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.
Matthew Taylor, Senior Legal Counsel at the Ministry of the Attorney General of British Columbia in Vancouver, is appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia. Mr. Justice Taylor replaces Mr. Justice L.W. Bernard (New Westminster), who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective May 11, 2019.
Andrew Majawa, Regional Director and General Counsel at the Department of Justice Canada in Vancouver, is appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia. Mr. Justice Majawa replaces Mr. Justice N.H. Smith (Vancouver), who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective October 10, 2019.
Justice Matthew Taylor, who is bilingual, was raised in Montréal. He received a B.A. (Honours) in politics from Queen’s University in 1989 and an M.Phil in political philosophy from Cambridge University in 1990 on a Cambridge Commonwealth Scholarship. He earned LL.B. and B.C.L. degrees from the McGill University Faculty of Law in 1994, graduating as the National Program Gold Medalist, and an LL.M. from Harvard Law School, which he attended on a Fulbright Scholarship. He clerked for Mr. Justice La Forest at the Supreme Court of Canada from 1994 to 1995 and was called to the Ontario Bar in 1996 and the British Columbia Bar in 2002.
Since 2008, Justice Taylor has practised as Senior Legal Counsel with the British Columbia Ministry of Attorney General, principally as a solicitor on complex commercial and public transactions. He also acted as counsel on select litigation files, including before the Supreme Court of Canada. He has broad public and private sector litigation and advisory experience, having previously practised as a commercial and public law litigator in Vancouver and Toronto and, early in his career, as a legal and policy analyst with the Privy Council Office in Ottawa.
Since 2001, Justice Taylor has been a co-author of the loose-leaf publication The Charter of Rights in Litigation, in addition to other publications. He has volunteered extensively within and outside of the legal community.
Justice Taylor and his spouse, the Honourable Justice Amy Francis of the Supreme Court of British Columbia, live in Vancouver with their two teenaged daughters.
Justice Andrew Majawa was born and raised in Metro Vancouver and received his B.A. (Honours) from Queen’s University. After working as a consultant with a multi-national firm in Ontario, Justice Majawa returned to Vancouver and received his J.D. from the University of British Columbia in 2005. He then completed a judicial clerkship at the Supreme Court of British Columbia, articled at the Department of Justice Canada, and was called to the British Columbia Bar in 2007.
Justice Majawa has spent his entire legal career at the Department of Justice Canada, where he practised primarily in tax litigation and extradition. He has appeared before the British Columbia Supreme Court and Court of Appeal, the Federal Court and Federal Court of Appeal, and the Tax Court of Canada. Justice Majawa was also one of the counsel representing Canada at the B.C. Missing Women Commission of Inquiry. Since 2015, Justice Majawa has held various senior roles at the B.C. office of the Department of Justice Canada, including General Counsel and Regional Director of the Business and Regulatory Law Section and the Tax Law Section. In each of those roles, he led more than 70 counsel and staff responsible for general federal civil litigation and federal civil tax litigation, respectively, in British Columbia.
Justice Majawa is passionate about mental health and wellness in the workplace. He is the co-chair and co-founder of the B.C. office of the Department of Justice Canada Mental and Physical Wellness Committee, and he has been recognized nationally by the Department for his work in support of its mental health initiative.
Justice Majawa enjoys spending time with his wife and their two teenagers skiing, travelling and mountain biking.
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.