Women prominent in new judicial appointments

In a slew of appointments across the country, the federal government has appointed or promoted seven women as it named six new judges and elevated five members of the bench to various appeal courts.

With B.C. Court of Appeal Justice Christopher Hinkson’s appointment as chief justice of the B.C. Supreme Court on Friday, the government has elevated Justice Richard Goepel to the appeal court. Goepel had been a Supreme Court judge since 2001. Hinkson moves to the B.C. Supreme Court after his predecessor, Justice Robert Bauman, became chief justice of British Columbia in June.

In Saskatchewan, the government has elevated Court of Queen’s Bench family law division Justice Jacelyn Ryan-Froslie to the appeal court. She replaces Justice G.A. Smith following her retirement last year.

In Ontario, the new Court of Appeal judges are justice Gladys Pardu and Mary Lou Benotto. Pardu replaces Justice Robert Sharpe, who moved to supernumerary status in June. She has been a judge since 1991. Benotto replaces Justice Robert Blair, who also became a supernumerary judge earlier this year. She has been on the bench since 1996.

And in Quebec, the government has named Superior Court Justice Claude Gagnon to the Court of Appeal. He replaces Justice F. Thibault, who became a supernumerary judge in April.

Other judges taking on new positions include Saskatchewan Provincial Court Justice Darin Chow. He joins the Court of Queen’s Bench family law division after Justice D.L. Wilson transferred to Saskatoon. The government has also named Prince Albert, Sask., lawyer Lyle Zuk to the Court of Queen’s Bench to replace Justice R.D. Maher. Maher became a supernumerary judge in August.

In Quebec, Heenan Blaikie LLP lawyer Pierre Bellavance becomes a Superior Court judge. He replaces Justice Y. Alain, who became a supernumerary judge last year. Bellavance had been a partner with Heenan Blaikie since 1998 who practised in a number of areas including civil litigation as well as real estate, construction, municipal, and administrative law.

In Alberta, the government has named four lawyers to the bench. Calgary Alberta Securities Commission lawyer Glenda Campbell joins the Court of Queen’s Bench. She replaces Justice C.S. Phillips, who became a supernumerary judge in July.

Also joining the Court of Queen’s Bench are Edmonton lawyers Dawn Pentelechuk and Frederica Schutz. Pentelechuk replaces Justice A.B. Moen, who became a supernumerary judge this fall, while Schutz fills the vacancy left by Justice L.D. Acton. Acton becomes a supernumerary judge on Dec. 1, and Schutz’ appointment is effective that day.

Finally, the government has named Corina Dario, a lawyer with Smart Technologies ULC in Calgary, to replace Court of Queen’s Bench Justice S.M. Bensler. Bensler became supernumerary judge in August.

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