Government of Canada announces judicial appointments in the province of Nova Scotia
November 30, 2018 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Justice Canada
The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, today announced the following appointments 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.
Scott Norton, Q.C., a partner at Stewart McKelvey, is appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia in Pictou. He replaces Justice N.M. Scaravelli, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective December 16, 2016.
Darlene Jamieson, Q.C., managing partner of Merrick Jamieson Sterns Washington & Mahody, is appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia in Halifax. She replaces Justice K. Coady, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective November 5, 2018.
Justice Scott Norton was born in Montreal and lived throughout eastern Canada through his grade school years. After attending business school at Saint Mary’s University and graduating from Dalhousie Law School with an LL.B. in 1983, he articled with McInnes Cooper. Justice Norton was called to the Bar of Nova Scotia in 1984, and has been a partner with the firm of Stewart McKelvey for the last 17 years.
Justice Norton’s practice focused on civil litigation. He has extensive trial and appellate experience in personal injury, insurance law, product liability and class actions. He has appeared at all levels of court in Nova Scotia, in superior courts elsewhere in Canada, and on appeals to the Supreme Court of Canada on three occasions. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2002 and was inducted as a Fellow of the International Society of Barristers in 2014. During his legal career, he held council positions and chaired various committees of the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society and at the Nova Scotia Branch and National levels of the Canadian Bar Association.
Justice Norton has been extensively involved in the community throughout his career, most recently as Chair of Autism Nova Scotia; Trustee of the IWK Health Centre Foundation; Vice-Chair of Saint Mary’s University and Chair of Churchill Academy (a school for children with learning challenges). He was also the Founding Trustee of the Sidney Crosby Foundation.
Justice Norton lives in Bedford, Nova Scotia with his wife Audrey and their son.
Following her graduation from Saint Mary’s University with a B.A. (summa cum laude) in 1985 and the Schulich School of Law in 1988, Justice Darlene Jamieson was admitted to the Nova Scotia Bar in 1989. She began her practice with Wickwire Holm and later formed the boutique firm Merrick, Jamieson, Sterns, Washington & Mahody with several colleagues in 1998. The firm has twice been named a Top 10 Litigation Boutique in Canada by Canadian Lawyer magazine.
Justice Jamieson has appeared before all levels of court in Nova Scotia and before the Supreme Court of Canada. Her practice focused on commercial and construction litigation, insurance defence, product liability and employment law. In 2006, she was appointed Queen’s Counsel, and in 2018, she was named a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. Justice Jamieson takes pride in having been recognized by her peers over the years, most recently being selected as “Litigator of the Year – Atlantic” and as one of the “Top 25 Women in Litigation in Canada” by Benchmark Litigation. On four occasions, she was named a “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers.
Until her appointment, Justice Jamieson was President of the Law Reform Commission of Nova Scotia. She chaired an exciting initiative to create the Justice and Law Reform Institute, the first institute of its kind in Atlantic Canada, located at the Schulich School of Law. Justice Jamieson has also volunteered actively in her community, serving on the boards of national and local organizations including Imagine Canada, Avalon Sexual Assault Centre, and the National Association of Women and the Law.
Justice Jamieson has received numerous awards for her commitment to community, equality and diversity, including the YWCA Women’s Recognition Award, the Dress for Success Women of Distinction Award, and the Elizabeth Fry Rebel With a Cause Award. In 2007, Justice Jamieson received the Frances Fish Women Lawyers’ Achievement Award, recognizing her dedication to the advancement of women in and through the legal profession.
Justice Jamieson is an avid reader and golfer. She enjoys travelling and spending time with her spouse, Allan, at their cottage on the Northumberland Strait.
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.