The Honourable David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, today announced the following appointments 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 Peter G. Voith, a Judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia, is appointed a Justice of Appeal of the Court of Appeal for British Columbia. Mr. Justice Voith replaces Madam Justice B.L. Fisher (Vancouver), who elected to become a supernumerary Judge effective January 2, 2020.
Ian Caldwell, Master of the Supreme Court of British Columbia in New Westminster, is appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia. Mr. Justice Caldwell replaces Mr. Justice G.T.W. Bowden (Vancouver), who resigned effective October 1, 2019. The Chief Justice has requested that the vacancy for Mr. Justice G.T.W. Bowden be transferred to New Westminster.
Jasmin Ahmad, Q.C., counsel at Koffman Kalef LLP in Vancouver, is appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia. Madam Justice Ahmad replaces Mr. Justice J.C. Grauer (Vancouver), who was elevated to the Court of Appeal effective December 18, 2019.
Justice Peter G. Voith received a Bachelor of Science from McGill University in 1977 and a Bachelor of Laws in 1980 from the University of British Columbia. He then received a Master of Laws from Columbia University in 1983 and a Master of Laws from the University of Cambridge in 1984. He was called to the Bar of British Columbia in 1981 and was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2004.
In 2009, Mr. Justice Voith was appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia. At the time of his appointment, he was one of the founders of Hunter Litigation Chambers. Previously, he had practised with Hunter Voith from 2002 to 2005, with Davis & Company from 1984 to 2002, and with Ladner Downs from 1980 to 1982. His main practice areas were civil and administrative law.
In the years prior to his appointment, Justice Voith was consistently ranked as one of the leading practitioners in the Province in both commercial litigation and public law. He had also served for a number of years on each of the Ethics Committee and the Discipline Committee of the Law Society of British Columbia.
Justice Ian Caldwell was born in New Westminster and was raised in Burnaby. He has one brother and graduated from the same high school as both of his parents had done 35 years earlier. He received his BA in Geography and Criminology in 1980 and his LL.B. from UBC in 1984 and was called to the B.C. Bar in 1985.
Mr. Justice Caldwell began his legal career with the firm of Kowarsky & Company in Vancouver and relocated to Chilliwack in 1990 to carry on a general litigation practice with the firm of Rempel Kaye, later Kaye, Toews and Caldwell. In 2005, he was appointed as a Master of the Supreme Court of B.C. sitting in New Westminster and has remained in that position to date, receiving the Trial Lawyers of B.C. Bench Award in 2015.
During his years of practice, Justice Caldwell was active in the local Chilliwack and Fraser Valley Bar Associations, various CBA subsections and was a governor of the Law Foundation of B.C. for 7 years.
Justice Caldwell lives on almost 6 acres of farmland in Chilliwack with his wife Robin (also a lawyer), two yorkies, a variety of cats and a hopefully diminishing population of mice. His four children are pursuing a variety of careers with two still living at home and two off on their own. Outside of law, he enjoys golf, hockey (spectator only now) and music – especially playing guitar passably and singing poorly.
Justice Jasmin Ahmad, Q.C., was born in Winnipeg and raised in Flin Flon, a small mining town in northern Manitoba. She earned a B.Comm from McGill University in 1991 and her LL.B from the University of Victoria in 1994. Following articles with Webster, Hudson & Akerly in Vancouver, she was called to the Bar of British Columbia in 1995.
Madam Justice Ahmad joined Koffman Kalef LLP in 1997 where she practised as litigation counsel in a wide variety of commercial disputes. In 2011, she was appointed to the Law Society of British Columbia’s hearing panel and adjudicated lawyers’ discipline and credentials matters from 2011 to 2017. She achieved Fellowship status with the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators in 2019 and was appointed to the arbitration panel of the British Columbia International Commercial Arbitration Centre.
Justice Ahmad was elected as a Bencher of the Law Society in 2016 and served as Chair of the Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Committee from 2018 through 2019 and Chair of the Discipline Committee in 2020. She is a regular presenter on professionalism and ethics in the profession. Justice Ahmad is involved with the CBABC’s Women’s Law Forum Mentoring program as an organizer and mentor and is an active member of the summary advice program with Access Pro Bono. She was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2019.
Justice Ahmad enjoys spending as much time as possible on beautiful Gambier Island with her husband, Joe McArthur and their two daughters, Kate and Grace, who are her greatest pride and joy.
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.