The Honourable David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, today announced the following appointment under the judicial application process established in 2016. This process emphasizes transparency, merit, and diversity, and will continue to ensure the appointment of jurists who meet the highest standards of excellence and integrity.
Andrea Himel, a sole practitioner in Toronto, is appointed a Judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario, Family Court Branch. Madam Justice Himel fills the Family Division patent position vacated by the transfer of Madam Justice H.A. McGee.
Justice Andrea Himel received her B.A. from McGill University (1993) and her joint LL.B./M.S.W degree from the University of Toronto (1998). She was a student and associate at Smith Lyons LLP (now Gowling WLG) and subsequently moved to Torkin Manes LLP. She joined the legal panel of the Office of the Children’s Lawyer following her call to the bar in 2000.
Prior to her appointment, Madam Justice Himel was a sole practitioner with a focus on family law, mediation, child protection and children’s law. As a member of the Child and Family Services Review Board, she adjudicated and mediated cases involving school expulsions, adoptions, secure treatment, and other Children’s Aid Society matters.
Justice Himel is a past-president of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts and was Co-Chair of the Conference and Research/Policy Committees. She was a major contributor to the development and marketing of the AFCC-O’s Parenting Plan Guide and Template. Since 2012, Justice Himel has mentored students through the externship program at the University of Toronto, providing opportunities to learn about the family justice and child protection systems. Throughout her career, Justice Himel has been a frequent presenter at educational programs and has published articles on a variety of topics.
Justice Himel resides in Toronto and values spending time and traveling with her husband, Eric, and her two teenage children.
At the Superior Court level, more than 390 judges have been appointed since November 2015. These exceptional jurists represent the diversity that strengthens Canada. Of these judges, more than half are women, and appointments reflect an increased representation of visible minorities, Indigenous, LGBTQ2S, and those who self-identify as having a disability.
The Government of Canada is committed to promoting access to justice for all Canadians. To improve outcomes for Canadian families, Budget 2018 provides 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 provides funding for a further seven judicial positions in Saskatchewan and Ontario, at a cost of $17.1 million over five years.
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.