OTTAWA, Nov. 9, 2018 /CNW/ - The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, today announced the following appointment under the new judicial application process introduced on October 20, 2016. The new process emphasizes transparency, merit, and diversity, and will continue to ensure the appointment of jurists who meet the highest standards of excellence and integrity.
Marie-Claude Bélanger-Richard, Q.C., a partner at Droit Veritas Law, is appointed a judge of the Court of Queen's Bench of New Brunswick, Family Division, in Saint John. She replaces Justice R.L. Tuck, who passed away on January 27, 2018.
Justice Marie-Claude Bélanger-Richard obtained an LL.B. from the Université de Moncton in 1985. She was called to the New Brunswick Bar in 1986.
Justice Bélanger-Richard began her career as a researcher for the Chief Justice of the Court of Queen's Bench of New Brunswick. She then taught in the Faculty of Law at the Université de Moncton and served as the assistant director of the Centre international de la common law en français.
Justice Bélanger-Richard joined the firm of Stewart McKelvey in 1992, practising mainly in the fields of civil litigation, family law and insurance law. In April 2016, she joined Droit Veritas Law, where she worked exclusively in family law.
In 2003, Justice Bélanger-Richard was appointed Queen's Counsel. Since 2011, she has been recognized each year for her professional excellence by being named to the "Best Lawyers" ranking in family law. Justice Bélanger‑Richard has often appeared before the Court of Appeal of New Brunswick and the Court of Queen's Bench of New Brunswick.
Justice Bélanger-Richard has always been a very active member of various professional associations in the legal field. In particular, she was a member of the New Brunswick Council of the Canadian Bar Association, the Council of the Law Society of New Brunswick and the Board of the Federation of Law Societies of Canada, serving as a member and as chair of several committees within these associations. In 2010, Justice Bélanger‑Richard became the first Francophone woman to assume the presidency of the Law Society of New Brunswick and, in 2013, was elected President of the Federation of Law Societies of Canada. In 2013, Justice Belanger‑Richard's leadership was recognized when she received the Lexpert Zenith Award – Leading Women Lawyers.
- Since taking office, the Minister of Justice has made over 230 judicial appointments, including 100 in 2017 – the most a Minister of Justice has made in one year in at least two decades. Of the individuals appointed, over half are women, eight are Indigenous, 20 identify as visible minorities, 13 identify as LGBTQ2, and three identify as persons with disabilities.
- The Government of Canada is committed to promoting access to justice for all Canadians. To improve outcomes for Canadian families, Budget 2018 will provide funding of $77.2 million over four years to support the expansion of unified family courts, beginning in 2019-2020. This investment in the family justice system will create 39 new judicial positions in Alberta, Ontario, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador.
- In addition, Budget 2018 provided funding for a further seven judicial positions in Saskatchewan and Ontario, at a cost of $17.1 million over five years.
- The funding outlined in Budget 2018 comes on top of resources allocated under Budget 2017, which created 28 new judicial positions across the country.
- In addition, the Government will invest $6 million over two years, beginning in 2018-2019, to support the judicial discipline process through which allegations of judicial misconduct are investigated. In this way, the Government will ensure that a robust process remains in place to allow Canadians to voice their concerns and submit complaints about judicial conduct to the Canadian Judicial Council and the Office of the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs.
- 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. Sixteen Judicial Advisory Committees have been reconstituted to date.
SOURCE Department of Justice Canada
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