is the largest court in Canada.

Currently the regional senior judge of the east region, Maisonneuve presided over criminal matters in the Ottawa area for 12 years.

As a chief justice, she “distinguished herself as a leader and innovator,” the Ministry of the Attorney General said, adding the judge was responsible for initiatives including judicial education and modernization of the courts.

“Over an exemplary judicial career, Associate Chief Justice Maisonneuve has earned a reputation as a strong leader, an effective collaborator and determined advocate for modernization and continuous improvement in our courts,” said Attorney General Madeleine Meilleur.

“I have tremendous confidence in her ability to lead and I look forward to the work we can do together for the justice system and the people it serves.”

Before joining the bench, Maisonneuve was a criminal lawyer at Ottawa law firm Carroll Wallace and Maisonneuve. She was also an advisor to the Canadian Forces and the late Chief Justice of Canada Brian Dickson on military investigations.

Maisonneuve graduated from the University of Ottawa Law School and was called to the bar in 1991.

The Ontario Court of Justice hears more than 200,000 criminal cases in addition to millions of provincial offence matters and in excess of 20,000 family law cases every year.

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