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.
The Honourable René LeBlanc, a Judge of the Federal Court, is appointed a Judge of the Federal Court of Appeal. Mr. Justice LeBlanc replaces Madam Justice J. Gauthier, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective April 29, 2019.
Justice René LeBlanc was appointed to the Federal Court in 2014. He received a Bachelor of Civil Laws from Université Laval in 1979 and was called to the Barreau du Québec in 1980.
Justice LeBlanc worked in private practice with the firm of Lazaroth Cannon Lemelin Rourke in Quebec City before joining the Legal Services Department of the Secretary of State of Canada in 1982. In 1986, he joined the Department of Justice Canada, where he was appointed Senior General Counsel in 2006. In that capacity, he appeared before all levels of court and was designated as one of a small group of lawyers to represent the Attorney General of Canada before the Supreme Court of Canada. He was also a member of the national committee responsible for reviewing all aspects of litigation before the Supreme Court of Canada. His main areas of practice were civil litigation and constitutional law.
At the Superior Court level, more than 350 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 provided 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.